Top choice in Norfolk

Located in Norfolk, Sandringham House is one of two personal and private residences owned by the English Royal Family. The residence - which is occupied since Elizabethan times - is one of the most loved by the Queen, who uses to spend here the Christmas Day and year-end holidays.

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Both monarchists and those bemused by the English system will have plenty to mull over here, at the Queen's country estate. It's set in 25 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens, and wandering around sumptuous reception rooms regularly used by the royals reveals a wealth of objets d'art and glinting gifts from European and Russian royal families.

Sandringham is 6 miles northeast of King's Lynn off the A149. Bus 35 runs from King's Lynn (£2.50, 20 minutes, hourly).

Sandringham was built in 1870 by the then Prince and Princess of Wales (who later became King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) and the house's features and furnishings remain much as they were in Edwardian days. The stables, meanwhile, now house a flag-waving museum filled with diverse royal memorabilia. The superb vintage-car collection includes the very first royal motor from 1900, and the buggy in which the Queen Mother would bounce around race tracks.

There are guided tours (£3.50, 11am and 2pm Wednesday and Saturday) of the gardens. The shop stocks organic goodies produced on the vast estate.