Queen Elizabeth Is Opening Buckingham Palace's Gardens to the Public This Summer

What does the perfect summer afternoon look like for you? Does it start with a leisurely stroll through lush, vibrant gardens? Does the itinerary also include a relaxing, scenic picnic next to a 3.5-acre, 19th-Century lake lake? Well, at Buckingham Palace, you can do both — for the first time ever.

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This summer, from early July through mid-September, Queen Elizabeth is not only reopening the gardens at Buckingham Palace, allowing visitors to take a self-guided tour around the lake and through the gardens, which features a staggering 320 wildflowers and grasses, more than 1,000 trees, and the National Collection of Mulberry Trees. But this year, the Queen’s also allowing people to picnic on the lawns. Additionally, visitors can take part guided tours in April and May through the Rose Garden, the wildflower meadow, and the summer house located on the property.

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Last summer, Buckingham Palace called off tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this summer, the Queen’s official London residence will welcome the public back to its historic 39-acre garden, which dates back to the 1820s. Today, the garden, which was redesigned by William Townsend Alton, is rich with blooming primroses, bluebells, flowering camellia, magnolia and azalea shrubs in the spring.

According to the Guardian, the visitor route includes the 170-yard herbaceous border and plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as well as views of the island.

“We anticipate that social distancing will still be in place this summer and that visitor numbers to London will be low for some time yet due to the uncertainty around domestic and international travel,” a Royal Collection Trust spokesperson told the outlet. “The costs incurred opening the palace to the public in the usual way would be far greater than the visitor admissions and retail income that we could expect. However, we are delighted to offer unique access to the Buckingham Palace garden this year as an alternative.”

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