A trip to the Norfolk playground inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge

‘Drive 50 miles to go to an adventure playground. Why would you do that?’ 

‘Because it’s not any old playground,’ I replied, ‘It’s been designed by the Duchess of Cambridge.’ 

The old adventure playground at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk has had a revamp, along with other attractions. 

It was inspired by the Back to Nature garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show that had a swing rope, a tepee and a treehouse to immerse children in nature. 

Set among towering trees on the edge of park woodland, the play equipment is modelled on local landmarks.

The centrepiece is a 26ft tall replica of the 1877 Appleton Water Tower, built to improve water quality at Sandringham. 

Still to come are features based on the ruined church near West Newton and Queen Alexandra’s Nest, a summerhouse next to the estate’s lake. 

The tower is proving popular, with its spiral staircase, talking tubes and a 46ft long slide. Then there are zip wires, swings, picnic tables and a toddlers’ area. The 600-acre Royal Park also has two waymarked trails. 

The blue one is two miles long and the yellow, three. You can also head for The Courtyard and its restaurant, café and shop — full of goodies for children such as Bumpa, the Sandringham Bear, and local gin and beer for the adults.