Buckingham Palace Gardens Visiting Guide

Buckingham Palace Gardens is a spot that should not be missed if you are seeking for a site to visit that is rich in history while also offering a wide variety of things to do.

Royal gardens, a lake, and woodlands at Buckingham Palace total roughly 16 hectares. Buckingham Palace Gardens originated in the 1640s, the gardens underwent a redesign in the late 18th century, and further work was done on them in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The grounds of Buckingham Palace are where the gardens at Buckingham palace are. This is the current British monarch’s primary home. William Townsend Aiton’s 1826 design of an informal garden took the place of Henry Wise’s C18 formal garden. The majority of Aiton’s work has been modified for the C20 era.

History of Buckingham Palace

The location of Buckingham Palace in downtown London is around 500 meters (hectares to meters = 0.05 hectare) to the north of Victoria station and just next to St James’s Park. Constitution Hill, which divides the Palace from Green Park, borders the approximately 16-hectare land to the north (qv). The road around the Queen Victoria Memorial serves as the east border (listed grade I).

Place, Territory, Limits, Landform, and Environment

Lower Grosvenor Place serves as the border to the south, Buckingham Palace Road and Buckingham Gate Road as the boundary to the east, and Grosvenor Place as the boundary to the west. The mostly flat site rises in the northwest corner, matching the elevation in Constitution Hill, and is surrounded by tall brick walls that date from the C18 to the mid-C19.

Approaches and Entrances

Buckingham Palace Gardens
Buckingham Palace Gardens

East of the Palace courtyard is the primary entrance to Buckingham palace gardens, which are located to the north of the building. Sir Aston Webb created the forecourt railings, gate piers, gates, and lighting (listed grade I) between 1901 and 1911 as a component of his Victoria Memorial plan. A doorway in the colonnade screen (listed grade I), constructed as part of Nash’s construction program in the vicinity of 1830, serves as the entry to the Palace’s north side. 

Bath stone and cast-iron columns support the Greek Doric screen, which is adorned with royal arms. Grosvenor Gate, a small opening in the southern boundary wall, runs north from Grosvenor Place to the home and yard of the head gardener. A second small entry to the garden can be found to the south-east, where a pair of tall wooden gates known as the “Electricians Gate” is installed into the south-east boundary wall to give access from Buckingham Gate road.

Principal Structure

East of the location is where the grade I-listed Buckingham Palace is located. The structure is built around a square and has three stories with mezzanines on the ground and attic floors. Its east front faces the Victoria Memorial. The West Terrace, which stretches 100 meters north-south and dominates the west front, overlooks the main lawn. Coade stone balustrading and classical urns, both constructed of Coade stone, adorn the terrace. When John Nash (1752–1835) was commissioned in 1825 by his friend Prince Regent (later George IV) to produce designs for the reconstruction of Buckingham House as a royal home, the Palace mostly remained in the early C19 style. 

The Royal Mews, which are made up of the Mews and the Riding House, is located to the southwest of the Palace and face Buckingham Palace Road. Although the Riding House was constructed in 1764, its frieze and pediment were first added in 1859. Sometimes, a royal garden party at buckingham palace takes place here. The actual Mews was constructed in 1824-5, centered on a square with a huge doorway with paired Roman columns that were sometimes obstructed and was topped by a clock tower.

Gardens and Recreational Areas

The gardens and pleasure grounds are best observed from the West Terrace. Despite being shielded from the outer world by tall brick walls and mature trees (London plane being a prevalent species), they preserve an open look. The site’s plan, which is mostly based on William Townsend Aiton’s design from 1825, has branches that go around lawns, island beds, and other features. A rolling gravel road around the perimeter of the property. Here Buckingham palace gardens picnics also take place.

A gravel walk connects with the Broad Walk below the West Terrace after running beside Nash’s north range of the Palace from the main entrance. The main lawn (about 2 hectares) extends 150 m southwest from the Broad Walk to the lake. Helicopters may land on the main lawn, which hosts royal garden parties up to six times a year. 

