Royalty and windmill

Sandringham HouseSandringham House in West Norfolk.

Start your day with a visit to Sandringham, the Royal family’s West Norfolk private residence and rural retreat away from the hubbub of London where they spend each Christmas and New Year. We don't think we're revealing any secrets by saying that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th in line to the throne now live in a house on the estate!

At Sandringham House all the main ground floor rooms used by the Royal family are open to the public. The Ballroom displays a different exhibition each year, and there are more family possessions displayed in the museum including vehicles ranging from a 1900 Daimler to a half-scale Aston Martin used by Princes William and Harry.

There are sixty acres of informal gardens, six hundred acres of country park and the Sandringham Church which the Royals attend at Christmas is worth a visit. There are restaurants, a gift shop and a plant centre, all at the Visitor Centre, close to the coach and car parks. A minimum visit of three hours is advised, but there is enough to fill most of a day.

In the afternoon visit Bircham Windmill, a beautifully restored windmill with a great view from the top! Adjoining the mill is the original bakery where bread and cakes are still made for the tearooms. The tearooms have fabulous clotted cream teas, delicious soup and ploughman's lunches.

Take a wander around the garden and see the guinea pigs, rabbits, sheep and donkey. The sheep are milked daily at 2pm, so you can get up close and personal with the only flock of milking sheep in Norfolk.

Stopping at Bircham Windmill is always a great talking point, with easy access and coaches able to drop off right next to the tearooms. There are gift shops and gardens to browse, with free entry to the gardens for all coach parties.

Bircham WindmillA relaxing time at Bircham Windmill.
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