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Princess Anne's sprawling garden at Gatcombe Park is home to 'rollercoaster' track

Princess Anne at Gatcombe Park
Princess Anne at Gatcombe Park

Princess Anne is consistently recognised for being the "hardest working" in the royal family. When she's not attending official engagements, however, the Princess Royal can be found at Gatcombe Park, her sprawling country bolthole in Gloucestershire where she lives with her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence.

According to The Lady magazine, the property boasts "a very relaxed country-house style, with the dogs and horses taking priority." 

With five main bedrooms, four guest bedrooms, four reception rooms, a library, a billiard room and grand conservatory, Princess Anne's property sits high on the hill as a sloping lawn spills out on the 700 acres of greenery that make up the royal estate.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the show jumping competition at the British Eventing Gatcombe Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park
Princess Anne attends the show jumping competition at the British Eventing Gatcombe Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park (MJ Kim)

While the Grade-II listed Bath stone construction is a beauty in itself, it's the grounds of Gatcombe Park that make this royal residence truly unique.

Not only does the farm boast a converted "party barn", used often by Princess Anne's neighbours, Zara and Mike Tindall, but it's run as a working farm with a range of livestock, including breeding horses and cattle.

For the last 40 years it's also been home to the Festival of British Eventing, sponsored by Magic Millions since 2018.

Gatcombe Park
Gatcombe Park sits on 700 acres of greenery (Getty)

The annual equestrian event, which takes place every August, has been described as "the most difficult arena in England to jump on because nothing is flat," by the cross-country course designer Captain Phillips, who is also Anne's former husband.

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In an interview with Vogue Australia, Zara agreed that her home course is one of the "toughest tracks" in the world, likening the showjumping course to "being on a rollercoaster."

Princess Anne talking to Zara Tindall at Gatcombe Park
Gatcombe Park is home to one of the "toughest" show jumping tracks in the world (Getty)

She added: "You’re galloping fast and then you’re turning down the hill and you kind of rock up the hill and it’s just really fast. It’s coming at you all the time and you’ve got to be on your game. Both of you have got to be on your game. So if the horse isn’t quite listening, you end up running past fences and not quite doing what you meant to do - not doing plan A anyway."

Zara Tindall showjumping in the Spring Land Rover Novice and Intermediate Event at Gatcombe Park.
Zara Tindall showjumping in the Spring Land Rover Novice and Intermediate Event at Gatcombe Park. (Barry Batchelor - PA Images)

It's well-known that both Zara and her mother, Princess Anne, have a deep love for horses and riding, with both riding at a professional level.

"There's always horse conversation going on," Zara said of her relationship with her mother in an interview with People. "Our horses are in our family, so there's always discussions about performances and things like that," she added. "There's horses in her life and she does a bit of breeding as well."

Princess Anne speaking with Zara Tindall
Anne and Zara share a mutual love for equestrianism (David Hartley/Shutterstock)

Gatcombe Park no doubt provided the perfect setting for Olympian Zara to hone her equine skills growing up.

Prince William and Prince Harry are also said to have shared riding lessons there in their youth, as well as at their family home of Highgrove House - just six miles from Princess Anne's idyllic botlhole.