I’ve often visited Runnymede in East Berkshire, close to the Surry border and wondered how you get across to the other side of the River Thames. I found out how and what’s there and was not disappointed.
Ankerwycke is a beautiful, quiet, historical spot with snowdrops which were planted in Victorian times, a pond with views of the River Thames and the Runnymede RAF Memorial in the distance as we all as ruins of a St Marys Priory which is said to date back to the reign of Henry VII.
A a place of tranquility and is a free public National Trust site that requires no prebooking or tickets.
As well as the history of the priory, this is also home to The National Trust’s oldest tree at 2500 years old and rumours to have been a popular site with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. So much so, that it is thought it is the spot he proposed to her.
I would highly recommend a visit to Ankerwycke. It’s great for letting kids run wild and explore. Plenty of trees to climb – in particular keep an eye out for those with camouflage trunks!
It’s a site perfect for dog walking – I would recommend wellies as it was very muddy in places (we went in February) There are often cattle grazing in the fields at Ankerwycke so please be mindful particularly if are bringing dogs.
Unfortunately its not easily accessible to buggies or wheelchairs due to the muddy ground and numerous kissing gates.
Ankerwycke Circular Walk
If you fancy an easy 30 minute circular walking route to explore on a family walk, the National Trust have a Ankerwycke map and directions on their website. The Ankerwycke walk takes you from the carp park through meadows, fields, boardwalk, past the old Fish Ponds and ancient Ankerwycke Yew tree and back to the start with plenty of kissing gates along the way.
Ankerwycke Wildlife Spotting
As you meander along on your family walk, keep your eyes peeled for interesting wildlife to spot. You might see green woodpeckers feeding on insects in the wood or hear their laughing calls. Around the pond you will often see both red and green dragonfly.
There is limited free parking at the National Trust Ankerwycke car park so if full you may have to wait or return another time. The National Trust do ask that you don’t park on Magna Carta Lane as access is needed for residents, farm vehicles and emergencies at all times.