If you've ever fancied checking out the garden at Buckingham Palace in England, or would enjoy the prospect of having a picnic in it, you can avail of the opportunity this year.

The grounds of Queen Elizabeth’s official London residence can be explored through self-guided tours for the first time. Visitors can also still take official guided tours. The current landscape of the historic 39-acre garden dates back to the 1820s when George IV turned Buckingham House into a palace. Despite its urban location, the garden is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare native plants seldom seen in London.

The gardens at Buckingham Palace in London
There is a 3.5-acre lake at Buckingham Palace © Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. Photographer John Campbell

The garden is a rich biodiverse habitat, with more than 1000 trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses, and features include the Rose Garden, summer house and wildflower meadow. Visitors will be free to explore a route through the garden that encompasses the 156-metre Herbaceous Border, plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and views of the island and its beehives across the 3.5-acre lake. The unique opportunity to enjoy a picnic on one of the sweeping lawns will be part of the visit.

Buckingham Palace Garden 3.jpg
The gardens at Buckingham Palace can be explored this summer © Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. Photographer John Campbel

On weekends in April and May, garden enthusiasts can enjoy the tranquillity of the garden and discover its history and highlights by joining a guided tour. Visitors will experience the garden in springtime, with its meadows carpeted with primroses and bluebells, and flowering camellia, magnolia and azalea shrubs and trees. From May to September, special guided tours of Buckingham Palace will be available, and from July, access to the garden will be included in these visits.

Buckingham Palace Garden Guided Tours will run on weekends from 17 April to 16 May 2021. Tickets are priced at £21.50 ($29.47) for adults. Buckingham Palace Spring Guided Tours will run on Fridays and weekends from 21 May to 20 June 2021 and tickets are priced at £47.50 ($65.11) for adults. The Garden at Buckingham Palace will open from 9 July to 19 September and tickets are priced at £16.50 ($22.62) for adults.

The Garden Highlights Guided Tours should be booked with the main ticket and are priced at £6.50 ($8.91) for adults. The State Rooms and Garden at Buckingham Palace will run from 10 July to 19 September 2021, and tickets are priced at £60 ($82.24) for adults. Bookings can be made on the Royal Collection Trust website here.

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