The Queen’s Country Cottage

The gardens were opened to the public by King Edward VII in 1908, and the Museum was opened by King George V in 1930. But it wasn’t until 1977 that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened parts of Sandringham House to the public, as part of her Silver Jubilee celebrations.

The thing that most surprised me about the Queen’s Norfolk Country Estate was how small it was. Yes the Jacobean architecture is imposing and quite eye-catching .. but it’s no where near the scale of Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. I suppose to the Queen it’s her country cottage, and it provides a cozy little country retreat for her family and dogs.

Sandringham Estate NorfolkThe Royal Family usually spend Christmas’s in Sandringham, and I’ve love to see the place when it has snow on the ground. But lucky for me the day I visited this North Norfolk tourist attraction it was a beautiful spring day and the daffodils were blooming.

Sandringham Estate Norfolk in Spring 2015 with daffodils in the grounds

The grounds are beautifully kept, and with all the time I’d spent in the garden recently, toiling the soil and weeding, I was keen to see how well the Royal Gardeners were keeping up with their chores.

Sandringham Gardens

And they seem to be doing really well!

Sandringham Estate Norfolk in Spring 2015 with daffodils in the grounds

Sandringham Estate is The Queen’s private estate and The Duke of Edinburgh took on overall responsibility for its management at the start of Her Majesty’s reign in 1952. 

Sandringham Estate Norfolk

Over 200 people gain their living from the Estate, including farmers, foresters, gamekeepers and gardeners, as well as in the visitor business and at the sawmill and the apple juice pressing plant.  
Sandringham Estate Norfolk

Sandringham Estate Norfolk

Sandringham Estate Norfolk

Sandringham Museum

There were a couple of quirky items in the Sandringham Museum there are worth a mention:

Picnic Trailer

This picnic trailer is based on land rover running gear, and was built in 1967 to the Duke of Edingburgh’s specifications. The trailer was used for picnics and shooting lunches at Sandringham and at Balmoral until 1994, when it was replaced by a similar trailer.

Sandringham Estate Picnic Trailer

Queen Victoria’s Wheelchairs

These two wheelchairs are from the 1800’s and used by Queen Victoria. There were both pretty dainty and small, and I can’t image how the victorian bustles fit into these tiny chairs.

Sandringham Estate Norfolk Queen Victoria's Wheel Chairs

Day Trip to Sandringham Estate

We had a wander around some of the public rooms on the Sandringham Estate, but they had a strict “no photography” rule and I wasn’t able to even sneak one little photo. So i had to make do with the grounds and the museum.

Sandringham Estate Norfolk

Sandringham makes a great day out, and there’s a Visitor’s Centre with cafe, restaurant, shop and plant nursery near the entrance that you can visit without having to tour around the house and grounds.

Entrance ticket to Sandringham Estate and GroundsThere’s different ticket options for your day trip to Sandringham:

  • The Adult Admission for the House, Museum and Gardens is £13.50
  • The Adult Admission for the Museum and Gardens only is £9.50.
  • Website for more information about Sandringham
  • Sandringham House, Museum and Gardens are now open daily until Sunday 18th October 2015, EXCEPT on Sunday 5th July and on Wednesday 29th July, when the annual Sandringham Flower Show takes place.  On that date the Gardens and Museum will be open to the public and included in the entry fee for the Show, but Sandringham House will be closed.
  • The Shops and Restaurants at the Sandringham Visitor Centre are open every day throughout the year, except Good Friday and Christmas Day. 

Sandringham Map and Brochure

Sandrigham House Museum and Garden Map and Brochure

Sandrigham House Museum and Garden Map and Brochure

Visiting Sandringham has been on my bucket list for years, and I’m pleased to have finally crossed that one off my list. It was a great day out, and for a royal country cottage … it ain’t too shabby!