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The Bridge joining Windsor and Eton

The Bridge joining Windsor and Eton

Top 12 Places to Propose

January: At the Copper Horse, Snow Hill

Snow Hill is one of the highest points in Windsor Great Park and there are superb views of Windsor Castle down The Long Walk from The Copper Horse. The statue of King George III on horseback was erected by his son George IV in 1829 in memory of his father. It is said that Henry VIII stood on Snow Hill awaiting news of Anne Boleyn's execution which was to be signalled by gunfire from The Round Tower. Marriages no longer end this way and Snow Hill would be a beautiful spot to get down on one knee!

February: Beneath the Sounding Arch at Maidenhead Railway Bridge

Maidenhead Railway Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, crosses the Thames on the scenic reach between Bray Lock and Boulters Lock. The Thames towpath passes under the right-hand arch of the bridge. It is known as the Sounding Arch, because of its spectacular echo. If you want to be certain that your proposal is heard, this could be the ideal place to make it!!

March: Boating on the River Thames

Float gently along the river Thames in preparation for the proposal! Absorb the beautiful views of Windsor Castle, framing the perfect backdrop to get down on bended knee. Set sail for a day at Royal Windsor Racecourse, passing the stunning buildings of Eton College on the way.

Image courtesy London Kayak Tours

April: At the Park and Arboretum Dorney Lake

With its wonderful view of Windsor Castle through the ‘Millennium Lime Avenue’ the Park and Arboretum at Dorney Lake would be the ideal springtime spot for an April proposal. Dorney Lake is a world-class rowing and flat-water canoeing centre set in a spectacular 450-acre parkland near Windsor and was the venue for the Rowing and Kayak events in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

May: In the Valley Gardens

The Valley Gardens cover some 250 acres, and visitors can wander for hours on the slopes, among the plantings and twisting paths.  The Gardens are at their height of colour and interest in April and May with an unrivalled display of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. The most famous display is the vibrant Punch Bowl where thousands of Kurume azaleas flaunt their flowers.  Check Windsor Great Park's website to make sure you get down on one knee when the colours are at their most glorious!

June: In front of the pink bench at Ascot Racecourse

No-one knows exactly when the tradition of proposing on the Ascot pink bench began, but it is thought to date back to the Regency period before George VI become king. The period is noted for its elegance and romance and ‘Prinny’ - as the then Prince of Wales was known - was a keen race-goer and breeder as well as overseeing a boom time in Ascot’s history that saw the inaugural running of the Gold Cup in 1807. A pink-bench proposal at Royal Ascot would be an odds-on favourite for acceptance!

July: Surrounded by roses at The Savill Garden

Opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2010, The Rose Garden at The Savill Garden creates an intense sensory experience. As the deep aroma of the roses naturally rises, visitors are able to enjoy the perfume and stunning views across the Garden from a walk way which, from a distance, appears to ‘float’ above the Rose Garden. With a presentation of 2,500 roses, including two named William and Catherine, the Rose Garden is the place to propose in July.

August: During a romantic carriage ride

What could be more romantic than surprising your future-intended with a horse-drawn carriage ride and popping the question in either an open-top or covered carriage (there is room to get down on bended knee!) or under a magnificent oak tree. Carriage rides are available along the Long Walk and through areas of Windsor Great Park with Ascot Carriages and Windsor Carriages.

Image courtesy Ascot Carriages

September: The Waterside at Bray

A legendary name, a restaurant with a unique heritage….and all in a sublime setting. For almost 40 years, diners have been flocking to the picturesque village of Bray simply to visit The Waterside Inn. The restaurant holds three-Michelin-stars, with wonderful views across the river Thames. No other British restaurant can claim to have held three Michelin stars for so long.

October: Amongst the Roman Ruins at Virginia Water

As a gift to George IV in 1816-17, the Corinthian pillars of Roman origin, and perhaps 2000 years old, were brought from Leptis Magna, a Roman town in Tripoli. They were eventually erected in Virginia Water and form an impressive backdrop to the lake. Surrounded by the beautiful colours of autumn leaves, this would be a most Roman- tic setting to charm your very own god or goddess!

November: By the Fountain of Love at Cliveden

Cliveden is a grand stately home set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and parkland. The beautiful gardens are owned and managed by the National Trust and the Fountain of Love can be found at the end of the Grand Avenue. The original Cliveden maze, commissioned by Lord Astor in 1894, has recently undergone restoration. Overgrown and inaccessible since the 1950s, it re-opened to the public in 2011.Be careful not to lose your beloved before you have a chance to propose!

December: On Windsor Bridge to Eton

The present cast iron bridge was built in 1822 but the earliest reference to a bridge across the Thames at Windsor was in 1169. With stunning views of Windsor Castle and the winter-white swans that grace this stretch of the river, a proposal here would be an unforgettable Christmas present! From the bridge, take a stroll down Eton High Street and pop your wedding invitations in the mid-19th century Victorian post box with its vertical posting slot and a design that shows the reason why post boxes were once known as “pillar boxes”. Celebrate with dinner at one of the many restaurants within walking distance of the bridge or go ice-skating at the open-air ice rink on the riverside at Alexandra Gardens, with a glass of mulled wine afterwards.

Image courtesy Doug Harding

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