The Royal Sandringham Estate
Sandringham Estate is one of the Royal Family's most well known estates and quite probably the favourite of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The privately owned estate has been managed under the supervision of the Duke of Edinburgh since 1952, with a view towards sustainability and conservation so that Sandringham can be enjoyed by future generations. Consequently, ten wetland areas have been created, and over five thousand trees and several miles of hedges are planted annually on the estate. The Estate is also crucial to the livelihoods of over 200 workers who tend to it, from farmers and gamekeepers to gardeners and visitor guides, and helps to increase opportunities for the local farming and countryside economy.
One of the main draws for tourists in the opportunity to tour Sandringham House, the Royal residence during certain parts of the year, including Christmas. It was built in 1870 by the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and has been passed down the generations of monarchy since. Much of the décor has not changed since the Edwardian period and a tour through the ground floors will provide visitors with a wealth of information and opportunity to view royal collections and gifts given to the English Monarchy from other European royal families and dignitaries.
Such is the extent and quality of the extraordinary collection of royal memorabilia at Sandringham that the estate has its own museum which is very popular with visitors. Vintage Royal motor vehicles such as the 1900 Daimler Phaeton, the first car owned by a British royal, and the charming Merryweather Fire Engine which was used on the estate are particularly attractive. King George V's keen interest in hunting led to the creation of his own private museum of big game trophies.
The Stables Tea Rooms which are adjacent to the Museum are a fantastic place to take a break, enjoy a cream tea, and talk about the most interesting things you have seen. The estate also has a Visitor Centre which is open all year and has a restaurant that offers a comprehensive range of snacks and meals.
Sandringham also possesses an idyllic medieval church where the Royal Family congregate for worship whilst on the estate, and this open to the public during visitor season. The grand silver pulpit and altar, sixteenth century processional cross and Royal Family memorials make this a particularly interesting sight.
Those with a passion for horticulture and landscaping are sure to be impressed by the 60 acres of glorious gardens that the Sandringham estate provides. Magnificent sweeping glades, bordered by banks and shrubs and splendid specimen trees create a more informal garden atmosphere that is beautiful in whatever season you visit. The Sandringham Plant centre sells houseplants, flowers, shrubs and herbaceous plants grown in the estates' glasshouses.
The estate also hosts the Sandringham Flower Show, one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the East of England and attracts around 20,000 visitors for one day each year, usually including a Royal Patron or two. Now celebrating its 130th year, the Flower Show offers the best in horticulture and provides lots of other entrainment for a great family day out.
Children are sure to enjoy the Country park's tractor and trailer tours which run from April to October. Those looking for Sandringham souvenirs can find a great range of exclusive British made products in the Gift Shop including produce that has been grown or bred on the estate.
Due to the wide variety of things to see and do on the Royal Sandringham Estate, visitors are advised to put aside a minimum of three and a half hours to get a good overview of the attractions. If you are looking to visit the estate multiple times and wish to find accommodation with easy access to Sandringham, VisitNorthNorfolk.co.uk has a great range ofplaces to stay in nearby Hunstanton.