What a treat - a long weekend off to celebrate the fact that Her Majesty The Queen has become the very first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. To honour this wonderful occasion, we've rounded up five holidays that offer a taste of royalty through visits to wonderful royal houses and gardens in case you're inspired by this momentous milestone.
5 holidays fit for the Platinum Jubilee
26 May 2022
Highgrove - the country home of HRH the Prince of Wales
A truly delightful garden to visit with royal connections is that of Highgrove, tucked away in Gloucester. Since buying the property in 1980, the Prince of Wales sought the advice of a friend, Lady Salisbury, who was an experienced organic gardener, well-known for her work at Cranbourne and at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. She and the Prince laid out parts of the garden with scented plants including wisteria, honeysuckle, jasmine, holboellia, lillies and thyme, which were chosen to surround the house. A wide variety of apples are grown here, including Formosa Nonpareil, Golden Knot, Cornish Aromatic and Lady’s Delight.
The Castle of Mey - holiday home of the late Queen Mother
Originally named Barrogill Castle, it was first seen by the late Queen Mother in 1952, while mourning the death of her husband, King George VI. It is located in Caithness, on Scotland's northern coast, around six miles west of John o' Groats. Having fallen for its ruined, isolated charm, the late Queen Mother declared that she would save the castle from ruin. Having acquired the most northerly castle on the British mainland, she renovated and lovingly restored it, and for over half a century she spent her summers here, creating the beautiful gardens you see today.
Hillsborough Castle - Her Majesty The Queen’s residence in Northern Ireland
This castle is Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Northern Ireland. It is not strictly speaking a castle, but a Georgian country house, built in the 18th century for the Hill family, Marquesses of Downshire, who owned it until 1922. The 6th Marquess sold the mansion to the British government and it became the official residence of the Governor of the newly created province of Northern Ireland and later the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Since 2014 it has been managed by Historic Royal Palaces, who commissioned a £16m restoration programme that breathed new life into this historic building. During a visit here, it's worth seeing the State Rooms, still used by the Royal Family for investitures and receptions.
Osborne House - Queen Victoria’s favourite home
With views onto the Solent, this was Queen Victoria’s favourite home, which boasts the most impressive formal gardens on the island. These include a recently restored walled garden and an attractive tree-lined walk to the Swiss Cottage, built as a spectacular Wendy House for the Royal children. The house itself boasts sumptuous state rooms, whose furnishings reflect the passions, taste and style of Victoria and Albert, and the family rooms, including the bedroom where Queen Victoria passed away on 22 January 1901.
Sandringham - private home to four generations of British monarchs
Sandringham House was originally built in 1870 by the Prince and Princess of Wales, who later became King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and has been passed down through subsequent generations. The main ground floor is open to the public and the decor remains largely unchanged from Edwardian times. There is a vast collection of items to be seen all around Sandringham many of which have been gifts bought by members of Russian and European Royalty as well as many articles the previous monarchs have collected. There are numerous family portraits adorning the walls of Sandringham which also houses a fascinating collection of oriental arms and armour that was bought here from the Far East and India in 1876.