Whilst looking for a campsite in Norfolk, Nik realised that the Camping and Motorhoming Club has a site on the Sandringham Estate. So, of course, we had to stay there, just for one night.
I have to start by saying we absolutely loved the wardens at the site. They’re welcome was absolutely brilliant. Not to mention they were pretty excited to see us roll up in a self build. The site is surrounded by woodland with a dedicated path leading you toward Sandringham. If you have a dog it will take you a few days before you run out of new directions to walk him.
Obviously, we had to go find the big house and see if we could get a photo from the road. Because the house was closed to visitors while we were there. We should have taken the little leaflet they gave us when we checked in because we got distracted along the route. And ended up walking through the woods for a few hours without getting any closer to seeing it.
We found an owl wood carving and plenty of fungi. Marvelled at some fantastic old trees and daffodils growing in the wood. And eventually made our way back to the van without getting any closer to the house.
The original plan was to leave early the next morning and spend the day at Hunstanton before checking into our new campsite. Instead, we decided to consult the map and spend the morning searching out our photo.
Sandringham has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. Which is in the middle of the 8,000-hectare Estate. Of which 240 hectares make up the woodland and heath of the Country Park, open to the public free of charge every day of the year.
Queen Victoria bought the Sandringham Estate for Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who had just turned 21. She felt he should have a private house well away from town so that he would be able to escape when duty permitted and enjoy the benefits of a healthy country life.
The original house was too small for the Prince and his growing family so it was demolished and the new house was designed by a Norwich architect, AJ Humbert and built by Goggs Brothers of Swaffham. (Info from sandringhamestate.co.uk)
It wasn’t the best of weather in the morning but it was warm. So we set off fully intending to get a photo of Sandringham house. It turned out that it was only thirty-minute walk from the campsite mostly along a country lane with wide grass areas to walk on. I have to say, we’ve walked along many country lanes over the years, none have been as well-manicured as these were. You could be in no doubt that you are walking through a Royal estate.
Unfortunately, we failed to get our photo. The reason for this was that the only view we could get of Sandringham house was so distant that we’d have had to circle the spot between the trees and hope that with a bit of squinting you’d make it out.
We did get a photo of the Edward VII post box on the wall surrounding the house. Nik also took a photo of the sign outside the visitor’s centre. Just to prove we made it that far.
We have a to-do list, especially for Norfolk. Places we absolutely must go to again. Places that deserve so much more of our time. The Sandringham estate is on that list!
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