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Things to do in Windlesham, Surrey

Awaiting photographs of Windlesham

Windlesham is in North West Surrey and is named after the Windle Brook that runs through the village. It was once a small farming village within Windsor Great Park.

Archaeologists surveyed the estate which is now the Windlesham Arboretum. They found evidence of Iron Age enclosures, ditches, coins and pottery showing the area was lived in pre-Roman times.

Nearby Bagshot Heath was the haunt of dueling locals and thieving highwaymen in the past.

Windlesham's main claim to fame is that it is home to the most expensive private home to be built in the UK since the 19th century. Updown Court has 103 rooms and is built of some of the rarest materials on earth. It stands in 58 acres of woodland and gardens and was valued in 2005 at £70 million.

The original Updown Court was built in 1924 and was badly damaged by fire in 1987. A developer purchased it and rebuilt the mansion in neo-classical Californian style with a double staircase modeled on the Versace Mansion in Miami.

The mansion has a £2 million heated driveway, five swimming pools, a bowling alley and a theatre to seat 50. It was completed in 2006 but remained unsold and unoccupied for several years.

Present Day Windlesham

Windlesham is an active community with many local clubs and activities. The town has a theatre, the Windlesham Club and six pubs. The St John the Baptist Church also serves the village population of just over 4,000.

The village centre has some delightful Victorian and Edwardian cottages with newer developments on the Windmill Field and Snow's Ride estates. Pound Lane and Updown Hill have some desirable detached residences. There are a few local shops and restaurants.

The village has two schools, Valley End and Windlesham First School. The recreational playing field is where local sporting events take place and in the summer the Cricket Club plays there. It also hosts the annual Windlesham Fete and a Remembrance Day Service each year.

Famous residents have included Her Majesty The Queen; Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; musician, Elton John; footballer, Glen Hoddle and rock guitarist, Brian May.

Being close to Heathrow Airport and Sunningdale railway station, it is a popular commuter town for those working in London. Local employers include the Linde Group and Rainbow Play Systems.

Things to do in Windlesham

Those visiting Windlesham on Boxing Day should look out for the annual pram race. Teams race around the village and must have a drink in every pub. The race starts at 10.00am at the BOC Group headquarters building and finishes with a final drink at The Sun.

Windlesham Arboretum is a delightful place to visit. It has over 22,000 mature and rare trees and the estate is scattered with chapels, follies, monuments and lakes. Although it is privately owned, the public has free access. The arboretum was founded by Major William Spowers who had a residence in the grounds until his death in 2009.

Windlesham Angling Society uses the lakes in the arboretum during the fishing season and hold competitions there. Ascot Racecourse is also nearby for an exciting day out.

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