Buckingham Palace: Gardens ☆☆☆

The gardens of Buckingham Palace (Photo by Northmetpit)
The gardens of Buckingham Palace

Visiting the Royal Gardens of Buckingham Palace

After you tour the State Rooms, beyond the West Terrace of Buckingham Palace stretch the 39 acres of the Royal Gardens, where Elizabeth II holds her Queen's Garden Parties amid 200 trees and 350 types of wildflower.

The three-acre lake has a bird sanctuary island in the middle that also supports the beehives that help pollinate the garden and provide the palace larder with honey (and, one must imagine, double-royal jelly).

Fun fact: Prince Albert was fond of ice skating on the garden pond, but one day went out on too-thin ice and fell in. Queen Victoria herself had to pull him out.

Other garden tidbits include the Rose Garden, the Summer House covered in wisteria, the Palace tennis court, and the discolored patch of grass where the Royal helicopter lands.

Lunch at Buckingham Palace

You can enjoy sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and other danties at shaded tables along a balustrade on the West Terrace overlooking the gardens at the Garden Café (only open in summer, when the State Rooms and Gardens are open).

This isn't exactly royal dining—the tea comes in paper cups, not fine china—but it is probably as close as you will come to having tea with the Queen.

Royal Gardens Tours

Tours of Buckingham Palace that might also include Royal Gardens

These might include Royal Gardens

More tours


How long do the Royal Gardens take?

You could stroll through the Royal Gardens in 10–15 minutes or so—though I'd spend a good 20–30 minutes.

Also, the Garden Café is a lovely, terrace-side spot for a light lunch, so I'd try to plan that into your day and allow another 30 minutes for it. 

However, to tour all the parts of Buckingham Palace takes a good 3–4 hours (assuming the State Rooms are open).

How do I get to the Royal Gardens of Buckingham Palace?

You can only enter the Royal Gardens of Buckingham Palace after touring the State Rooms, so those must be open to access the gardens.

Note that you exit from the back side, on Grosvenor Place.

Entrances to Buckingham Palace attractions
A map showing the various entrances to Buckingham Palace's attractions.