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Hampton Court Palace

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Hampton
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(17user reviews)
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
James Linsell-Clark
James Brittain

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Frolic in the maze where kings and queens once played then see where Henry VIII ate his scoff

To cut a long story short, Hampton Court Palace was originally built by Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, as a showy country retreat to host state visits. Unfortunately, he did such a grand job of out-blinging the king, that Henry pretty much seized Hampton Court Palace from Wolsey as compensation when the Pope wouldn’t let him divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon so he could shack up with Anne Boleyn.

Thus history was made. Hampton Court Palace has long been remembered as the Tudors’ stomping ground and some of the wondrous sixteenth-century quarters that still stand proud remain the best bits to visit. Like the kitchens, which once housed the factory-sized production team that fed around 600 people in court twice daily. Or sniff out the spice rooms and cellars, where the king stashed his goodies, including French wine, local game and Italian olives.

For those wanting to delve deeper, see if you can track down and tack onto one of the free talks or tours, which run at regular intervals. Or, for a little more excitement, have a look for the resident LARPers, who act out ‘encounters with the past’ (including meeting Henry VIII’s courtiers) in full costume in various places around the palace.

The history of this place isn’t solely devoted to the Tudors, of course. The building’s royal allegiance extended to King James, too, who invited none other than Shakespeare himself to host a series of Christmas plays at the palace. Following that the Georgian King William III and Mary II made new additions, including the grand staircase adorned with Italian fresco and a set of rooms that were used by George I’s private chocolatier so that he could have drinking chocolate whenever he pleased.

From the Tudor indoor tennis court to the Royal Maze, from the King’s private loo to the brand new Magic Garden adventure playground (inspired by the medieval joust), Hampton Court Palace is several different visits in one place. If you love history and art, buy the ticket for the Palace and the Gardens, or if you have children with you who just want to run around, buy the Magic Garden and Maze ticket. And while you decide what you want to do, wander the rose gardens for free and enjoy a coffee in the Tiltyard Café.

By: Laura Lee Davies



Address: East Molesey
Transport: Rail: Hampton Court
Price: £23, £19 concs, £11.50 under-16, £41 family (1 adult and three children), £57 (two adults and three children). Online and after Nov 1 cheaper.
Opening hours: For 2017 Mar 26-Oct 28, 10am-6pm; Oct 29-Mar 2018; Magic Garden open Apr-Oct 29, 10am-6pm.
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Users say (17)

5 out of 5 stars

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4.8 / 5

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It is called a palace for a reason, this place is huge! If you want to visit everything, do make sure you have the whole day.

The house is an historical goldmine. Each part is in a different style and showcases royal life through the centuries, from Tudor to Baroque. It is so exciting to wander around and discover very divergent architecture all around.

There are few signs in the Palace so do take the audio guide. It will help make sense of the history of this place.

Once you’ve seen the house, there are the gardens to explore. With lovely flower beds everywhere, it is the nicest place for a stroll. You can also enjoy views over the Thames from time to time.

If you have time, do go in the park to see the wild deer and get another view of the palace.


Cheap it’s not, but bursting with history it undeniably is. And there’s a nice balance to be had between wandering through the rooms full of fascinating details (eg it used to be a popular pastime to watch the king eat) and having a breather in the massive gardens. It can be difficult to fit everything into one visit, but trying to meet the challenge is enjoyable.


Another one of my many favourite historic parks. I use to come here as a kid during my school holidays, and thank god I did, I have got so many memories here! I still visit every so often.

I love the maze!! I brought my nephew here a few weeks back and he loved the magic gardens, a great play area for the kids. Sand pits, dragons, lots of space to get those little legs running!

The expansive parklands is great for family picnics and to relax in. Also makes a great space for weddings! 

You really need to dedicate a whole day to this incredible jewel in historical Britain's crown. Internally there are 2 whole palaces to explore- Henry VIII's Tudor wing & William & Mary's Christopher Wren's extension. There's lots of fascinating extra's bringing it to life like cooks in the kitchen & wandering troubadours singing songs & performing in the Great Hall. The garden's are a day out in themselves with the iconic maze & the world's biggest vine all being tucked away besides beautiful at times intricate formal gardens & areas of what feels like expansive parkland. The whole site is fascinating & astonishingly well preserved.


