By Sarah Basford
Sunningdale is a village in Berkshire, which is only 24 miles west of London. With a station and direct rail link into London’s Waterloo station, Sunningdale is well connected by rail. It is also very close to the M3, M4 and the M25 motorways.
Sunningdale is home to circa 4,900 people and it affords a busy High Street with a suitable array of shops for day-to-day living. A good selection of pubs and restaurants keep the locals fed and watered, not to mention a choice of local hotels such as Dorchester’s Coworth Park Hotel, the Royal Berkshire and De Vere Venues Sunningdale Park.
The Royal Berkshire Hotel has recently opened a brand new restaurant; the 18th century Queen Anne mansion, which is located in 15 acres of landscaped grounds in London Road, will be called FORK. The new restaurant will be run by executive chef Jamie Brown and they are aiming to use British produce and a simply executed cooking style. Jamie brings influences in from chefs such as Michael Wignall and Andrew Turner.
Plus, if country pursuits is of interest to visitors and residents then you have come to the right place; Sunningdale nudges up to Chobham Common which is the largest National Nature Reserve in the South-East of England and one of the finest remaining examples of lowland heath in the world.
For over 200 generations rural communities have carefully managed this stunning open countryside resulting in a wonderful, wildlife rich, patchwork of mini-habitats. The few surviving heathlands are very special places providing a living link to our stone-age past.
Chobham Common is recognised across Europe for its variety of bird life with over 100 different species having been recorded here. Over 300 species of wild flower grow here. Sweeps of purple flowering heather and sweet scented gorse dominate the heathland whilst the wetlands harbour insect-eating sundews and rare marsh gentians. In mid-summer several species of native orchids can be found around the heathland verges.
In the undergrowth, water and the heathland vegetation there are frogs, toads, newts, adders, grass snakes, common and sand lizards, slow worms and 25 species of mammal. If you are quiet and tread softly you might also see foxes and deer.
Sunningdale is also a stone’s throw away from the Great Windsor Park and the Virginia Water Lake.
Last but not least, it is also very close to the Windsor Castle and Legoland for days out as well.
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