Sandringham House, Gardens & Museum
The sumptuous neo-Jacobean house has been handed down through the generations and is now a favourite holiday home of the Queen and her family. The main ground-floor rooms used by the royal family when in residence are open for the public to view. You can see the elaborate decor as it looked in Edwardian times, and personal items collected by members of the family over many decades. Sixty acres of glorious grounds surround the house and offer beauty and colour throughout the seasons. In Edwardian times the gardens were laid out in a formal manner as was fashionable then; in more recent times this layout has been complemented with areas of lawns bordered by magnificent trees. In addition to the gardens, a further 600-acre country park surrounds the house. It is dotted with cottages and contains the visitor centre. There’s information, too, on nature trails that criss-cross the park, a sculpture trail and a scenic drive. If shrubs and flowers are your passion, you’ll love the plant centre. Sandringham’s museum is housed in the former coach houses and stables block, and contains fascinating displays of royal memorabilia. A highlight, especially for motor enthusiasts, has to be the royal collection that includes the first car ever owned by a member of the monarchy, a 1900 Daimler Phaeton. There’s a mighty fire engine too, a Merryweather from 1939, which was used by the estate’s own fire brigade. Elsewhere, there are displays of personal items, such as gifts given to the Queen on state visits abroad, and Arts and Crafts tiles and plaques once used in the estate’s dairy.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Fully accessible
- Facilities: Wheelchair loan, free transport in grounds, Braille guide
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open Eater-mid Jul and early Aug-Oct. House 11-4.45. Museum 11-5. Gardens 10.30-5
Also in the area
About the area
The North Norfolk Coast is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and probably the finest of its kind in Europe. Here you’ll find a string of quaint villages and small towns – Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea and Cley next the Sea are 21st-century favourites, while Sheringham and Cromer are classic examples of a good old-fashioned seaside resort where grand Victorian hotels look out to sea. Further round the coast you'll find Great Yarmouth, one of the most popular resorts in the UK and packed full of amusements, shops and seashore entertainment. And let's not forget Norwich, the region's only city.
Norfolk prides itself on its wealth of historic houses, the most famous being Sandringham, where Her Majesty the Queen and her family spend Christmas. Many of Norfolk’s towns have a particular charm and a strong sense of community. The quiet market towns of Fakenham and Swaffham are prime examples, as well as Thetford, with its popular museum focusing on the TV comedy series Dad’s Army which was filmed in the area.
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