Hampton Court Palace: A To-Do for the Tudors!

If you’re at all interested in Tudor history or just like grand and stunning old-English palaces and estates then you must go to Hampton Court Palace.  Once lived in by Henry VIII (please do start singing I’m Henry the 8th I am…) and William and Mary hosts some of the most impressive landscaped gardens and 1/2 Tudor and 1/2 Baroque architecture you will find in England.  Hampton Court Palace is one of the Historic Royal Palaces you can tour (the others sponsored by HRP is the Tower of London, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace).  

Hampton Court Palace (front)

Hampton Court Palace (front)

Hampton Court Palace is fairly easy to get to from London–just take the train to Hampton Court station from Waterloo which leaves on the 06 and 36 each hour Mon-Sat and 27 and 57 each hour on Sun and from Hampton Court back to Waterloo the train leaves on the 24 and 54 each hour Mon-Sat and the 05 and 35 each hour on Sun.  There is also a car park if you fancy driving or, you know, you actually have a car to drive.  Train tickets are around 5GPB roundtrip and you can use the 2-for-1 entry from Days Out Guide to get a discounted ticket.  At the train station just cross the bridge and you’ll enter the Hampton Court Palace grounds.  This is probably one of the easiest heritage sites to visit outside of London.  Tickets to enter Hampton Court are either Palace/Maze/Gardens or separate Maze and separte Garden tickets.  Entry for adults for everything is 14 GBP but 13 GBP if you order online.  Concessions are 11.50 at the gate and 10.50 online.  The Palace is open from Mon-Sun 10-18 during the summer and 10-16.30 in the winter and the formal gardens are open from 10-19 during the summer and 10-17.30 during the winter.

Hampton Court Palace (back)

Hampton Court Palace (back)

My favourite part of Hampton Court was actually the gardens.  You will walk through a field of daffiodils, fondly called the Wilderness, on your way to the English Garden Maze.  The gardens will lead you to the back of the Palace where you’ll start to see open fields with tree-lined walkways and then big candy-drop trees (I have no idea what they are actually called so please correct us on the proper tree name) that line the paths to the back of the Barogue part of the Palace which is called the Great Fountain Garden.  Make sure you check out the 20th century garden–when I was there no one went in it because the entrance is against the side wall and it looked closed off.  On the opposite side there is the Privy Garden, the Knot Garden and the Pond Garden.  These are perfect to wander through when it is spring and summer.

The Maze

The Maze

The Wilderness

The Wilderness

20th Century Garden

20th Century Garden

Great Fountain Garden

Great Fountain Garden

Privy Garden

Privy Garden

Pond Garden

Pond Garden

Once you have finished the gardens, go on inside to the actual Palace.  You can either enter from the back or the front.  I wasn’t that impressed with the inside because it is decorated in the dark and drab Tudor style.  Make sure you pick up an audio guide if you want to hear about each room and the history.  The rooms to visit are spread out over the ground and first floors where you’ll see the Tudor kitchens, and the various apartments for William III, Mary and Henry VIII.  The room I loved the most was the Chapel.  Make sure you spend time looking at the immaculate ceiling.  

Interior Hampton Court Palace

Interior Hampton Court Palace

Overall plan to spend about three hours touring the gardens and the interior palace walls.  When you’re done you can stop off at the Tiltyard cafe for afternoon tea which includes Tea, Scone with clotted cream and jam and a cake of your choice.  I had the chocolate mouse brownie.  

Also if you’re really wanting a FULL day out check out the boat that will take you to the grounds from London.  Just a warning it could take up to 4 hours.  Boats operate in the summer from Westminster, Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

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2 Responses to “Hampton Court Palace: A To-Do for the Tudors!”


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