We use the train from Brentford station for this ride and reverse the process on the way home (£9 return before any reduction for railcards/seasons etc). We aim to catch the 9.23am to Virginia Water on the way out and you must be there when the train goes unless you prefer to meet at Virginia Water station for a 10.00am start. We should be back to Brentford between 4.00 and 5.00pm but be prepared to treat this as a relaxing ‘all day’ event.
This ride takes us from Virginia Water station along to Windsor Great Park where we cycle several miles following Virginia Water itself before heading for less busy parts of the Park. We exit on the far side to cycle to and through Windsor. After passing the Castle, we cross the river to Eton before heading across Dorney Common to the Pineapple Pub in Lake End Road for our lunch. Known for the range and size of its sandwiches, the name derives from the fact that the first pineapple grown successfully in this country was at nearby Dorney Court in the 17th century.
After lunch, we return to Windsor via Dorney Lake and the NCN4 cycle route alongside The Thames. Skirting the core of Windsor, we return to the Great Park and take a different route to cross it, passing The Totem Pole as we arrive back to Virginia Water. The ride is a mix of shared-use paths, lightly trafficked and heavily congested areas. We will be riding at a steady pace and will aim to stay close as a group but must be prepared for it to be busy in both the park and the town. Road bikes are not recommended as there are some variable surfaces including three lengthy stretches of compacted gravel.
To join the ride you need a bike in full working order so please check beforehand that the brakes work, the wheels spin freely and the tyres are pumped up. A helmet, some drinking water and a spare inner tube are recommended as well as a snack, cash or card for the train and for refreshments and a lock for your bike.