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With the long bank holiday just around the corner, it seems everyone is talking about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This special weekend offers a great opportunity for friends and family to get together and mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign, so what better venue for your celebrations than the Forestry Commission’s very own Queen’s House in Lyndhurst?
The grounds surrounding the house are the perfect venue for al fresco dining, so the Forestry Commission is inviting you to enjoy your garden picnic here on Sunday 3 June to celebrate the Jubilee. We’ve got plenty of space so join us in marking the Diamond Anniversary of the Queen’s reign by bringing your friends and family along to the Queen’s House gardens – aptly named after Her Royal Highness.
The Queen’s House is a familiar site for visitors to Lyndhurst and the New Forest and we’re lucky enough to have had it as our head quarters for nearly 50 years. The New Forest was introduced as a Royal Forest back in the 11th century when it was designated as a hunting ground by William the Conqueror – and the Queen’s House is steeped in history too. It’s the only surviving major building of the Charles I period in the whole of Hampshire but its Royal history dates back even further to 1297 and the reign of Edward I. Since then it’s been home to many Dukes and Kings, changing its name according to the gender of the monarch and therefore known as the Queen’s House only for the last 60 years.
If you’re planning on making the most of our gardens during the Jubilee, you can also look for the various names of our monarchs dating back hundreds of years on the Queen’s House. Rainwater gutters on the building bear the initials of the reigning monarch at the time the house was altered or restored.
So if a street party isn’t for you, why not visit us in Lyndhurst where you can have a relaxing picnic in a historical setting? We’ve arranged some fun activities for all the family which can be downloaded from our website to make this a Royal occasion to remember. There are invitations to print off and send to your friends and instructions on how to make Leaf Crowns so children can become King or Queen of the New Forest for the day. We’ve also put together an activity sheet to explore the woodland treasures of the forest and details on how to measure the age of some of the trees in our gardens. There are many ancient trees in the New Forest and you can find out which trees have been living longer than the Queen’s 60 year reign.
Parking is available in the Lyndhurst main car park and there is disabled parking at the Queen's House. If you fancy walking to the gardens, you can access them from the High Street or via St Michael and All Angels churchyard.
The Jubilee invitations and activity sheets can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/jubilee and don’t forget to download our free ForestXplorer app, available on iPhone and Android devices, to gain more details for when you’re out and about in the New Forest.
Please note – the house itself will not be open to the public.
Mark Street, Land Agent