Partly designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Runnymede is an area of meadows, grassland, and woodland that sits alongside the Thames. Best known as the site where King John agreed the Magna Carta in 1215, this momentous event was commemorated by the American Bar Association, who built a monument here in 1957. There is also a memorial to American President, John F Kennedy. Also there are the Fairhaven Lodges, designed by Edward Lutyens, and The Jurors: an artwork by Hew Locke, commissioned by Surrey County Council to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015.
Facilities – at a glance
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Facilities: Accessible fishing platforms
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Memorials car park open Dec & Jan 9-4 (last entry 3.30); Feb-Mar & Oct-Nov 9-5 (last entry 4.30); Apr-Sep 9-7 (last entry 6.30); Riverside car park open Apr-Sep 10-7 (last entry 6.30)
Also in the area
About the area
Berkshire essentially consists of two distinct parts. The western half is predominantly rural, with the Lambourn Downs spilling down to the River Lambourn and the Berkshire Downs to the majestic Thames. The eastern half of Berkshire may be more urban but here, too, there is the opportunity to get out and savour open spaces. Windsor Great Park and Maidenhead Thicket are prime examples. Threading their way through the county are two of the South’s prettiest rivers – the Lambourn and the Pang. Beyond the tranquil tow paths of the Kennet and Avon Canal, Greenham Common’s famous airbase has been transformed to delight walkers of all ages.
Reading and Newbury are the county’s major towns, and the River Kennet flows through them both. Reading is a vibrant, multicultural centre with great shopping and plenty of history. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading prison in the late 19th century, and wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol about his experience. Newbury is probably best known for its race course, which opened in 1905, although the first recorded racing at Newbury was a century before that. Famous people born in the county include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Winlset and Ricky Gervais.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
The scene could hardly be more 'Wind in the Willows', with the Thames burbling by, and outdoor tables and parasols set out by Bell Weir lock that lends its name to the kitchen and bar. The parquet-floored brasserie room has a light, breezy ambience.
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