Public Ballot (age 16+)
Sunday 9 June 2019, two tours at 11.30am & 1.30pm
10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA
Open Garden Squares Weekend is delighted to announce that the garden at Number 10 Downing Street will be returning to the Weekend in 2019, via a public ballot.
There will be two tours on Sunday 9 June 2019 at 11.30am and 1.30pm. 24 places are available on each tour and these are allocated by public ballot.
Due to high demand, this event can only be applied for by ballot. The ballot opens on 19 February at midday and closes on 21 March at midday, after which the lucky winners will be contacted to collect details for security clearance. Full details and terms and conditions can be found below.
You do not need an Open Garden Squares Weekend ticket to apply for the Downing Street ballot.
Please enter all the required details: your name; a contact email address; and a contact telephone number. Entry into the ballot assumes acceptance of the terms and conditions. If successful, you will be asked to provide your full name, full address, birthplace and nationality. You will be asked to show ID on entering 10 Downing Street.
The garden at No.10 Downing Street has been enjoyed by Prime Ministers and their families, as well as visitors to the building, for over 285 years. The terrace and garden were constructed in 1736, shortly after Sir Robert Walpole moved into No.10. The garden is dominated by an open lawn of half an acre that wraps around the building in an L-shape. There is a central flowerbed with flower urns, a bench and an arch. Tubs of flowers line the terrace and roses line the main pathway through the garden.
The garden also features an attractive bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, a pond and some lovely trees. Ducks have often nested there before mum and ducklings are escorted back to St James Park.
A small vegetable garden produces radishes, spring onions, tomatoes and lettuce. There are bird-feeding tables where birds as exotic as a parakeet have been seen feeding.
The garden has provided an informal setting for a number of significant gatherings, including the press launch for the announcement of the coalition government in May 2010, and in 2011 a barbecue for military personnel hosted by the Camerons and Obamas. The London 2012 School Games competitors also used the space for activities.
In April 2014 a group of schoolchildren aged 10-11 years planted poppy seeds for the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign, and in July of that year a reception with Joey the War Horse was held to commemorate WW1.
The garden also hosted the 100th anniversary birthday party for the Brownies, attended by 112 girls from across the country and in 2016 commemorated 400 years since the death of Shakespeare with leading actors spending the day coaching children for a performance in the garden.