Queen plans huge revamp of the play area at Sandringham


Queen plans huge revamp of the play area at Sandringham by adding features inspired by landmarks around her Norfolk estate

  • Plans for the renovation were submitted to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council
  • Multi-level structures will include mini version of the St Mary Magdalene Church
  • Cost of play area, which has been largely welcomed by parents, not yet revealed

The Queen is planning a huge revamp of the play area in the grounds of Sandringham House by adding features inspired by landmarks around her Norfolk estate.

The new multi-level structures will include mini versions of St Mary Magdalene Church and the Queen Alexandra’s Nest summerhouse.

Some of the play equipment will be linked by high-level walkways with ladders, a wobbly rope bridge and four-tree decks, according to plans submitted to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council.

The new play area has been welcomed by many parents on social media but one regular visitor to Sandringham which is the private property of the Queen said: ‘It makes the place look even more like a theme park.’

A design statement said the existing play area will be enlarged to make it ‘more adventurous’ and ‘appealing to a wider range of children and families’.

The plans follow recent improvements to car parks, the restaurant, shop and the visitor centre on the 20,000-acre estate which has 500,000 visitors a year.

The Queen is planning a huge revamp of the play area in the grounds of Sandringham House (pictured) by adding features inspired by landmarks around her Norfolk estate

Some of the play equipment will be linked by high-level walkways with ladders, a wobbly rope bridge and four-tree decks, according to plans submitted to King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council (above)

Some of the play equipment will be linked by high-level walkways with ladders, a wobbly rope bridge and four-tree decks, according to plans submitted to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council (above)

The planning application states: ‘The play area is a vital part of the offering at Sandringham, creating a desirable location for families with young children.

‘It was discussed that the existing offering, although successful and enjoyed by many, could be improved by adding height to the structures, increasing the adventurous nature of the play elements and also creating themed elements, distinct and unique to Sandringham.’

The main feature will be a 26ft-high pair of towers based on the former Victorian water tower at Appleton on the estate. 

The new multi-level structures will include mini versions of St Mary Magdalene Church and the Queen Alexandra's Nest summerhouse (plans pictured)

The new multi-level structures will include mini versions of St Mary Magdalene Church and the Queen Alexandra’s Nest summerhouse (plans pictured)

The main feature will be a 26ft-high pair of towers (plans pictured) based on the former Victorian water tower at Appleton on the estate

The main feature will be a 26ft-high pair of towers (plans pictured) based on the former Victorian water tower at Appleton on the estate

It will include a spiral staircase and a 46ft sliding tube back to the ground as well as water play features, ladders, a climbing wall and talking tubes for children to communicate between floors. 

The plans describe one bit of play equipment for children to explore as being ‘a – multilevel play structure inspired by St Mary Magdalene church’.

The Queen and other members of the Royal family attend the 16th-century church when they are at Sandringham House over Christmas.

Another feature is inspired by the medieval ruins of the St Mary’s church at Appleton while a ‘secret enclosed play structure’ is based on Queen Alexandra’s summerhouse known as the Nest and built in 1912, overlooking the lake in the garden of Sandringham House.

It will include a spiral staircase and a 46ft sliding tube back to the ground as well as water play features, ladders, a climbing wall and talking tubes for children to communicate between floors (plans above)

It will include a spiral staircase and a 46ft sliding tube back to the ground as well as water play features, ladders, a climbing wall and talking tubes for children to communicate between floors (plans above)

The new play area has been welcomed by many parents on social media but one regular visitor to Sandringham which is the private property of the Queen said: 'It makes the place look even more like a theme park' (plans pictured)

The new play area has been welcomed by many parents on social media but one regular visitor to Sandringham which is the private property of the Queen said: ‘It makes the place look even more like a theme park’ (plans pictured)

A new toddler’s play area will include two play houses with slides, stepping stones, connecting bridges and low level walkways allowing parents to walk alongside their children.

The planning application states: ‘This master plan for the adventure play area aims to unify the space, maintaining the current play trail, whilst making sure all new elements tie in to the existing, allowing the site to feel harmonious throughout.’

‘There is also a consideration for using high quality natural materials, this is vital for a tactile and sensory play experience. We also aim to source materials locally where possible.’

The costs of the new play area have not been revealed.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: ‘Recently submitted planning applications to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council are part of the Estate’s on-going improvements works at Sandringham’s Visitor Centre and Country Park.’ 

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