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  • Writer's pictureIna

Photo Album: Buckingham Palace Gardens

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Buckingham Palace Gardens is a large private park located in the heart of London, UK. The gardens are situated behind Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch, and the largest private garden in the British capital (covering 17 hectares/42 acres).

The Buckingham Palace Gardens are Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The Buckingham Palace Gardens welcome sign (Grade II listed gradens on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.)

The gardens are open to the public only during the summer months when the monarch is not in residence, usually from late July to early October. During this time, visitors can take a guided tour of the gardens and admire the beautiful landscaping, lakes, and wildlife.

 buckingham palace gardens visit

There are also a number of notable features within the gardens, including the famous lake and the Waterloo Vase, which is one of the largest vases in the world. The Rose Garden is a highlight during the summer months - a symphony of colors and fragrances, featuring a diverse collection of rose varieties.

Starting with spring, the lawn is mowed weekly in a striped pattern, which makes it look larger and helps to frame the flower borders.
Starting with spring, the lawn is mowed weekly in a striped pattern, which makes it seem larger and helps to frame the floral borders.

The gardens are a masterpiece of landscape architecture. From meticulously trimmed lawns to vibrant flowerbeds and ornamental trees, every element is thoughtfully designed to create a harmonious visual tapestry.


Tickets for the Buckingham Palace Garden Tours can be purchased in advance through the Royal Collection Trust website. It's important to note that the tours are very popular and tickets often sell out quickly, so it's best to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

The lake is the central feature of the Buckingham Palace garden and was created in the 19th century. It was initially fed from the overflow of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.
The lake is the central feature of the garden and was created in the 19th century. It was initially fed from the overflow of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.

History

Buckingham Palace Gardens has a long and interesting history that dates back to the early 18th century. Originally known as Buckingham House, the property was purchased by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte. The house underwent significant renovations in the early 19th century under the direction of architect John Nash, who transformed the building into the grand palace that it is today.

 buckingham palace gardens picnic
Visitors enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to picnic on the lawn with views of the Queen's Palace.

The gardens themselves were also redesigned by Nash during this period. He created a formal garden with a large lake and several smaller ponds, as well as winding paths and ornamental bridges. The gardens were further expanded in the mid-19th century by Queen Victoria, who added a number of rare trees and plants to the landscape.

can you visit buckingham palace gardens
The wooden garden hut had initially been located in a sunny spot, but then been moved under a large tree that secured plenty of of shade.

During World War II, the gardens were used as a vegetable garden to help supplement the food supply during rationing. After the war, they were restored to their former glory and continue to be a beloved feature of Buckingham Palace.

Did you know that Buckingham Palace was an operating theater for King Edward VII in 1902 when he suffered from peritonitis? He was successfully operated on in a room overlooking the garden.

Today, the gardens are managed by the Royal Household and are used for a variety of official functions and events, including garden parties, diplomatic receptions, and state visits. When the monarch is in residence, the gardens are used for private family events and are not open to the public.

The 3.5-acre lake was man-made in 1828, when the parkland became a royal garden in the Romantic Gardenesque style. Located at the center of the gardens adds to their charm. It provides a picturesque backdrop and a habitat for various bird species.

The Garden Highlights Tour

During the Highlights tour, visitors can combine a visit to 19 of the magnificent State Rooms with a guided walking tour of the most remarkable features of the beautiful garden. Branded as "a walled oasis in the middle of London", Buckingham Palace Gardens boast over 350 specimens of wildflowers, more than 1000 trees, a three-acre lake, and is home to 35 different species of birds.

The Buckingham Palace was built during the 18th&19th centuries, with a Baroque architectural style.
Buckingham Palace was built during the 18th century & finished during the 1800s, with a Baroque architectural style.

The Garden Highlights Tour includes:

  • The summer house;

  • The beautiful 156-meter Herbaceous Border;

  • The Rose Garden with 25 beds of roses;

  • The Palace tennis court, where King George VI and Fred Perry played in the 1930s;

  • The enormous 18-foot-tall Waterloo Vase commissioned by Napoleon in anticipation of his success at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, but after his defeat, it was gifted to the future King George IV.

As you stroll through these gardens, you're not only surrounded by nature's splendor but also stepping into a world where the past and present coexist in harmonious tranquility.

The Pool House is where in the past eight decades, nearly every member of the Royal family has learned to swim. It even survived bomb damage in 1940, a year after completion.

📍 Where: Buckingham Palace, Central London, SW1A 1AA. 📆 Event dates: every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday between 25 Jul 2022 and 2 Oct 2022.

🕒 Every 30 minutes between 9:45 - 14:45.

🎫 Ticket must be purchased as an add-on to The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace standard admission. Prices for add-on: Adult £11.50; Young Person (18-24) £7.50; Child (5-17) / Disabled £6.30; Under 5 Free.

Ticket prices for The State Rooms: Adult £30.00; Young Person (18-24) £19.50; Child (5-17) / Disabled £16.50; Under 5 Free. Book your tickets here.

🚇 The closest Tube stations are Victoria, Green Park, and Hyde Park Corner. If you arrive by coach, Victoria Coach Station is just a short 10-minute walk away.


*All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon unless stated otherwise :)

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