The Park circular walk at Ankerwycke

Ankerwycke, Magna Carta Lane, Wraysbury, Staines. TW19 5AG

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Snowdrop on the Ankerwycke Park Trail © National Trust

Snowdrop on the Ankerwycke Park Trail

The ruin of priory on the Ankerwycke Park Trail © National Trust

The ruin of priory on the Ankerwycke Park Trail

Ankerwycke yew tree on the Park trail © National Trust

Ankerwycke yew tree on the Park trail

Route overview

Very leisurely stroll through the park at Ankerwycke on gentle terrain. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map of The Park circular walk
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Car park at Ankerwycke, Magna Carta Lane, grid ref: TQ002732

  1. From the car park, make your way through the kissing gate (to your right as you enter the car park), into the meadow. This is known as The Orchard. Please be aware these meadows are grazed for most of the year. The cattle are in general curious of you, but not aggressive. Please observe any signs when entering a grazed area. Once through the gate, turn left and walk along the field boundary. Continue through the farmers gate, past the small cedar tree.

  2. Walking over the boardwalk and through the kissing gate, you are now in Little Day Meadow, and will be facing a large London Plane tree. Turn left here, and walk towards another kissing gate.

  3. Go through the kissing gate, across the track to the next kissing gate in front of you. You are now in The Park, newly opened to the public in 2011, our newest open route at Ankerwycke. Walk straight ahead, following the naturally made trail in the grass.

    Show/HideLots of wildlife

    Ankerwycke hosts a wonderful array of wildlife. Listen out for the green woodpeckers loud, laughing call, or see them feeding on insects found in dead wood. The emerald dragonfly, and large red dragonfly can be seen darting between the ponds and the parks paths. In spring, see the bare grounds erupt into a carpet of snowdrops, thought to be planted here in Victorian times.

    Snowdrop on the Ankerwycke Park Trail © National Trust
  4. The trail here veers round to your right. Continue along this route.

  5. Within the line of trees at the other side of the field, youll see a kissing gate. Go through the gate, and at the path turn right. You are now walking alongside the River Thames.

  6. Following the circular walk trail marker posts, the path bears right. Continue through the kissing gate, into Ankerwycke Mead, also known as Black Walnut Mead. Walk through the meadow with the black walnut tree on your left. Youll see a kissing gate in front of you.

  7. Go through the gate, and walk along the track through the woods, with the old Fish Ponds on your left.

    Show/HideSt Mary's Priory

    You'll pass the ruins of St Mary's Priory. Built in the 12th century, it was formerly home to a community of Benedictine nuns.

    The ruin of priory on the Ankerwycke Park Trail © National Trust
  8. You will come out into a small meadow surrounded by trees, with St Marys Priory on your left and the 2,000 year-old Ankerwycke Yew on your right. Make sure to stop and have a look underneath the canopy of this venerable old giant. Continue on the path, over a small bridge and into the avenue of Grey Poplars, until youre faced with a large gate. Turn left here, through the kissing gate. You are now back on your original route (points 3 to 1), where you follow the route back to the car park, the way you came.

    Show/HideThe very old yew tree

    This iconic yew is said to have witnessed the oathing and sealing of the Magna Carta by King John in June 1215 and to be the location where Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn in the 1530s. Take a walk around and under this magnificent tree, believed to be over 2,000 years old. Its trunk is about as wide as an Austin Mini.

    Ankerwycke yew tree on the Park trail © National Trust

End: Car park at Ankerwycke, Magna Carta Lane, grid ref: TQ002732

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 0.6 miles (1km)
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 175 or 176
  • Terrain:

    Across meadows, so terrain depends on time of year. Boardwalks are provided at muddier spots. Kissing gates are provided at all boundaries, no stiles. Terrain is generally flat.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: Wraysbury Road (approaching Magna Carta Lane) does not have footpaths, so take car. Use local roads from Wraysbury rail station

    By bike: Nearest National Cycle Network Route is Route 4, then cycling on local roads

    By bus: 65 to Heathrow or 301 to Staines, alight opposite Magna Carta Lane. See Traveline for more details

    By train: Wraysbury railway station is 0.8 miles (1.2km) away

    By car: From the M25, exit at junction 13 onto A30 toward London (W)/Hounslow/Staines. If travelling from south, at the roundabout, take the 1st exit toward Wraysbury/B376. At the next roundabout , take the third exit onto Wraysbury Road, follow the road round to the left, and after about 1 mile (1.6km) Magna Carta Lane will be on your left-hand-side. Please note this is a small and rather inconspicuous access

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