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An unusual way of getting to well-known Windsor

If it is not your first trip to the magnificent town of Windsor, an alternative approach to the royal town might appeal, suggests The Independent. Why not make the regal site of Runnymede your starting point? It is an hour long walk on the Thames Path, or from Easter to mid-September, the French Brothers boat service (boat-trips.co.uk) offers a 90 minute leisurely river cruise, where you can relax and learn listening to an informative commentary. The boat drops you off just below the Queen’s arresting weekend residence.

Runnymede is essentially a series of meadows which are now owned by the National Trust (national trust.org.uk) and open to the public with free access. It was here in June 1215 that the powerful English barons forced their monarch, King John, to ratify the Magna Carta, the medieval bill of rights that established the King was not above the law. The exact location of where King John put his seal to the Charter is not known, however in the late ninth century, Runnymede was the meeting “mede”, or meadow, of King Alfred the Great’s council so it is a doubly hallowed site.

The memorials found there, however, are recent: memorial lodges from the 1930s (now an art gallery and tearoom) and a temple-like structure erected by the American Bar Association in 1957. There is also a memorial garden commemorating the life and civil rights work of President John F Kennedy. Evidently the Magna Carta also had an impact on other governments and their legal systems.

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