Virginia Water was first dammed and flooded in 1753. Until the creation of the great reservoirs, it was the largest man-made body of water in the British Isles.
The woodlands surrounding the lake have been continuously planted since the middle of the 18th Century. The Frost Farm Plantation (at the south-western end of the lake) is also a designated SSI (Site of Special Interest), thanks to its maturity and biodiversity.
There are reminders of the past wherever you look. The lake was once a place of pageantry and spectacle and home to a Chinese junk and fishing temples built on the shore.
Take a trip to the south bank and discover an ornamental cascade from the 18th Century, and the Leptis Magna Ruins, a 'Roman temple' built from columns and lintels brought from the ancient city of Leptis Magna in the early 19th Century.
One of the area's more recent additions is a towering 100-foot high Totem Pole, a gift to HM The Queen from the government of British Columbia.
2013 saw the addition of the Virginia Water Pavilion, an impressive structure fabricated by sustainable timber supplies from the Windsor Forest, offering improved visitor facilities to the area.
Read up before you visit and then relax and make the most of your time here.
Things to do
Whether you’re planning to visit on your own, with loved ones, family, friends, or as a group – there really is something for everyone.
Need to know
Useful information that might affect your visit
Virginia Water South car park now open
Fencing work is taking place at Blacknest Gate
Horse riding in Windsor Great Park is now restricted to riding tracks and roads only
The collection of fungi is strictly prohibited in Windsor Great Park