Palace staff member walks thorugh the Rose Garden at The Garden of Buckingham Palace, during a preview day before it opens to the public, in London, Britain, July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Visitors to Buckingham Palace now have the opportunity to explore the Queen's private garden, as the Queen has opened up the palace gardens to the public for the very first time.
The royal palaces have suffered huge financial losses in the past year because of the pandemic-induced decline in tourists and visitors, and it is hoped that opening the splendid gardens will boost the number of visitors into the palace.
In April self-guided tour tickets around the palace gardens went on sale, initially attracting “overwhelming” demand. For £16.50 per adult or £42 for a family of up to three children, they promised a chance to enjoy the “beauty and calm of this walled oasis”.
Visitors were also promised a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to picnic on the lawn”.
People sit together in The Garden of Buckingham Palace, during a preview day before it opens to the public, in London, Britain, July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
However, the gardens received a number of damning reviews on TripAdvisor, with some customers complaining about how much was available.
A number noted you had to pay an extra £6.50 for a tour of the rose garden and wildflower meadow, and this needed to be arranged in advance.
One disappointed visitor wrote: “Buckingham Palace has opened its gardens to the public for the first time this year – it really shouldn’t have bothered.
"For your £16.50, you gain access to a large lawn with one herbaceous border. We expected the garden to be spectacular, but it was totally underwhelming.
herbaceous [hɜːˈbeɪʃəs]: adj. 草本的；绿色的
"The (potentially) more interesting parts of the garden were roped off and only accessible if you parted with yet more cash on a guided ‘tour’.
"Save your money and instead enjoy the much more interesting public royal parks – for free.”
A visitor walks past the herbaceous border at the The Garden of Buckingham Palace, during a preview day before it opens to the public, in London, Britain, July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A second added: “Beware of this complete rip-off!
"I paid £16.50 for access to the gardens only hoping to lazy around, see beautiful flowers and trees and what I experienced was first a long queue to security check and then seeing a piece of lawn surrounded by standing stewards watching your every step and ropes segregating rest of the garden.
"This small fragment of the park that you have access to is easily walkable around in 10 minutes and nothing is interesting to see there.
"You can’t even sit on the lake’s bank to watch wildlife because of those ropes everywhere. I am very disappointed and robbed by the royals.
"Please choose any other London park to visit and you will save your hard earn monies and spent time in much better surroundings.”
A third complained: “Gardens are a waste of time and money. Large portions were cordoned off.
"Takes less than one hour to get around. Also expensive coffee and cake.”