You can take a tour of the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street

Londoners enjoy few things more than taking a snoop around someone else’s gaff. Witness the perennial popularity of Open House Weekend every autumn: the chance to browse (and judge) the interior design choices of hundreds of normally off-limits dwellings and other spaces, guilt- (and step-ladder-) free.

Almost as popular is the annual Open Garden Squares Weekend in June. It offers the opportunity to get into the hundreds of private gardens dotted across the capital, specifically the railed-off and gated leafy glades in some of London’s fanciest residential squares, built at a time when open space was not a big priority for London’s property developers. It was one thing to have a house, but if you had a garden, you were properly god-tier.

Included again this year is the garden of Number 10 Downing Street, aka Rishi’s pad. There are two tours on offer on June 10, both accommodating 24 punters (ie, you). Tickets are allocated by ballot, which is open until April 5.

If your impetus for visiting is horticultural rather than just nosiness, highlights of the half-acre garden include some impressive rose beds commissioned by Mrs Thatcher, a big lawn and a sculpture by renowned artist Dame Barbara Hepworth.

If you do enter the ballot and you are successful, the Downing Street garden tours are free. If you want to visit the others gardens in Open Garden Squares Weekend, you will need the weekend pass.

Open Garden Squares Weekend, Jun 10-11. You can enter the ticket ballot for 10 Downing Street until Apr 5.

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