Windlesham Arboretum

Visiting the UK in order to sort our visas for an upcoming holiday, we decided, as it was a lovely day to go for a walk in Windlesham Arboretum, which is where our daughter got married in the private chapel of St George.

Many people from the surrounding areas of Camberley, Bagshot and Lightwater drive past this hidden gem every day without knowing what lies behind the high trees that shelter it from the M3.  However, Windlesham Arboretum is a magical place, a mixture of follies, monuments, lakes, statues, monuments, bridges as well as a private chapel that we were lucky enough to have the use of a few years ago.

Created by Major William Spowers who was something of a modern-day romantic visionary and conservationist, he lived on the estate until his death in 2009. Today, the Arboretum Trust allows the public access to stroll the footpaths and trails.  You need to take your time to appreciate the thousands of mature and rare trees, admire the lakes and ponds.  However, if you look closely at the ‘ancient’ architecture you will see that much of it is relatively modern and dates from the 1980’s or 90’s although during an archaeological survey there appeared to be signs of Iron Age and Romano-British agricultural buildings, this was backed up with pieces of pottery and coins found at the dig.

St George’s Chapel where our daughter was married was allegedly built in the 1980’s as a “protest” against women being ordained as priests! I remember doing the recci while planning the wedding and was amazed that it seats less than 50 people.  It is however a pretty little chapel and for those romantically inclined the perfect venue for a wedding although you have to supply your own vicar.

We thoroughly enjoyed our walk, but no celebrity spotting that day as the arboretum was deserted.  I had hoped to see possibly Brian May (although he may have been heading for Tenerife and the “Sonic Universe” concert) failing that Brian Blessed would have been acceptable.

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