While the pandemic has made it difficult for people to move around widely, exploring nearby areas has been keeping them busy. In the UK, the Buckingham Palace garden has always intrigued tourists, especially after it became accessible to them in July 2021.
But now, it has been learnt that visitors have not had that great an experience here, for they have inundated TripAdvisor with bad reviews, calling the place a “money-making machine”, a report in the Evening Standard mentions.
Per the report, visitors took to the travel portal to warn other guests of visiting the official residence of the queen, after they discovered that large parts of the garden were off-limits.
The Buckingham Palace garden opened to the public on July 9, 2021. The 39-acre garden opened for self-guided tours and picnics for the first time after entry into the palace exhibitions was stopped last year in the pandemic.
Pre-booked guided ‘garden highlights’ tours promised rounds of the rose garden, summer house and wildflower meadow, according to a report in The Independent.
What does the route include?
The 156-metre Herbaceous Border, the Horse Chestnut Avenue, trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, besides views of the island and its beehives across the three-and-a-half-acre lake.
The tickets went on sale in April 2021, costing £16.50 (Rs 1,692) for an adult or £42 (Rs 4,309) for a family with up to three children.
But visitors were disappointed when they were met with “aggressive security”, overpriced tickets and “rip-off gift shop items”, the outlet mentioned. One guest even said they felt “robbed by the royals”.
“Spent somewhere around 50 pounds for my family of 4 to bring our own meal to a small dull roped-off area behind the palace. The volunteers/security are very aggressive and/or irritable. They literally stood over us and watched me and my small children eat our sandwiches. It seemed like there was as much staff as patrons. We felt very unwelcome. We tried to ask a question about a flower in the garden and were moved along in an annoyed hurry. There’s very little to see…” a guest wrote on TripAdvisor.
“Beware of this complete rip-off! I paid £16.50 for access to the gardens only hoping to laze around, see beautiful flowers and trees. What I experienced was first a long queue to security check and then seeing a piece of a lawn surrounded by standing stewards watching your every step and ropes segregating the rest of the garden.
“This small fragment of the park that you have access to is easily walkable around in 10 min and nothing is interesting to see there. You can’t even sit on the lake’s bank to watch wildlife because of these ropes everywhere. I am very disappointed and feel robbed by royals,” another shared.
The palace garden was constructed in the 1820s. It has many native plants rarely seen in London now. It is reportedly home to more than 1000 trees, a rose garden, five beehives, the National Collection of Mulberry Trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses.
It was previously reported that it would also sell products inspired by royal ceremonies. The Royal Collection Trust designs include a sandwich bag adorned with corgis, carriages, cupcakes and soldiers, a Buckingham Palace hand sanitiser, cotton napkins, a picnic blanket, and a reusable water bottle, among other items.