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The British Royal Family on Vacation: Where do they love to go?

Think the Royals only choose luxury vacation destinations? Think again! In reality, they love to relax in many different places, ranging from the highlands of Scotland to sun-kissed tropical islands.

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Scotland has long been a vacation favorite for the British Royal Family. The Queen and Prince Philip spend the summer at their private residence Balmoral, visited by many other family members during their stay. It’s an ideal location for country sports beloved of the royal couple, such as hunting and fishing, and Sandwood Bay (pictured) is rumored to be one of their best-loved beaches for a walk. They also visit the annual Highland Games festival at the Braemar Gathering.

Fall is the perfect season for hiking – why not check out this collection of 99 more great fall activities?

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The eastern county of Norfolk England is the traditional winter vacation spot for the British Royals, where they stay at Sandringham House. As well as expansive gardens to enjoy (pictured), the estate also encompasses woodlands, wetlands, tidal mudflats and a country park. This makes it perfect for the outdoor pursuits the royal family enjoy so much.

William and Kate have their own residence on the Sandringham estate – Anmer Hall. This is a great retreat for them and they love to spend family time there with their three children.

Naturally, the royal residences are always fully staffed when the family are away, but it’s not the same for those of us setting off on our own vacations. Make sure you do these vital household checks before heading out of town.

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Corfu Island, Greece

Of course, sun, sea and sand are also popular with the Royals when it comes to picking a vacation destination. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have spent time on the Mediterranean islands of Corfu, staying at the exclusive Rothschild villa. The island is famed for its secluded beaches and wonderful scenery.

The center of Corfu is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is crammed with historic buildings such as churches, palaces and forts.

Of course, old buildings need plenty of regular maintenance, and keeping your home in tip-top condition is equally important. Here are some vital home maintenance tasks you should always carry out.

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The Alps

The British Royal Family are huge winter sports enthusiasts. Prince Charles has visited the Swiss ski resort of Klosters so many times that he has cable cars named after him! He first took William and Harry there to learn to ski, and they now continue the family tradition themselves.

William and Kate opted for the French resort of Courcheval when taking princess Charlotte for her first taste of skiing, while Prince Andrew and the late Princess Diana preferred the Austrian town of Lech.

If you love winter sports but hate the storage woes, take heart. These 15 tips for winter sports gear storage will solve all your problems.

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KenyaDeborah Benbrook/Shutterstock


The British Royal Family also travels further afield and Africa is often a favored destination. The Queen was famously on vacation in 1952 at the Treetops safari lodge in Kenya when she learned of her father’s death, and that she had become Queen. She returned there with Prince Philip for another vacation in 1983.

It was also in Kenya that Prince William popped the question to Kate when they were staying at Lake Retunda in 2010.

Africa’s hot, dry climate makes its plant life resilient, and many plants from Africa make superb backyard plants for drier areas. These succulents provide excellent ground cover and won’t demand much watering either.

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Botswana is another royal vacation choice. Prince Harry spent his gap year volunteering in Botswana, leading to a deep and long-lasting love of this small African country. The prince has set up a charity to support Botswanan children affected by HIV/AIDs.

It’s said that a glamping vacation there with Meghan helped to cement their relationship, and Harry bought one of the diamonds in his self-designed engagement ring for Meghan there.

If you’re also a glamping devotee, take a look at these 32 glamping items that will make your trips totally awesome.

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But of course, when they’re off duty the Royals also like a bit of luxury and above all else, some privacy. So secluded tropical islands do make an appearance in their itinerary. Princess Diana’s favorite tropical destination was the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis. She took Prince Harry there in 2003.

Nevis only covers 36 square miles, and is usually reached by a 2-mile ferry crossing from the nearby island of St. Kitts. Here you can stay in plantation hotels or private villas, and enjoy a wealth of activities including mountain biking, golfing, scuba diving and hiking. There are also fabulous sandy beaches.

We doubt that Princess Diana or Prince Harry indulged in beach inflatables, but your kids will love these crazy cool models when they hit the sand!

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island Aeryon/Shutterstock


Perhaps the most famous of royal island retreats is the Caribbean island of Mustique, famous because the late Princess Margaret not only visited numerous times over 30 years, but also entertained sumptuously while there.

Mustique is firmly in the realm of private jets, and high-end activities like horse-riding, scuba diving and water sports, as well as more down-to-earth pursuits like tennis. There’s a luxury spa for some pampering, and if you really want your privacy you can rent the whole island!

The Middletons have a holiday home here, so William and Kate often snatch some winter sun in January or February. But if you need to hire accommodation, be prepared to shell out over $1,000 per night for a hotel room or $27,000 per week for a villa.

And if renting an island isn’t enough for you, how about taking a peek at these 50 islands you can buy all for yourself?

Elizabeth Manneh
Elizabeth is an experienced freelance writer, specializing mainly in digital health & transformation, health & wellness, and education & learning. She's been published on,, The Family Handyman, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and The Good Men Project. She was also a regular contributor to Love Live Health and Daily Home Remedy. Elizabeth is a retired primary school principal and education consultant, with a continuing passion for education and learning.

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