Spectacle of horse power as British Coaching Club meets at Queen’s Norfolk estate at Sandringham
- Credit: Ian Burt
A coaching horn rang out through the pine woods. Then they cantered past the Queen's Norfolk retreat in all their finery.
Immaculately turned-out teams of horses, decked in shining leather and sparkling brass pulled a string of mail coaches past Sandringham House today.
Owners of the wooden vehicles from the British Coaching Club met up for a rally which took them on a route through the woods and leafy lanes, which also took in the Royal stud farm at Anmer.
The highlight was when the coaches, complete with footmen and women in top hats and tails passed through the heart of the Queen's estate and through the ornate Norwich Gates.
Helen Walch, public access manager at Sandringham, said: 'We're delighted to see this spectacle come to Sandringham for the first time ever. It's a flavour of the Victorian era that goes so well with the house.'
Mail coaches began running in the 1700s. Passengers sat inside or on top of the vehicle with passengers, driver, footmen and Royal Mail guard.
They survived until the 1840s, when the iron horse revolutionised travel on the booming railway network.
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Saturday and Sunday sees carriages of a different kind in action at Sandringham, as the estate hosts driving trials.
Saturday sees the marathon stage, where competitors compete around a twisting course with obstacles including water to contend with.
Sunday sees cone driving. Admission on both days (10am - 6pm) is free. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic, there will also be refreshments and a bouncy castle.
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