Sandringham Gardens

A photograph of the gardens

Sandringham House is set in 24 hectares of glorious gardens, perhaps the finest of all the Royal gardens

Each generation of the Royal Family who has lived at Sandringham has added something of their own times and tastes, from the peace and tranquillity of the Woodland Walks to the drama of the carrstone rockeries, from the formality of the North Garden with its pleached lime avenues to the intimacy of the Stream Walk.

The original gardens of Sandringham House have been extensively altered since 1862. In the 1870s the original lake to the west of the House was drained, filled in and planted with elaborate formal parterres. Two new lakes were excavated, dotted with small islands and edged in places with carrstone; a romantic rockery and grotto were created and a picturesque valley formed to direct water from natural springs down a dell into the upper lake. In 1913, a charming summer house called The Nest was built for Queen Alexandra on the rockery overlooking the Lake and the Dell, all this splendour kept immaculate by a huge workforce.

Queen Alexandra’s death in 1925, her son King George V’s death in 1936 and the outbreak of the Second World War led to inevitable changes and rationalisations in the reign of King George VI. The labour-intensive parterres and borders, dug up during the War, were replaced by sweeping lawns. Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe was employed to create the North Garden, edged in box and bordered by pleached lime avenues. In the 1960s The Queen invited Sir Eric Savill, famous for his gardens at Windsor, to re-landscape the Woodland Walk and the Bog Gardens, and in 1996 the then Head Gardener created the beautiful Stream Walk. View the Garden Plan here.

Guided Garden Tours

Guided Garden Tours

Guided Garden Tours are run on Wednesdays and Saturdays from May at 11am and 2pm, and at other times by arrangement for pre-booked groups. Some of these tours include visiting the Walled Garden which is not otherwise open to the public. There is a supplement of £3.50 per person for the guided garden tours. The garden tours are themed depending on the season. The guided garden tours all start from the garden entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office. (Groups can be accommodated at other times by prior arrangement). If you would like to arrange a garden tour for your group please contact us.

Woodlands Walk

Woodland Walk

The Woodland Garden was re-landscaped in the 1960s by Sir Eric Savill. This area includes many examples of Camellia, Rhododendron, Magnolia and Pieris. If you’re lucky in late May the Handkerchief Tree will be in flower! This walk also passes the Norwich Gates.

Time of the year

May

Duration

1.5 hours

Finish point

Sandringham House Front Door

Water Garden

Water Garden

This garden tour includes the lakes and rockeries which were landscaped by James Pulham using his famous ‘Pulhamite’ stone, and Queen Alexandra’s Nest. A selection of marginal plants such as Hosta, Primula and the giant Gunnera can be seen, as well as others such as Astilbe and Hemerocallis, together with one of the oldest oak trees at Sandringham. The walk takes in views across the lakes and stream of Sandringham House and York Cottage. The 2pm tour will include the Walled Garden, not normally open to the public.

Time of the year

June and July

Duration

1.5 hours

Finish point

Sandringham House Front Door

Walled Garden

Walled Garden

Looking at the changes to the forecourt over the years and passing under Queen Victoria’s Oak, this is the only opportunity to view what remains of the old 17-acre Walled Gardens. As well as the Ornamental Square Garden, which is still planted with a variety of Penstemons, Dahlias and other bedding plants, visitors will see where the huge crops of fruit and vegetables were once produced. The walk passes under the pillars of an old pergola and by the old head gardener’s cottage.

Time of the year

August and September

Duration

1.5 hours

Finish point

Sandringham House Front Door

Autumn Colour

Autumn Colour

This walk takes a general look at the striking autumn colours in the garden, with a particular focus on the trees as the foliage transforms into rich auburn colours and the berries as they start to ripen. The walk follows the Woodland Walk and continues around the Upper Lake. There will also be a brief visit to the Walled Garden.

Time of the year

October

Duration

1.5 hours

Finish point

Sandringham House Front Door