Saturday, 7 March 2009

Sandringham - The Queen's Norfolk Retreat

Today we will wander around Sandringham, the Queen's only private residence, the other residences, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle belong to the State.

Sandringham Estate, the Norfolk retreat of HM the Queen consists of 600 acres of beautiful parkland, much of it open to the public. The house is surrounded by 60 acres of stunning gardens and has been the private home of 4 generations of British Monarchy.

The house was built in 1870 by the Prince and Princess of Wales, later

King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

For this post we will be walking around the home gardens only. For more information and history click on the following link.

We enter through the tourist gate and turn left along this beautiful wooded path

We soon glimpse the house through a gap in the trees on the right hand side

We continue to walk around the gardens having toured the house where of course one is unable to take any photos. We hear and read so much about the Royal family getting together here to spend Christmas together and I was surprised at how small the dining room is. I was trying to imagine the whole family sitting around it. Not small in the sense of an ordinary home of course but certainly compared with our large stately homes across the country. I also enjoyed the main hall knowing that this was where everyone opened their presents on Christmas Eve and where games were played and dancing took place.

These photos are of the back of the house

There's that poor man again carrying coats and backpack

The Prince of Wales designed these gardens too

Having enjoyed the gardens we are now taking a wagon and horse ride around some of the estate.

This is Park House, the childhood home of Diana, the Princess of Wales. The Spencer family moved from here when Earl Spencer inherited Althorp, his own family estate. In 1983 the Queen offered the house to the Leonard Cheshire Foundation and it is now a hotel for disabled people.

This house on the estate I believe was used as a hunting lodge by one of the Monarchs

The church of St. Mary Magdalen
Built in the 16th century and a regular place of worship for the Royal Family and estate staff
These 2 pictures are from the Sandringham website. I was not a 'blogger' at the time of my visit so only took garden photos. However when we visited the church on the estate we were amazed at it's internal beauty. Certainly it could hold it's own with any of the great cathedrals of Europe. The whole altar and sanctuary area was carved in gold and was breath taking.

Here we have a little peep inside

Sandringham has it's own home farm with produce sold in the beautiful shop on the estate. My favourite is the organic apple juice (from whatever kind of apple you choose) and on visiting both here and Windsor I have come away with a whole case


Vee said...

And that "poor man" looks so happy about carrying the coats and backpack, too! :D

I am returning for a proper tour as I've run out of time to peruse at my leisure...I'll comment again.

Andrea said...

Absolutely stunning! The gardens and homes are breathtaking. Vacationing in England is one of my dreams. It's so rich in beauty, history, culture, and charm. Thank you for posting these pics. God bless.

Willow said...

I thought at first that poor man was Prince Philip!

I wonder if the Royal Family actually eats dinner in another, larger room...

Lorrie said...

What a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll I've had through the gardens at Sandringham.


Winifred said...

The gardens are lovely and so is the house. Must have been a relaxing day.

Anonymous said...

This is the biggesthouse I've ever seen!

Tea Time With Melody said...

I am definately looking you up if I ever get to England. I will need a tour guide and I like what I see so far!

ChaChaneen said...

(sigh....) I wish I was walking there with you today, what a lovely adventure. Thanks so much for sharing the photo's and the history! I lurved it!

Needled Mom said...

What beautiful residences. I would like to be queen for the day. Imagine!

The St. Mary Magdalen chapel is gorgeous. We have a local chapel with the same name but am sure it is no where near as beautiful.

Debra said...

I've never had a real desire to visit England till I started reading your blog.

How beautiful! I especially enjoyed seeing Princess Dianna's childhood home!

I must visit there!

Linda said...

What a gorgeous garden. The house looks like a real mixture of styles and designs through the ages.

Bishop Stone said...

That pond is just amazing. I love water in a garden, and everything is soooo green.

zetor said...

Is that 'poor man' the personal assistant?lol! Those photos are very good, the grounds alone are beautiful Years ago we went on holiday near there, and as our week was coming to an end , we decided to visit Sandringham on the Friday, AND it was closed on Fridays , such a disappointment.

Vee said...

Oh now that was more like a proper tour. Another beautiful home, which one would certainly expect for the private (or not so private) residence to the royals. I read once that many of the Queen's homes are self-sustaining and do not cost the British anything to maintain. (Not sure of the veracity of that statment...)

This is a fun story. My great-great grandfather (born in the 1870s) had a full-length framed portait of Queen Alexandra hung over the dining room table in his home in New Brunswick, Canada. I always thought her the most lovely creature. It hangs there yet in what is now my aunt's home.

Vee said...

I can spell statement...really, I can! ;)

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I enjoyed this walk with you through the gardens, and the ride on the horse&cart too. Interesting history of the place.

You and my DH both LOVE apple juice I see. He as been known to come home with several gallons when we go to Oak Glenn (a nearby apple growing area).

kreativehaende said...

thank you for the wonderful pics!
What a romantic garden!
greetings from Germany,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that Barbara. I loved the pond/stream photos you took- so beautiful and tranquil.

LOL the backpack carrying man- I have one of those if he isn't quick to step out of shot. :-)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How Edward would love to run across that lawn!! Beautiful place!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Such a lovely post!!! The grounds and buildings are fabulous and breathtaking. Someday I wish to travel to England to visit these lovely areas.


*Ulrike* said...

I would love to see all of this someday. Your photos are so beautiful, almost like paintings.

Andrea said...

Barbara, I am passing a friendship award on to you. I so appreciate your visits to my blog, your kind words, and the encouragement your blog brings. Please go to my site and copy the quoted text and award (Saturday, March 14 post). May God bless you.

Elizabeth said...

What beautiful grounds!
The house itself less impressive but very much of its period.
Alan certainly is a great asset on your outings - but I think he must enjoy them too.

Barb said...

Hi Barbara,

I always love your posts and tours!
I've always wanted to go to Sandringham. Your pictures are stunning.

thank you so much for your heart felt prayers.


Judy said...

Beautiful English gardens and architecture. It's all so peaceful and serene. We visited Buckingham Palace in the height of tourist season...and it was not quite so peaceful.