Fulham Palace was the episcopal retreat of the Bishops of London. The present building was built in Tudor times, with later significant Georgian and Victorian additions. It would be more accurate to call it a manor house than a palace, but it gives a fine glimpse into the changing lifestyles and architecture of nearly 500 years, from the Tudor hall to the Victorian chapel; try out the echo in the courtyard. Guided tours of the palace and grounds (£5) take place at 2pm on the second and fourth Sunday and the third Tuesday of each month. Garden walks take place on the first and third Sunday of the month at 2pm (£5). The grounds offer some lovely spots to take a picnic, or indulge in a classy cake from the café. There's also access to a glorious stretch of riverside walks. Best of all, the delights of Fulham Palace still seem largely uncovered by the majority of Londoners.
|Venue name:||Fulham Palace||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Museum: Mon-Thur 12.30-4.30pm, Sun & Bank hol Mons noon-5pm (summer); Mon-Thur 12.30-3.30pm, Sun & Bank hol Mons noon-4pm (winter) ; gardens open daily dusk till dawn|
|Transport:||Tube: Putney Bridge|
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Having lived in the area for 13 years I can't recommend a trip to Fulham Palace enough. The actual museum is pretty small but interesting and they will even do a private tour if there are enough people and you arrange it in advance. I went with my NCT group and the guide was great. The best thing about Fulham Palace though is the cafe and garden. The food is generally pretty good but you don't actually need to buy anything to enjoy the garden. I've regularly just taken a picnic and enjoyed the huge open space. It feels really safe for children to play and is a great spot to meet up with friends.
I came to Fulham Palace to walk in the beautiful gardens and was very pleased to find the museum to be informative and interesting. It is small, but manages to tell the story of the Palace very well, with nicely presented cabinets for children (I especially loved the Victorian dollhouse). It seems like everyone was here at one point! The Neolithic, Romans, etc. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, the gardens were at their autumnal best with beautiful colours and plaques telling about the trees. I had a lovely visit and warmed up in the café afterwards, which serves a very nice cup of tea. Fulham Palace is a hidden gem and I recommend a visit if you want to see more of West London for free. It makes for a very nice afternoon indeed.