Buckingham Palace: Visitors offered ‘very special opportunity’ as gardens open to public

Buckingham Palace garden to open up to tourists

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Despite being in the heart of London, Buckingham Palace’s beautiful gardens have remained largely a mystery to the public – until now. Tickets to view the stunning gardens have been so popular that additional places have been added on dates from July to September. So what can visitors expect from the royal gardens?

Adam, 25, a visitor services warden for the Royal Collection said on BBC Breakfast that guests will be able to admire the garden’s wide range of flowers – some of which were planted by royal family members.

He said: “When guests come in they’ll have the opportunity to see the herbaceous border.

“It’s 156 metres long and has exotic plants such as banana trees and strawberry trees as well as buddleias and sweet peas and fox gloves as well.

“They’ll also be able to see plane trees planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert themselves.

“You’ll also have a great view of the lake – it’s 3.5 acres, three million gallons of water – and obviously five of our main beehives on the island as well.”

The palace bees produce 160 jars of honey every year which is served at royal functions.

Every week, flowers are picked from a border in the gardens to make a posy for the Queen’s desk.

Final preparations are currently under way for the grand opening tomorrow.

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BBC Royal correspondent Sarah Campbell said Buckingham Palace, like many tourist attractions across the country, has been “badly hit” by the pandemic.

The palace didn’t open at all last year, and this year there are far fewer foreign tourists thanks to the Government’s travel restrictions.

The numbers now allowed inside the palace are also now “severely restricted”.

“Opening up the gardens makes financial sense”, she added.

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Tickets to see the gardens will start at £16.50 per adult, with 100,000 visitors expected.

However, that’s still only around a fifth of the numbers who paid to visit the palace before the pandemic.

Sally Goodsir, Curator at Royal Collection Trust said: “We haven’t been able to open the Buckingham Palace state rooms as we normally would.

“Therefore, this wonderful idea of being able to open the garden publicly is going to be the first time that the public are able to flow around the garden and walk across the lawns themselves.

“We’ve always offered guided tours of the garden but this year there will also be a very special opportunity to picnic as well.”

Visitors will be able to bring their own sandwiches to eat on the palace lawn while taking in their surroundings.

Those who forget their sandwiches can pick up some summertime picnic-inspired products which have been launched by the Royal Collection Trust to coincide with the opening.

Some of the items available include a picnic blanket, a sandwich bag, cotton napkins and a reusable water bottle.

The sandwich bag, priced at £7.95, features colourful motifs of corgis, cupcakes, carriages, butterflies, flowers and soldiers in red tunics and bearskin hats.

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