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A large man-made lake, Virginia Water Lake is a popular spot, and the best way to see it is to circumnavigate it on this excellent loop walk.
The lake was created in the 18th century and covers an area of 193 acres, making it one of the largest lakes in the South East of England. The lake is surrounded by beautiful woodlands, formal gardens, and a range of recreational activities, making it a popular destination for visitors of all ages.
The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, swans, and even the occasional deer. In addition to its natural beauty, Virginia Water Lake is home to a number of interesting landmarks and features, including a 100-foot tall totem pole, a cascading waterfall, and a ruined temple that was once used as a backdrop for theatrical performances.
The totem pole a tall, intricately carved wooden pole that stands at over 100 feet tall.
The pole was carved by First Nations artists from British Columbia in Canada, and was presented to the UK as a gift in 1958. The totem pole is made from a single cedar tree and features a variety of carved figures, each with its own meaning and significance in First Nations culture.
The carvings include a bear, an eagle, a wolf, and a raven, among others. The temple, meanwhile, was originally built in the 18th century as a garden feature for the Duke of Cumberland, who owned the estate at the time. The temple was designed to resemble a Roman ruin, with broken columns and crumbling walls giving the impression of a once-great structure that had fallen into disrepair.
The temple was also used as a backdrop for theatrical performances and other events. Over the years, the temple has fallen into a state of disrepair, with much of the original structure now in ruins.
However, the remaining columns and walls still provide an evocative reminder of the temple's former grandeur, and the site remains a popular attraction for visitors to Virginia Water Lake.