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Royal gardens begin to open to visitors again

By Sarah G Perun [CC BY-SA] Wiki Commons

The grounds of some of Britain’s most famous royal residences are to welcome visitors once more after closing because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, ongoing restrictions mean that booking will be mandatory for anyone hoping to make a trip.

Sandringham’s formal gardens will be open this weekend, on June 13th and 14th but visitors have to secure a slot in advance by heading to the website. The same procedure will be used by Historic Royal Palaces which has just announced it is opening up the grounds of two of its famous homes from Monday June 15th 2020.

The gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle in County Down will once more be accessible to visitors. However, booking is essential and can be made on the HRP website. The other facilities looked after by the organisation, including the Tower of London, remain shut for the time being.

Visitors to all these royal residences are being told in advance that things will look different when they arrive because of ongoing restrictions. Cafes and restaurants remain closed although Sandringham will reopen its gift shop from June 15th 2020.

Meanwhile, other visitor attractions with royal links are also ready to welcome back visitors. English Heritage has announced that six of the sites it had to close because of the coronavirus restrictions will open again on June 13th although people will need to book in advance and stick to their time slots. Again, only the outside spaces will be accessible.

Several of the places have royal links including Battle Abbey and Battlefield in East Sussex, site of William the Conqueror’s famous victory in 1066, and Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire where Elizabeth I was famously entertained by Robert Dudley and where the unfortunate Edward II was held prisoner following his deposition in 1327.

The National Trust began opening some of its outside spaces from June 3rd 2020.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.