Swinley Forest


SwinleyViewSwinley Park once surrounded Swinley Lodge where the King kept the Royal Staghounds in Georgian times. It was at the centre of Swinley Walker, one of the sub-divisions of Windsor Forest.

There are a number of late 18th century redoubts scattered throughout the forest. These defensive earth fortifications were built here not as working defences but as training grounds to carry out military exercises in the buildup to the Napoleonic Wars.

In May 2011 forest fires broke out throughout the forest; the cause is believed to be a mixture of the unseasonably dry conditions and arson. Although the fires were stated at the time by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to have been the most extensive fires ever tackled by the service, the extent of the damage to the forest was relatively limited.


The woods provide some of the best mountain biking in South-East England, with many off-road 'single-track' trails available as well as plenty of fire roads. Swinley Woods was originally submitted as the proposed venue for the mountain biking event of the 2012 Summer Olympics, however, the distance from the main Olympic Park was considered too great and the heavy forestation along most of the suggested routes would have resulted in poor camera access and views. The event was instead located at Hadleigh Farm near Hadleigh, Essex.


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