Skip to content

Runnymede Explored Project

Visitors explore the Writ in Water architectural artwork which features words from the Magna Carta carved in stone
Exploring the Writ in Water architectural artwork | © National Trust Images/John Millar

More than 800 years ago on the banks of the Thames at Runnymede, one of history's most important documents was sealed: Magna Carta. Now, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Trust is transforming visits through a five-year project called Runnymede Explored. Discover how new trails, storytelling and community involvement will transform your next visit to Runnymede, and find out how you can support the project.

Improving accessibility at Runnymede

As part of the project, we’re creating fully accessible paths and trails to link Runnymede’s memorials and artworks, with creative interpretation along the trails telling Runnymede’s incredible stories.

Existing paths will be upgraded, including the towpath along the River Thames, and signage will be improved to help you find your way more easily.

Visitors standing in front of the Kennedy Memorial, Runnymede, Surrey, with a girl sitting on a tree branch in the foreground, with another girl nearby. This memorial to assassinated US president John F Kennedy (1917-1963) was designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. The words inscribed on the 7-ton block of pale cream-coloured Portland stone are taken from President Kennedy's inaugural address in 1961
The Kennedy Memorial, Runnymede, Surrey, for assassinated US president John F Kennedy (1917-1963) was designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. The words inscribed on the 7-ton block of Portland stone are taken from President Kennedy's inaugural address in 1961 | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Activities and events

We’ve designed a programme of activities and events for local schools and community groups, inviting them to get involved with the history and landscape of Runnymede and Ankerwycke. We’ve also developed a wider range of volunteering opportunities to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Working closely with the local community, we aim to create profound change in how people experience Runnymede and ensure these special places are cared for, for ever.

‘There are few places in the UK that rival Runnymede in terms of its profound influence on our national heritage. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, these thoughtful and sensitive improvements will enhance this special place for everyone to enjoy.’

- Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund

How you can support Runnymede Explored

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we can transform the way people experience Runnymede. However, we still need to raise an additional £300,000 to bring the vision for Runnymede Explored to life.

Your donations to Runnymede Explored will help us to inspire people and ensure everyone can understand and enjoy the history and importance of these globally significant landscapes.

Runnymede Explored Project timeline

August 2022

Construction commences for new accessible Thames Path

We are delighted to announce that at the start of August 2022 works commenced on the construction of the new accessible Thames path at Runnymede.  It is envisaged that the works will complete around the end of October this year. We have commissioned Landform Consultants, a contractor based in Cobham, Surrey, to undertake this segment of the project.

Swan on the river, flanked by green trees and grasses, at Runnymede, Surrey


Everyone needs nature, now more than ever. Donate today and you could help people and nature to thrive at the places we care for.

Our partners

Heritage Fund

Inspiring, leading and resourcing the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

The circular domed structure supported on columns of the Magna Carta memorial at Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Surrey

The history of Runnymede and Ankerwycke 

Learn about the historic sealing of the Magna Carta, a medieval priory, an ancient tree where Henry VIII wooed Anne Boleyn – and the site of a 1930s nightclub.

The Jurors, by artist Hew Locke, at Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Surrey, composed of 12 intricately worked bronze chairs incorporating imagery representing key moments in the struggle for freedom, rule of law and equal rights, photographed beneath a stormy sky

The Jurors at Runnymede 

Twelve intricately carved bronze chairs celebrate the endurance of Magna Carta at Runnymede. Discover the artwork and its inspiration here.

The round stone exterior of 'Writ in Water', an art installation inspired by Clause 39 of Magna Carta at Runnymede, Surrey

Writ in Water at Runnymede 

Reflect upon the history of Runnymede inside this immersive architectural installation, which celebrates the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede over 800 years ago.

Ranger in National Trust fleece inspecting white blossom on tree in orchard

Our cause 

We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.

Birds eye view of the kitchen garden project at Florence Court, County Fermanagh

Grants and funding 

Find out more about the funding the National Trust receives from grants, and the projects it has helped support.