Introducing Egham

Situated on the south bank of the Thames, Egham is a university town that’s been firmly written into British history. Today, it’s close enough to the buzzing capital to get your culture fix and be back for supper ­– but the rolling Surrey countryside and old-town character give it a far more rural feel. Not one to blow its own trumpet, Egham is quiet and quintessential –  but carries a wealth of heritage beneath its modest exterior.

Things to do

The Magna Carta: one of the most important historical documents ever recorded. And it was here that in 1215 AD, King John of England signed the charter that would change English law forever. Visit the commemorative Magna Carta Monument in Runnymede, or find out more about the town’s history at Egham Museum, centrally situated in the Literary Institute.

As well as being ‘the birthplace of modern democracy’, Egham is also home to impressive architecture. Visit Royal Holloway and wander the grounds and gardens of this charismatic university. Art installations and seasonal events await at Runnymede, as well as the 2,500 year-old yew tree at Ankerwyke and the Air Forces Memorial in Englefield Green.

Virginia Water Lake, Savill Garden and nearby Windsor Great Park are all beauty spots that give weight to Surrey’s green reputation. And in Egham itself sits Truss’ Island – a small, islet of the Thames that’s uninhabited, save for the water birds. Good for practising the fine British arts of picnicking and feeding the ducks, it’s a good, quiet spot to watch the river flow by.

Top Tip from SLH

Considered by many to be the birthplace of English liberty, Egham also commemorates another figure of libertarian history, John F. Kennedy, with a memorial monument in Runnymede.