Get an Essence of the Nature

Buckingham Palace Garden
Buckingham Palace Garden

From the northern end of the Broad Walk to the island shrub beds to the north of the main lawn, a short walk winds northwest and is bordered by Indian chestnut trees that were planted in the late 20th century. From the main entrance, the northern perimeter walk meanders west between the main lawn and a northern herbaceous border that is bordered by a grassy strip. In the late C20, an herbaceous border took the role of a border made of seasonal bedding plants.

To have an afternoon tea at Buckingham palace gardens, visit the basic wooden Tea House, built about 1939, which is located about 180 meters west of the main entrance and to the south of the perimeter walk. Rhododendrons are particularly prevalent on the island beds around the Tea House, which are mostly covered with bushes. The perimeter walk continues to the west, passing the Waterloo Vase after about 200 meters. 

The Waterloo Vase is located in the Arboretum and sits amid a glade of trees with views of the lake that is located in a depression to the south. The 4.5m-tall, grade I-listed Carrara marble vase has an acanthus-carved base and is placed on a paved pedestal. The vase, which Sir Richard Westmacott subsequently sculpted, was made in 1812 for Napoleon Bonaparte and given to the Prince Regent. 

Picnic in Buckingham Palace Gardens

It has a combat scene on one side and a person, most likely the Prince Regent, on the other. The vase was a gift from William IV to the National Gallery, but it was restored to Buckingham Palace in 1906 when King Edward VII received it from the gallery’s trustees.

The C20 rose garden is to the north, east, and west of the Waterloo Vase, while the Admiralty Temple is about 30 meters north of the Vase on the north side of the perimeter walk. 

The early C18 structure, which was used as a summerhouse in 2000 and is situated on the grass among island rose gardens, has a tripartite elevation and four free-standing supporting pillars or herms in the shape of tritons. The structure was transported from Spring Gardens in 1901. From the Admiralty Temple, the perimeter route travels west, reaching the Silver Garden after about 50 meters. 

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The History of the Garden

The garden was created in 1972 to mark the Silver Wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. It is located against the northern border wall. The terrain dips south away from the perimeter walk to the tennis courts to the west of the Silver Garden (made 1919). An area designated for recycling garden waste is located to the north of the tennis courts, mostly hidden by C20 plants (late C20).

The perimeter path continues south for approximately 150 meters until it reaches the lake from the garden’s north-west corner (southeast of Hyde Park Corner). The boundary wall to the west is largely hidden by trees and shrubs, and the lawn to the north-east is adorned with ornamental trees and shrubs. The roughly rectangular, two-hectare lake has a 150-meter-long serpentine water tail to the north-west. To the south-west of the lake’s main body is an oval island (about 0.5 hectares) and a much smaller island. 

The Decorations around the Surroundings

The Table, a tiny land outcropping, protrudes into the lake from the southeast side. By 1827 or 1828, the lake that was intended by Aiton had been dug. A little waterfall may be seen near the northwest corner. This waterfall, which was built in 1991 to enhance water quality, replaced a cascade that was built in 1961 and was located about 5 meters to the south.

A pair of decorative Japanese cranes may be seen on the north side of the lake, around 100 meters to the north-east of the waterfall. While visiting India in 1903, Edward VII received life-size bronze figurines. The lake’s west bank and the sizable island are connected by two bridges, one to the north and one to the south. The bridges were reportedly built in 1904 by Pulham & Son (Beresford 1996), however, the southern bridge has the year 1920 engraved close to its base, perhaps suggesting a later restoration.

The Western Border 

The western border route continues south for a further 150 meters among the bushes and trees that mostly conceal the western boundary wall until it reaches the Mound, where it splits into two branches that go to each side of the earthworks.

