I’ve always wanted to visit Hampton Court Palace. It was the home of Henry VIII and his six wives – surely one of the most interesting times in British royal history. I’ve read a lot about the Tudors so I was keen to go and walk through the rooms that they’d lived in. And, of course, the many other Kings and Queen’s since then… and I was not disappointed…
We arrived at about 9am – the palace opens at 10, but the gardens are open early. It was a cool but sunny February day and the daffodils, snowdrops and other flowering bulbs were starting to break through making for a pretty walk through the grounds.
Once the palace opened, we began our visit… The architecture is simply stunning, with lots to admire including several archways, stain glass windows, beautiful ceilings and impressive staircases. There are three courtyards; all magnificent… and several exhibition rooms including one about the young Henry VIII, Henry VIII’s apartments, kitchen, and his wine cellar. There are also Georgian apartments to wander through and the Royal Chapel. All are spectacular with fascinating history to read about, plus impressive art and other artefacts to look at, and so on.
The gardens are some of the best I’ve seen; beautiful even in Winter (we will have to return in Spring/Summer to see the flowers).
We had lunch in the Privy Kitchen (Queen Elizabeth I’s private kitchen) – of vegetarian tudor pies. Very yummy indeed (note: there’s not a huge choice of food here, I would go to the Tilyard Cafe if you’re a fussy eater – we had tea and cake there before heading home, also very nice).
Got kids? Plenty for them to do and see, too including a Magic Garden which looked fun from the outside. All in all, a beautiful and very interesting day out.
Time spent: 4 hours (including a break for lunch)
Money spent: We had a gift voucher, but adult entry fee is £15.90 (Feb 2018)
Visit Hampton Court Palace’s website >