Things to do in Sandringham, Norfolk
Sandringham is a small village in Norfolk situated about seven miles north of King's Lynn. It has a population of just over 400 and is best known as the location of the private royal residence, Sandringham House, Museum and Gardens. This lovely red brick house and gardens form a country retreat where the Queen chooses to spend the Christmas and Easter holidays with her family.
Sandringham House and Gardens are open to the public and visitors can wander informally through the ground floor rooms, decorated much as they were back in Edwardian times. The house is surrounded by an 8,000 hectare estate, part of which is open for public recreation, free of charge, every day of the year.
Close to the Sandringham Estate is the Royal Stud - the Queen is known to be a keen horsewoman and racehorse owner.
Park House, part of the Sandringham Estate, is where Lady Diana Spencer was born and brought up until her parents divorced when she was seven years old.
Present Day Sandringham
The small village of Sandringham is largely overshadowed by its famous neighbour. There is a restaurant in the village and several other country pubs in the nearby village of Dersingham just one mile away.
The 16th century Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene is regularly attended by members of the royal family and the Sandringham Estate staff. It has exceptional interest with many memorials from Queen Victoria onwards.
The silver altar and reredos is framed with carved angels and was a gift to Queen Alexandra by Rodman Wanamaker along with the unusual silver pulpit and 17th century processional cross. More historical artifacts in the carrstone church include a 9th century Greek font, beautiful stained glass windows and a Spanish ceremonial cross from the 17th century.
Things to Do in Sandringham
Visit the Sandringham Estate and Country Park and enjoy walking or cycling though the wooded area which supports a variety of native birds and wildlife. Follow one of the waymarked nature trails or take a tractor and trailer ride around the park with a guided commentary for a small fee. The Queen regularly exercises her horse in the park and members of the royal family frequently walk their dogs, so who knows who you may see!
The Sandringham Visitor Centre includes information about the estate, a restaurant, gift shop, plant centre and an "Everything Outdoor" store.
Sandringham Museum has some very interesting exhibits including vintage cars used by the royal family and the 1939 Merryweather fire engine which once served the estate.
Gifts given to the Queen on her state visits abroad are on display along with other more novel items such as the clock used in the Royal Pigeon Lofts to time the racing pigeons!
The Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene is open for visitors from 1 April to 4 November, excluding days when it is in use by the royal family.