The Mound, created by Pulham and Sons in 1904, has a maximum height of 8.6 meters, sharply sloping sides, and is covered with vegetation such as grass, trees, and bushes (Beresford 1996). The linear construction projects begin in the east and go for 100 meters before curving to the north-east for another 200 meters and coming to a conclusion to the north of the Royal Mews. The Mound was built in 1827–1828, largely to block the Palace’s view of the stables. 

Although the two landforms are comparable in size and are assumed to have been formed in part by material dug from the lake, the Mound is much taller and deeper than the lake (c 1.5m). The trees and bushes that were first planted on the Mound have since been expanded upon and thinned. 

A gravel road was paved along the summit of the Mound in 1840 by order of Prince Albert; it has since been covered with grass. The Comus pavilion was built on the Mound in 1844 at the request of the royal couple. It was called after the images from Milton’s Comus that were used to adorn the inside and was built looking north-west across the lake, above the Table. The pavilion, which had remained abandoned after the First World War, was taken down in 1928.

The North Side

The route to the north of the Mound travels between it and the south-east end of the lake before swinging to the east and coming together with the Back Path flowing north from the south-east of the Mound after about 50 meters.

The southern Mound walk, which is a continuation of the western perimeter path, initially goes to the gardener’s yard, which is home to the head gardener’s residence, greenhouses, and other support facilities, before turning east to connect with the Grosvenor Gate Back Path. 

Before connecting the route leading north of the Mound at the north-east end of the mound, the Back Path continues along the south-eastern side of the mound, with the Royal Mews buildings to its south-eastern side. The perimeter route continues beyond the structures to the west of the Electricians Gate entry from here, where it connects with the southeast end of the Broad Walk after around 50 meters.

Things To Do In Buckingham: Know Before Visiting Buckingham Palace Gardens

Know What Things To Do In Buckingham palace gardens

You will instantly get a 12-month pass for free entrance to the palace if you buy your tickets directly from the Royal Collection Trust. Before leaving the palace, print your name on your ticket, sign it, and ask a staff member to stamp and authenticate it in order to get the yearly pass.

Other Options for visiting Buckingham Palace Gardens

If you don’t feel like seeing the palace inside, you can always take in the breathtaking views of the building from the outside. Just be sure to time your visit to Buckingham palace gardens with the daily 11:30 a.m. changing of the Guard ceremony. The ceremonial passes through Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, and Wellington Barracks, however, it is considered that the best place to see the spectacle is on the eastern side of the palace, close to the gates.

Opening Hours and Ticket Pricing 

All the detailed information about Buckingham palace gardens tickets for you to visit Buckingham palace gardens are listed below. 

Buckingham Palace Gardens is open from:

Open TimeOpen Date
9:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. (with the last admission at 5:15 p.m.)From July 23rd to August 31st
9:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. (with the last admission at 4:15 p.m.)From September 1st to October 2nd

Buckingham Palace Gardens Tickets

You must reserve a tour in advance if you want to visit Buckingham palace gardens, and there are three distinct tours you may choose from:

  • The cost of the Royal Day out Tour (which includes The State Rooms, The Queen’s Gallery, and the Royal Mews) varies depending on age: adults pay £37, children between the ages of five and 17 or individuals with disabilities pay £20.80, and seniors and students pay £33.80. Family tickets (two adults and three children) are also offered for £94.80.
  • The cost of the State Rooms Tour is £19.60 for seniors and students, £21.50 for adults, and £12.30 for kids between the ages of five and 17. Tickets for families cost £55.30.
  • The cost of the State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour, which also includes a guided tour of the grounds of Buckingham Palace, is £30.50 for adults, £27.50 for pensioners and students, and £16.40 for children between the ages of five and 17 or for persons with disabilities.

For any of the trips, children under the age of five are admitted free of charge.

Buckingham Palace Address and Buckingham palace postcode to visit Buckingham Palace Garden 

London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom

Here’s the Map. 

Frequently Asked About Buckingham Palace

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