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“A serene and beautiful memorial”

Runnymede National Trust
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$13.10*
and up
Windsor Castle - Hampton Court Palace Shuttle from Windsor Castle
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Egham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The site where King John signed the Magna Carta, England's great icon of liberty and first expression of human rights, on June 15, 1215.
London
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A serene and beautiful memorial”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The RAF Memorial at Engelfield Green, high on a wooded hill above Runnymede in Surrey, commemorates the 20,456 men and women from throughout the British Empire whose lives were lost without trace during the Second World War and so have no grave to mark their passing or their ultimate sacrifice.

The names of every one of these air-force men and women, along with their rank and nationality are engraved - column after column - into the white stone walls of this wonderful and emotive monument. The place is quite beautiful, light, airy and tranquil; the seemingly endless lists of names bringing home the true meaning of the number of sad deaths it commemorates. A chapel, painted ceilings and stained glass add to the solemnity and sanctity of this memorial but more touching are the personal reminders left by visiting relatives of those now long dead - small bouquets of flowers, a faded photograph of a young man in RAF uniform, a news cutting of some posthumous award, or even a Photostat of the dreaded 'missing in action' telegram.

The siting of the memorial befits its importance. Climb to the top and one can gaze down on Windsor Castle, the aeroplanes parked in rows at Heathrow, the meadows of Runnymede where King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215, and the winding River Thames below. Beyond one can clearly identify the Wembley Arch and other prominent landmarks while in the grey distance one can see the London Eye and the high rise buildings of the City of London. The skyline may have changed over the past seventy years but - at such a height - one can almost feel an affinity with those to whom the sky was their element.

This is no tourist attraction for the amusement and entertainment of kids in the general sense(although an education for everyone and especially for children who are receptive to learning) but an experience not to be missed if you are in the area and want to appreciate the absolute sacrifice made by young men and women from Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and all across what is now deprecatingly called the British Empire.

Without their sacrifice we might all now have 'sunk into the abyss of a new Dark Age' predicted by Churchill.

Thank you for reading this.

Visited May 2013
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3 Thank Ghostbuster1924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good hotel by the river”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I did a review on this one a few minutes ago but I can't see it so I doing it again!! The standard double room we stayed at was rather on the small side and in particular the bathroom but the furnishings are of a high quality. It was a free stay so I better not complain !!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Andy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Historical attractions”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

By the river about a mile from the Runnymede hotel heading towards Windsor there is a car park which is open during the summer. From here it is an easy walk across a field to visit the site of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the memorial to president J.F.Kennedy nearby. There is a tea house on the road side for refreshments after your walk. A paddle steamer operates from a site beside the car park and it takes you up river towards Windsor. A beautiful place to visit is on the hill overlooking the memorials. Here is the Air Force Memorial dedicated to the airmen who fought and died in World War 2 and who have no known grave. Entry is free and I strongly recommend a visit, even if you simply want to enjoy the view of Winsor castle and over to North-West London.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Joe H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egham
Level 6 Contributor
648 reviews
286 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 358 helpful votes
“A tranquil and peaceful memorial”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a well looked after memorial to Airmen lost in the war. Their names are all listed and it is a moving experience. It is peaceful and tranquil with some wonderful views of the countryside and Windsor in the distance.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Hevsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Magna Carta site 1215”
Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

Runnymede is worth a visit if you are in the area. We were staying in Windsor and Runnymede is a short drive from town. The Magna Carta, foundation of civil liberty and our constitution, was signed here in 1215. There are several memorials located on the site. The American Bar Association erected a memorial in 1957 to the Magna Carta. Queen Elizabeth II gave to the US a symbolic acre of land on which a memorial to JFK sits. Another memorial is in honor of the Commonwealth air men and women who lost their lives in WWII. There is also a lodge which is now a tearoom and an adjacent parking lot, making it easy to park. Runnymede is a active farming meadow still used today for hay making and cattle grazing. Located near the Thames River, it is a lovely walk.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank mumzie1039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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