Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty the Queen, and has been a private home for four generations of British Monarchs. It is a beautiful place, with many ‘objets d’art’ on display, which were collected by Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. If you enjoy history, and touring grand old houses, then this tour will be perfect for you!
History of Sandringham
The estate has been occupied since the Elizabethan era, however it was cleared in 1771 by the architect Cornish Henley, who built Sandringham Hall on the site. This original house was extensively modified in the 19th century by Charles Spencer Cooper (a step-son of Lord Palmerston who served twice as Prime Minister during the latter half of the century).
In 1862, the Hall was purchased by Queen Victoria at the request of the Prince of Wales, Albert-Edward, who wished to make a home there with his prospective bride, Alexandra of Denmark, who found the Norfolk countryside very like that of her native homeland. However, the rather lavish lifestyle of the young couple (in particular the Prince who had something of a reputation as a ‘playboy’ despite his marriage), meant that the Hall quickly became insufficient for their needs. The Prince thus commissioned A.J. Humbert to destroy the Hall and build a much larger house.
The resulting red-brick house was completed in 1870, and the building was full of ‘modern’ amenities; gas-lighting, flushing toilets and even an early form of shower. The grounds were extensive, housing a menagerie of animals which were kept by Princess Alexandra. In 1886, Prince Albert-Edward established the Royal Stud at Sandringham. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth takes a great interest in the running of the stud, particularly when it comes to breeding, and has had considerable success on the racecourse with horses she has bred.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Albert-Edward became King Edward VII. He continued to live at Sandringham, though he had many of the Royal Palaces re-furbished. Sandringham has remained a popular retreat for members of the Royal Family – Her Majesty regularly return to the estate, and has traditionally spent the anniversary of her Father’s death and her own Accession there.
The House and surrounding estate are a wonderful place to visit, and much more informal than many other Royal residences.
After a morning departure from your local pick-up point, you’ll travel to Spalding. This historic market town in Lincolnshire is a charming place to visit, and is part of the ‘Heart of Norfolk’ and important centre of the British Bulb industry, with close ties to the Netherlands. You might visit Ayscoughfee Hall, which dates from the 15th century and is now a museum, or perhaps take a relaxing journey on the Spalding River Taxi which is an excellent way to see the town. Later on, you’ll continue on to Norwich, where you’ll check into your hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll travel to Sandringham. The main rooms of the house are open to the public, and are fully wheel-chair accessible. There’s so much to see at Sandringham, from the House and Gardens, to the Museum and local church. In the afternoon, you’ll re-join the coach and head to King’s Lynn. This sea-port and market town is full of history and has a vibrant town centre. There’s lots of things to do, and so much to see – visit the cathedral or join a guided walking tour of the town.
After checking out of the hotel, you’ll head into Norwich. The city is a wonderful mix of past and present and quite unlike anywhere else in the country. Norwich has a plethora of things to entertain, and many wonderful attractions for you to visit
The Mercure Norwich is a 4* hotel with contemporary guest rooms, delicious dining options and a popular health club. Just three miles from the city centre, its ideally located for easy access to many of Norfolk’s attractions. Guest rooms have complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, flat screen television and tea/coffee facilities. The hotel does not have a lift.
Return coach travel
2 nights at the Mercure Norwich, half-board
Admission to Sandringham
Visits to Spalding, Kings Lynn and Norwich
The price shown is per person based on two adults sharing a twin/double room.
Child (12 years and under) prices are based on sharing with two full fare paying passengers. Therefore, if one adult and one child share a room the child will pay the adult price.
Any bookings made on-line where the child prices are not showing correctly, will be amended and a revised confirmation sent.