BREAK out the ballons and bunting – it’s party time!
There is so much going on to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee over the long weekend from June 2.
Trisha Harbord presents her pick of the pageants, festivals, royal tours, garden and tea parties, special spa packages and brilliant breaks.
FESTIVAL OF FOOD
Raymond Blanc, Gennaro Contaldo and Great British Bake Off’s Karen Wright will be cooking up treats in the Blenheim Palace kitchen from June 2-5.
Visit the Jubilee Garden for food, craft beers and cocktails. Palace visitors can see the dress worn by Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill, one of the Queen’s maids of honor at her 1953 Coronation.
GO: Ticket for the palace, park and gardens costs £ 32 per adult and 18.50 for kids aged five-15. Family ticket is £ 83.50. If it’s blenheimpalace.com.
ALL THE QUEEN’S HORSES
The Queen is mad about racing and you can visit the stables where her horses are trained on special Jubilee tours.
You’ll see the horses on the gallops, have lunch and visit the National Horseracing Museum at Newmarket, Suffolk, opened by Her Majesty in 2016.
GO: The full-day Royal Yard Tour costs £ 165. Racing Royalty Tour costs £ 40. For dates, see discovernewmarket.co.uk.
BACK IN TIME
Juggling jesters, trumpeting heralds and medieval royalty will be parading the grounds of Longleat.
The characters will mingle with visitors as the Wiltshire estate and safari park travels back to the Middle Ages from June 3-6.
In Bath, the celebrations start at 10pm on June 2 with Purple Reign, lighting up the Guildhall, Roman Baths and Abbey.
On June 5, join the Big Jubilee Picnic on the lower lawn of the Royal Crescent with free entertainment, face-painting and arts and crafts.
GO: Adult Longleat ticket are from £ 34.95, child £ 26.20, under-threes go free. If it’s longleat.co.uk. Stay like royalty at the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, B&B, Jubilee cocktail and tasting menu and Champagne tea from £ 530pn per room from June 1-6. If it’s visitbath.co.uk.
Celebrate the weekend by visiting the farthest-flung corners of Her Majesty’s kingdom on a cruise and pick up some top royal gossip.
Ambassador’s Special Platinum Jubilee cruise will take you to the islands of Scilly, Orkney and Mull, plus Belfast and Aberdeen.
The 1,400-passenger ship Ambience has six restaurants, one named Buckingham.
There is a Jubilee dinner and talks from royal experts including the Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter and author Penny Junor.
GO: Twelve nights’ full-board on Ambience, departing London Tilbury on May 26, starts from £ 899pp, saving £ 540. If it’s ambassadorcruiseline.com.
DON’T FORGET THE CORGIS
The Queen never leaves her beloved corgis behind when she stays at Balmoral or Sandringham.
City Cruises has arranged for a Queen lookalike to take a dog on the Thames to launch its Jubilee afternoon tea and gala dinner sailings from June 2-5.
And PetsPyjamas, for holidaying with dogs, has put together a Platinum Jubilee Collection featuring 25-plus castles, halls and manors where royals have put their heads down.
GO: City Cruises tea is from £ 64pp, dinner £ 129. If it’s cityexperiences.com. B&B at the 5H Palé Hall Hotel in the Dee Valley, Gwynedd, for two adults and a dog, is from £ 295pn. If it’s petspyjamas.com.
Pamper yourself with a spa package called Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
Your own butler will help you enjoy treatments, thermal experiences and pools at the 4H Ye Olde Bell, near Retford, Notts. The package includes lunch and a Kir Royale cocktail.
The hotel kicks off its celebrations with a Jubilee Ball, featuring Supersonic Queen, a Queen tribute band, on June 2. A free garden party is on June 5.
Looking for a luxurious long weekend? The 5H Celtic Manor Resort in the Usk Valley, Newport, has Jubilee offers with free use of the health club and spa from May 27-June 5.
There are celebratory cocktails, dinners and teas, and a special family event on the rooftop garden with traditional games, puppet show, children’s entertainer, live music and pop-up bubbly and Pimm’s stands.
The town of Windsor and its castle will be awash with festivities. On June 2, a Jubilee beacon will be lit on The Long Walk, a three-mile avenue from the castle to a statue of King George III, with music and fireworks.
There is a concert in St George’s Chapel on June 3 and a picnic along the Walk the next day, showcasing cars, music and sports from the seven decades of the Queen’s reign.
Big screens will show London events, including the Party At The Palace and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
Everyone is invited to dress up, take flags, decorations and picnics to join Windsor’s Big Lunch on June 5.
GO: The Macdonald Windsor Hotel, overlooking the castle, has double rooms during the weekend from £ 191pn, including breakfast. If it’s macdonaldhotels.co.uk. For events, see windsorplatinumjubilee.co.uk.
Superbloom will be one of the most spectacular sights of the Jubilee. Flowers from more than 20million seeds will flood the moat around the Tower of London, changing from June to September.
Kids can grab a mat and slide down into the moat.
Another option is to view it while enjoying a celebratory tea on the 35th floor of the UK’s tallest building, The Shard.
The 5H Shangri-La hotel’s TING Lounge has been transformed into an English garden with a ceiling of hanging wisteria.
The hotel also has a 13ft floral sculpture, glistening crowns and a royal photo exhibition.
Garden parties have always been a favorite with the Queen and thousands are being held.
The 700-acre Pensthorpe Natural Park in Fakenham, Norfolk, is hosting a royal tea trail, taking families across four stunning gardens from May 28 to June 5.
Learn about the birds and animals, make crowns and flags and sit down to treats from the Courtyard Cafe.
The Lensbury hotel, at Teddington, South West London, is decking out the gardens for a June 2 party with lunch, music and kids’ inflatable games.
Hampton Court Palace, three miles away, is holding a Jubilee Joust three times a day from June 1-5.