|Sandringham House & Gardens - Maria A Smith|
Last weekend I took a break in Norfolk at the Sandringham Estate Caravan Club Site. What a fabulous place to stay, it has everything required for the discerning caravanner, and is immaculately maintained. The site is right in the heart of the Royal estate, and Sandringham House is only a short distance away.
The weather wasn't at all kind - heavy rain showers lashed down on and off for three days, it seems the weather in England is out of control, yet I still managed to get out and about with my camera. Something I love to do when I'm not writing.
I couldn't wait to explore the estate, I'd already seen the magnificent rhododendrons, and azaleas growing in abundance in the woodland. Many are visible along the roadside and are quite spectacular in both size and colour. The park opens daily, and no charge is made to walk along the woodland paths and nature trails where there is much to see and explore.
It seemed somehow fitting to visit the Sandringham Estate on Jubilee weekend, it is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty the Queen, and while she was away celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in London, I was discovering her beautiful home in Norfolk.
|Sandringham House - Maria A Smith|
The house is a pleasure to look around, and the guides are very friendly and knowledgeable. I have to admit, I felt a little cheated as visitors weren't given access to very many of the rooms. Although I understand and respect the privacy of the Royal family, it is, after all their home. The rooms you can see are beautifully laid out, and you are given an incite into life in the Royal household.
Afterwards, I went into the rather delightful Sandringham Museum, housed in the former coach houses and stable block. The collection is interesting, ranging from gifts the Queen has been given on her travels abroad, to quite a lot of State and private cars the family have used in the past. There are even two fantastic children's cars's and a full size fire engine!
|Sandringham Museum - Maria a Smith|
There is much happening on the Sandringham estate, the Fruit Farm staff are producing and bottling cider, made from last years apple crop. It will be on sale very soon and is expected to sell out quickly. I'm rather partial to cider, and sorry I missed out on purchasing a few bottles.
The Farm staff are busy too, looking after the cereal crops, and sugar beet. The recent rain hasn't helped, and a lot of the land is saturated making it impossible to be worked.
On the way out, I called in at the Gift shop, housed in the rather splendid timber Visitor Centre, where there is also a plant shop, and a country style clothing shop. The spacious restaurant was busy, and the food looked delicious. I decided to visit the tea room in the old stable block instead where they serve a delicious cream tea!
If you get the opportunity, the Sandringham Estate is well worth a visit, I had a lovely day out. But do allow at least five hours to see everything.
|Sandringham Museum - Maria A Smith|