The-Queen-Sandringham-Estate

The first of the Queen's royal residences reopens to the public amid coronavirus lockdown

There will be phased access to the 243-hectare site

Chloe Best

The Queen's royal residences have been closed to members of the public throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but with signs that the lockdown will be slowly eased over the coming weeks, locals can once again visit parts of the Sandringham Estate.

The West Car Park at Sandringham Country Park is now open from 8am until 6pm daily to allow people from the local community to visit and exercise within the 243-hectare site, all while following current social distancing measures.

MORE: Inside Windsor Castle where the Queen and Prince Philip are isolating

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Sandringham Country Park is reopening to the public

A notice on the Sandringham Estate website notes that the re-opening of car parks and access to the Country Park will need to be "gradual and phased", and the number of cars and visitors will be monitored in order to protect the health and safety of staff and the local community.

MORE: Royal events we're missing because of coronavirus

No doubt the news will be welcomed by local residents, who typically benefit from daily access to the country park, which has two nature trails and many woodland paths to explore. However, while the park has now reopened, Sandringham House and formal gardens, the Transport Museum, gift shop and café all remain closed until further notice.

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WATCH: Take a look inside the royal residences

The pandemic also means that the rest of the royal residences will remain closed to the public; the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, Frogmore House and Clarence House will not open this summer as they normally do, due to the challenges of maintaining social distancing. The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace were due to open between 25 July and 4 October with an exhibition on royal animals, however, anyone who had bought tickets will be issued with a refund.

MORE: The Queen receives good news whilst self-isolating with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle

The Queen has currently put her public duties on hold for an extended period of time during the coronavirus outbreak, and is expected to remain at Windsor Castle throughout the summer, instead of travelling to Balmoral as normal.

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