Virginia Water shown within Surrey
|Population||less than 3,000|
|OS grid reference|
|District||Runnymede Borough Council1|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||Virginia Water|
|Postcode district||GU25 4|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Runnymede and Weybridge|
Virginia Water is an affluent village, a lake and, originally, a stream, the village being in the Borough of Runnymede1 in Surrey and the bodies of water stretching over the borders of Runnymede, Old Windsor and Sunninghill and Ascot, England.
Virginia Water Lake lies within Windsor Great Park. It was created from a body of water of the same name: originally little more than a stream, which existed from at least the 17th century and may well be named after Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. The lake is mostly in Surrey, though the western extremities are in the civil parishes of Old Windsor and Sunninghill and Ascot in Berkshire.
Recently the shores of the lake have been used for lakeside scenes in the Harry Potter films and for the boat scenes in Robin Hood. The lake is also the site of the British record capture of a pike, weighing 58 lb 5oz.
During World War II, the lake was drained, as its recognisable shape was thought likely to provide enemy guidance at night to Windsor and to important military targets in the area.
The 2001 census population of Virginia Water was 6,113.2 Many of the village's houses are large detached homes situated on the private Wentworth Estate home of the famous Wentworth Club which has four golf courses. The Ryder Cup was first played there. It is also home to the headquarters of the PGA European Tour, the world's second-richest professional golf tour (after the PGA Tour in the US). The estate reached the headlines in 1998 when General Augusto Pinochet was kept under house arrest in one of its houses prior to his extradition.3 Sarah, Duchess of York is a former royal resident. Many entertainment personalities also have or have had homes on the estate including Chris Squire, Sir Elton John, songwriter Bernie Taupin, Diana Dors, Russ Abbot, Cliff Richard, Bryan Forbes and his wife Nanette Newman and Sir Bruce Forsyth.4 Golfers who have or have had homes on the estate include Sir Nick Faldo, European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Ernie Els and Thomas Bjørn. Ex-formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan and boxer Prince Naseem Naseem Hamed also live on the Estate. The author and traveller Bill Bryson spent his early married life in the village. Paul Pindar, Chief Executive of Capita lives there.
Virginia Water is also home to many London commuters. It is close to the M25, M4 and M3 motorways. The village has a four track railway station in the middle of the village on the line between London Waterloo, Weybridge and Reading. Heathrow Airport is located eight miles to the north-east. The village has two rows of shops, although many inhabitants travel to the nearby towns of Staines-upon-Thames, Ascot and Windsor for shopping. The towns of Egham, Englefield Green and Old Windsor are nearby. Holloway Sanatorium, an asylum for the mentally ill, where the writer Bill Bryson worked upon first settling in England was located near to the village but closed in the 1980s and was converted to private accommodation.
Thomas Sandby's cascade at Virginia Water
Media related to Virginia Water at Wikimedia Commons