Ascot Authority

Distance12.6K  OS Explorer160

Walk for winter - hardly any mud (don't think i even tucked my trousers in my socks). Leave station opposite side of ticket office and follow road arcing left until meeting main A330, cross and take smaller road opposite on right. Follow road until sharp right turning, trackway starts under railway bridge on left.

Track narrows with fenced off fields on left and 'swamp' on right. Slight upward incline passing a boarding school on right leads to road then meeting & crossing main road. Continue with Race Course up ahead and to left. Before road underpass find footpath entrance on right, just before open grass area.

Your now on the Three Castles Path, which takes us all the way to Windsor Castle. Can walk along the open area or see faded royal remnants along the tree enclosed path. Either way you'll exit through royal crested gates onto road & pavement. Follow road curving right, then straight, to before Cheapside.

Turn off road into woods along wide private car track. Opens up to cattle fields ahead left & right. Quite quiet here. Dog leg right off main track, path then narrows into slightly enclosed trees & thicket. Close encounters with deer here. Get first sights of the soaring Red Kites above Windsor Great Park.

Footpath ends at B383 but bears right along side road then ends directly opposite the Ascot Gate of Windsor Great Park. Cross road, after main gates is slight incline arcing slow right. Past second gate house can leave road track and walk on grass. Wood log bench makes good place for packed lunch.

Although quite a formal part of the park, with wide smooth road track (popular with cyclists) still has nice open views & some old trees to marvel at. Saw my first Red Kite here & although now common place still lifts my spirits. Incline up to Cumberland Lodge on road track, then cut back left down to Ox Pond.

Up to The Copper Horse can get a bit muddy and water logged, especially exiting small gate. Walking up to statue from this direction silhouettes it nicely against the sky. The local deer populous sometimes camp out up here. View gives expansive panorama including Heathrow's T5 & airplanes.

Can take The Long Walk straight to end, or can veer off to left until large gate then head right toward Windsor Castle along grass track known as The Gallop (watch out for horses). Large open space here to explore, with large herd of deer, perching Kites, small ponds & some ancient trees.

Meet up with The Long Walk at gatehouse exit, then short walk up to George IV Gateway and into Windsor. Lots of pubs, cafes, shops and restaurants. South Western's Windsor and Eton Riverside and Great Western's Windor & Eton Central train stations get you home.

That's told ya.
Start of the Three Castles Path.
Footpath doesn't enter any fields - we can leave the cows in peace.
Quite secluded here.
Nice views across fields whilst on lunch break.
View from Ox Pond up to the Copper Horse.
Come on, you've all seen the views from up here.
The Gallop is well defined.
The Long Walk can be a lonely one at times.