10 walks inspired by kings and queens
Step back in history with these wonderful walks with royal connections
Some of our favourite walks inspired by royalty.
Windsor Riverside Walk
This green riverside walk takes in the Thames and lovely views of Windsor Castle. The medieval castle is the longest inhabited palace in Europe and has been a family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. William the Conquerer (1066-1087) first chose the site for the castle, and it has been rebuilt, changed and adapted by many monarchs over the years. Many will remember the fire that took hold of the castle in 1992, just one of the factors that led Elizabeth II to describe the year as “annus horribilis”.
Leicestershire – Round 23 of 28
The Leicestershire Round is a 100-mile route that encircles Leicester, and this series splits it into 28 separate walks. This one visits the site of Battle of Bosworth, which was fought on 22 August 1485 and made famous by Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. At Bosworth, he became the last English king to die in battle and the last Plantagenet king. He was succeeded by Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch. The walk passes the church where Richard III is said to have said his last mass the night before the battle took place.
Warwickshire – Abbey Fields, Kenilworth Castle and Chase Wood
This route will take you along pleasant paths from the Abbey Fields and leads you into peaceful countryside. You’ll pass the spectacular ruins of Kenilworth Castle, which was once one of England’s most formidable medieval fortresses. It was where Henry V often stayed and where Elizabeth I was often invited by her favourite, Robert Dudley, for some high profile and extravagant visits. The castle’s fortifications were dismantled in 1650 after the English Civil War.
Scone, Perth and Kinross – The Royal Connection
The route meanders through areas of lovely woodland, passing beside rippling burn and pleasant views of the nearby hills. Scone is where the Scottish Kings were crowned before the Scottish and English monarchies merged. They sat on the Stone of Scone, otherwise known as the Stone of Destiny, for the ceremony. In 1296, the stone was seized by Edward I of England and built into a new throne at Westminster. After a number of adventures, the stone was officially returned to Scotland in 1996 and will only leave Edinburgh Castle for a coronation in Westminster Abbey.
Sightseeing Brighton’s vibrant city
Stroll around Brighton's unique pedestrianised Lanes and New Street, along the seafront, and pass old churches, pubs and the iconic Royal Pavilion. Started in 1787, the pavilion was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became Prince Regent in 1811. Originally, it was modest in size but in 1815, George commissioned John Nash to begin the transformation from modest villa to today’s magnificent palace with its blend of Indian, Mughal, European and Chinese architecture and design.
Pen Dinas, Aberswyth
Any fans of The Crown? As you’ll know if you watched season three (or have a general interest in the history of the Royal Family), Prince Charles was sent to Aberystwyth in 1969 to learn about Welsh language and culture before his investiture as Prince of Wales. Get to know the area with this circular walk, starting at Aberystwyth train station. Part way through the walk, you’ll go past the site of the original Aberystwyth castle, which was built in 1109. It changed hands repeatedly as the Normans warred with the Welsh, including in 1136 when it fell to Owain Gwynedd, King of Gwynedd, North Wales. Later, Edward I would erect a new Aberystwyth Castle a mile north of this site.
Edinburgh, Southeast Scotland
Edinburgh is truly a city for walking, with its stunning mixture of history and natural beauty: the Old Town’s maze of closes, vennels and snug howffs are just a minute’s walks from the wild volcanic outcrop of Arthur’s Seat. In this circular tour of the city centre, you’ll pass the Palace of Holyrood, the King’s residence in Scotland. It was here that Mary, Queen of Scots, reigned briefly and Rizzio, her private secretary, was murdered. You’ll also see the Edinburgh Castle, sitting high about the city, where you can see the Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone.
Richmond, Town and Country
This walk takes you through the historic Richmond Green area, along the river and across Petersham Meadows before climbing through Richmond Park to King Henry’s Mound. Legend has it that Henry VIII climbed to the top of the hill in 1536 to watch for a signal from the Tower of London that Anne Boleyn had been beheaded and that he was free to remarry. It’s likely that Henry was actually in Wiltshire at the time, but name, King Henry’s Mound has stuck. The walk also takes you past Richmond Palace, built by Henry VII in about 1501, and the site of the former Royal Star and Garter Home, which was established by Queen Mary and the British Red Cross in 1916 to provide care for sailors and soldiers.
West End Wander – Parks, Palaces and History
This is a circular walk through some of London’s wonderful parks and is rich with royal history. Starting at Oxford Circus, you’ll visit Hyde Park, once a royal hunting ground, which is home to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. You’ll take in Buckingham Palace and wander past Clarence House, previously home to Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and now the London residence of King Charles and Queen Camilla. Westminster Abbey has been Britain’s coronation church since 1066 and 16 royal weddings have taken place in the Abbey, a tradition starting 900 years ago when Henry I who married Prince Matilda of Scotland. More recently, it was the venue for the wedding of the Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Moreton-in-Marsh and The Northeastern Cotwolds
Starting in Moreton-in-Marsh in the Evenlode Valley, part of this route will take you along the Monarch’s Way, the 615-mile footpath based on the escape route taken by Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. It takes a winding route through the Midlands and South of England to the Sussex coast, from where he escaped to France. After that, you’ll join the Heart of England Way and walk your way to Sezincote estate, from where you’ll start wonderful undulating stretch through the Cotswold Hills, passing through three beautiful stone villages on the way.
We’ve got ideas for hundreds more wonderful walking routes across England, Scotland and Wales, long and short, easy and challenging. Search for routes on our website. Or join a guided walk with a local Ramblers group. Find your nearest Ramblers group and choose a walk that suits your pace, fitness and interests.
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