Lonely Planet Writer

Here's your chance to visit the private garden at 10 Downing Street in London

You’ve probably seen it in the media, because the garden at 10 Downing Street in London has been enjoyed by British prime ministers and their families for over 285 years. And now, you can enter a ballot to win the chance to go inside the garden and see it for yourself during the Open Garden Squares Weekend 2018. During this weekend in June, over 200 green spaces – many usually closed to the public – will open their gates for public enjoyment and discovery.

You can win a ballot for a tour of the gardens at 10 Downing Street. Image: Jay Allen

If you win the ballot, you’ll get to enjoy the terrace and garden at No. 10, which is currently home to Prime Minister Theresa May. Constructed in 1736, the garden is dominated by an open lawn of half an acre in size, and there’s a central flowerbed with flower urns. Tubs of flowers line the terrace and roses line the main pathway through the garden. There’s a pond, trees and bird-feeding tables, and a vegetable garden that produces radishes, spring onions, tomatoes and lettuce.

David Cameron and Barack Obama serve food to a member of the military during a barbecue in the garden of 10 Downing Street in London in 2011. Image: AP Photo/Matt Dunham-Pool

The garden has hosted significant gatherings, such as press announcements and social events. In 2011, UK prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha joined with US president, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, to provide a barbecue for military personnel in the garden.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, left, and Samantha Cameron serving food during a barbecue in the garden of 10 Downing Street in 2011. Image: AP Photo/Matt Dunham-Pool

The ballot to win a place on one of two tours taking place on Sunday 10 June is open now, and can be accessed here. The Open Garden Squares Weekend 2018 takes place on 9 and 10 June, and with the purchase of a weekend ticket, you can explore London’s urban gardens, and enjoy a host of activities and experiences for all the family. For further information, see here.