Buckingham Palace reopens as the ultimate picnic spot
With the state rooms remaining closed for 2021, why not picnic on the Queen's lawn by way of recompense? Photography John Campbell / Royal Collection Trust
Get ready for perhaps the UK’s most prestigious garden visit – Buckingham Palace has announced that it will be opening its gardens once more from 9 July this year.
Yes, while other famous venues remain hazy on their reopenings and regular shows and horticultural highlights are either safely rescheduled out of trouble or still in mid-planning limbo, the team at The Royal Collection Trust are showing confidence befitting a lionheart, and have confirmed that the garden at Buckingham Palace will reopen from July 2021.
What’s more, your visit this year will be more free and unfettered than ever before, with a ‘self-guided tour’ being an option for the very first time.
The dates for your diary are Friday, 9 July through to Sunday, 19 September 2021 with tickets priced at £16.50 for adults.
This year visitors will be free to explore a non-guided route through the garden that encompasses the 156-metre Herbaceous Border, plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and views of the island and its beehives across the 3.5-acre lake.
And as if the chance to wander freely in the Queen’s back garden wasn’t thrilling enough, this year visitors have permission to picnic freely on one of the sweeping lawns as part of their visit…
But before you grab the golf clubs, croquet sets and charcoal briquettes do be aware that ball games and barbeques on the royal grounds remain (mercifully) forbidden.
Oh, and unpack the Pimms too – no alcohol either…
If you’d rather not run wild at Buckingham Palace, their Garden Highlights Guided Tours can be booked alongside your main ticket and are priced at £6.50 for adults. You’ll need to be part of a tour to access features in the south-west of the garden, including the Rose Garden, summer house and wildflower meadow. Tours run 12 times a day.
While the gardens will be open this year, the internal state rooms will unfortunately remain closed for a second year, with the extra freedom to enjoy the gardens being a great way of making up for potential disappointment elsewhere.
Despite the Palace’s decidedly inner-city, urban location its garden – originally designed by Capability Brown – is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare native plants seldom seen in London. Today’s garden is a rich biodiverse habitat, with more than 1,000 trees, the National Collection of Mulberry Trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses, spanning 39-acres in total, dating back to the 1820s when George IV turned the former Buckingham House into a palace.
And if that doesn’t sound enticing enough – let’s not forget – it’s only the Queen’s house!
Go here to book your tickets though do expect demand to far oustrip supply with a long virtual queue in place currently… However signing up to their email for updates is a great way to stay up to speed with the latest from the palace.
Good luck and hope to see you there!
Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.
13 issues for £30 when you subscribe
Subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine and receive your first 13 issues for £30!
Transform your Garden- Special Edition
Transform Your Garden
This special edition features advice on designing your garden from the world’s top garden designers, including top tips for redesigning your plot or creating a new garden from scratch.
Discover eight inspirational gardens in town and country, and beautiful planting ideas for year-round colour. Learn how to make the most of a small space, how to cope with a slope, and the ten most common mistakes people make, according to professional garden designers, and how to avoid them.
Enjoy insights on everything from paths and parking spaces to wildflowers and water features, so that you can be confident in starting to create the garden of your dreams.
Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world