Sandringham is one of my favourite places to visit. It’s about an hour and a half’s drive from where I live, so Adrian and I decided to go up there last week and take a tour round the house, gardens and museum. We also had a delicious picnic on the Queen’s lawn, unfortunately she wasn’t at home on the day we went but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind us having tea and sandwiches in her back garden. I would loved to have bumped into her and caught up on family gossip.
Sandringham House is the Queen’s country home and is situated in North Norfolk, about 20 minutes away from Hunstanton (which, might I say, is the windiest seaside place on the planet!) Sandringham House has the most amazing gardens and woods where you can walk round, it’s filled with beautiful flowers and statues. If you don’t fancy walking all that way, there’s even a shuttle that will drive you round to take in all the wonderful sights.
We didn’t go inside the house on this visit as we’ve been in many times before. There’s a section that is open to tourists and a tour guide will show you around each room and talk you through some very interesting facts. The bronze statue of the horse Estimate is a new addition since we came last, it stands right outside the main entrance to the house. The Queen is the first reigning monarch to win a Gold Cup when her horse, Estimate, won in 2013. You learn something new every day!
I had to do it, didn’t I? If there’s a place to have a slice of cake then you can guarantee I’ll be there. We went into the Stables Tearoom, which has a wonderful selection of cakes and sandwiches, I naturally choose the chocolate cake and it was absolutely delicious, I’m surprised it lasted long enough for me to take a photo. There’s also a restaurant that sells home cooked hot and cold meals, but it was extremely busy on our visit, plus I think we’d already eaten enough from the picnic we’d brought with us.
There are so many hidden little places at Sandringham, it’s such a beautiful place to sit and relax, enjoy a picnic and take in the scenery. It’s an extremely popular place for tourists but the further into the woods you go, the less chance you’ll bump into crowds of people.
I had to have my photo take outside York Cottage, which is on the other side of the lower lake at Sandringham and will be the country home of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I did wonder if Harry and Megan were in one of the upstairs rooms measuring up for nursery furniture, but no, there wasn’t any sign of them. Oh well, maybe next time.
Just a bit further up from York Cottage is Queen Alexandra’s Nest over looking the picturesque view across the lakes, this charming summer house was built for her in 1913. Sadly I couldn’t get up any closer as it’s not wheelchair accessible, it would have been the perfect place to chill and listen to the sounds of nature.
We must have walked round every inch of the stunning gardens, one of the prettiest and most interesting areas was the North Garden, where you’ll see a statue of Father Time, the Buddha Statue, colourful flowers and beautiful box hedge lined walkways. You could literally get lost in there, it’s almost like something out of a fairy tale. Whatever time of year you visit the gardens look amazing, Spring leading into Summer is probably the best time as the displays of rhododendrons are quite simply breathtaking. On a sad note, somewhere in the grounds of Sandringham I lost one of earrings that Adrian bought me for our wedding anniversary in 2011, I didn’t notice until we got back to the car.
Sandringham House is absolutely amazing with the most spectacular views of the house, woods and gardens, as well as inside the house and museum. There’s also a gift shop where you can buy something to remember your visit including jams, cookies and little trinkets. I bought my Aunt a jar of Sandringham Strawberry Preserve as she loves some on her toast in the mornings, and for myself I picked up another thimble for my collection. Next door to the Gift Shop is an outdoor clothing shop, you could always pick up a pair of walking boots if you fancy an extra long walk round every inch of the woodland. Inside the museum there are all kinds of items that have belonged to various generations of the Royal family. One I found particularly interesting were these wheelchairs that belong to Queen Victoria, I’d quite like mine to have a plush royal red cushion.
I love coming to Sandringham House, it’s such a beautiful place. Each time I’ve come there’s always been something new to learn or different to see. I’ve been a few times but still haven’t quite made it to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, it’s right next to Sandringham and is used by The Queen and members of the Royal family. You’ll be able to watch them walk from Sandringham House down to the church on Christmas Day. I’d definitely recommend Sandringham to anyone, even if you’re not a royal fan, it’s such a stunning stately home with amazing architecture and a wonderful history. The gardens and woodland are quite simply beautiful.
I can’t wait to come again soon.