A trip to the Norfolk playground inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge

Adventures at Sandringham: Exploring the revamped playground inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge at the Queen’s Norfolk estate

  • The old adventure playground at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk has had a revamp 
  • It was inspired by a garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show 
  • The centrepiece is a replica of the 1877 Appleton Water Tower, built to improve water quality at Sandringham

‘Drive 50 miles to go to an adventure playground. Why would you do that?’ 

‘Because it’s not any old playground,’ I replied, ‘It’s been designed by the Duchess of Cambridge.’ 

The old adventure playground at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk has had a revamp, along with other attractions. 

The Kate escape: The old adventure playground at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk has had a revamp

The revamped play area was inspired by a garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show

The centrepiece is a replica of the 1877 Appleton Water Tower, built to improve water quality at Sandringham

It was inspired by the Back to Nature garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show that had a swing rope, a tepee and a treehouse to immerse children in nature. 

Set among towering trees on the edge of park woodland, the play equipment is modelled on local landmarks. 

The centrepiece is a 26ft tall replica of the 1877 Appleton Water Tower, built to improve water quality at Sandringham. 

Still to come are features based on the ruined church near West Newton and Queen Alexandra’s Nest, a summerhouse next to the estate’s lake. 

The playground and Royal Park are free to use, although you do pay for parking

The Duchess of Cambridge’s 2019 Chelsea Flower Show playground featured a swing rope, a tepee and a treehouse

The Queen is shown around the Duchess of Cambridge’s Back to Nature garden at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show

The tower is proving popular, with its spiral staircase, talking tubes and a 46ft long slide. Then there are zip wires, swings, picnic tables and a toddlers’ area. The 600-acre Royal Park also has two waymarked trails. 

The blue one is two miles long and the yellow, three. You can also head for The Courtyard and its restaurant, café and shop — full of goodies for children such as Bumpa, the Sandringham Bear, and local gin and beer for the adults. 

The playground and Royal Park are free to use, although you do pay for parking. 

If you have older children who might want to visit the house and formal gardens, there is a charge and make sure to book ahead online. I did drive 50 miles there and didn’t regret it a bit. 

For more information visit sandringhamestate.co.uk.

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