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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.


Walk through Hindhead Commons to see why this area of open heathland is classified an
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Enjoy stunning scenery of the Devil's Punch Bowl from
a viewpoint 50 yards from the National Trust café or walk half a mile to enjoy the view from Highcombe Edge.

Surrey Hills


VenueAccording to one story, during the Middle Ages the Devil became so irritated by all the churches being built in Surrey and Sussex that he decided to dig from the English Channel, through the South Downs, and flood the area.
As he began digging, he threw up huge lumps of earth, each of which became a local landmark — such as Chanctonbury Ring, Cissbury Ring, Mount Caburn and Rackham Hill. He got as far as the village of Poynings (an area known as the Devil's Dyke) when he was disturbed by a cock crowing (one version of the story claims that it was the prayers of St Dunstan. Sussex that made all the local cocks crow earlier than usual).

Looking out over the magnificent Devil's Punch Bowl Hindhead Commons
and the Devil's Punch Bowl

Assuming that dawn was about to break, the Devil leapt into Surrey and where he landed he created the Devil's Punch Bowl at Hindhead. The legend also says The Devil's Punch Bowl was formed when the Devil chased Thor the god of Thunder out of the area throwing great clumps of earth and rock at him.
A still older story claims that two giants clashed in the area, and one, scooping up earth to throw at the other, created the landmark before missing the throw and creating the Isle of Wight.


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