Are you still juggling how to spend time with your kids during this school break and at the same to get some time for yourself? Then make a trip to the Hampton Court Palace. I love this place. It’s more than an iconic historic place with Tudor kitchens which were used by Henry VIII, massive halls, filled with paintings, medieval art, baroque style interior and architecture. You can pick up medieval robes and capes and the kids and you can wear it while in the palace.  If you don’t want to spend time around the palace, then go to the Maze and to the Magic Garden. You can get tickets separately, which is very convenient. During this Easter there is an organised ‘Easter Hunt’, where you have a map to search for Lindt Bunnies. Bear in mind that some of them are actually inside the palace. Explore the Maze and make sure you reach the centre, then go to the Magic Garden to lie down on the grass and eat ice-cream. Make sure that you go to the main gardens, the view is just breath-taking. You can even have a ride on the royal horse carriage. There is  a car park at the palace, which charges £1.60 per hour. 

Absolutely gorgeous palace and gardens.

Perfect to go on a sunny day and enjoy the beautiful gardens and maze.

Also great to go with children's.


Hampton Court Palace is on of my favourite places to go and wander. I have an annual palaces pass so I go often. It is so vast that you have space to yourself even on a busy day. I like to take the boat from Kingston traveling on the Thames approaching the palace with a magical view as you pull up to the gates as visitors would have for in the days of the ruling Tudors. But however you get there it is worth the effort. There is an audio tour, check the website for various events that are family friendly throughout the year. The cafe has nice cakes and is very friendly, in the summer they grill outdoors which is a nice treat. During the Christmas period they have an ice rink just inside the palace gates and it is an amazing view to skate to.


Step into the past with a visit to Hampton Court Palace. The palace is so vast, you can easily spend an entire day there and not see it all. For children, there is the famous maze and play area. They can also grab a royal robe to wear as they run about the historic halls. For those who love Tudor history, it won't disappoint. Over the Christmas period, there's a fun ice rink outside the palace gates. For a nice Sunday lunch, visit the mute swan pub opposite the palace.

Over the weekend went to Hampton Court Magic Garden.

It has a wide variety of activities for the children including a climb on dragon, a sand pit with water pumps, a climbing area with several towers and bridges and a couple of slides.

Tickets for the Magic Garden and Maze only can be purchased. 

There is a small kiosk offering snacks and ice cream and a small seating area.

The children loved it and I would recommend a visit.

I recently went to Hampton Court Palace for the Hampton Court Palace Festival. It was amazing, the grounds are so beautiful! Walking through them you can smell roses and all the other beautiful flowers throughout the air. Henry VIII did a bang up job creating his holiday home!

The festival was fantastically laid out with a great deal of thought put into not only the aesthetics but also the use of space. Their choice of food and drink vendors was spot on, they were very high-end but also reasonably priced and great value for money. The palace itself is stunning and as a music venue it is a surprisingly large with very good acoustics. I was lucky enough to get tickets to go see Tom Jones, he was spectacular, as you would expect! 

Outside the Palace there are beautiful views and lovely pubs to enjoy a beer or two in making the area as a whole well worth a leisurely pub crawl. The station was within easy walking distance to the Palace and pretty easy to get to from Central London from Vauxhall or Waterloo. I will be going back there to explore the palace further, it looks to be an especially good picnic spot!


Plan ahead! In this historic royal palace you have so many things to do and see that even spending a whole day here is not enough. Take the train from Vauxhall station, get down to Hampton station and in 3 min walk you are there.

First stop; Grab your free audio guide and put on your velvet robe to get you into the period's style :)

Through 4 different routes you will discover the Edwards VIII scandalous life, the Williams III apartments, see the royal kitchens and chocolaterie, sit in the Great Hall, pray (?!?) in the amazing Crown Chapel - soon you will find yourself lost in that kings & queens english period.

But the most amazing is just outside the palace buildings; Palace royal gardens. I haven't seen such well organized & well preserved gardens all over UK. You can easily spend a whole day just being in the gardens and of course in the fabulous maze (it might sound childish to be inside a maze, but it wasn't that easy to get out of it, believe me!).

The ticket price, that includes all the above, worth every penny of it.

Don't get bored to leave for a while central London & get down to Hampton - you won't regret it.


Hampton Court Palace is right up my strasse! History, a palace and beautiful gardens all in one! Take a look at their website before you go as they have events throughout the year - like flower show for Mothers Day and such the like. I've been all year round - cold or hot there's something to see and do! My favourite times have been Spring, when the flowers are coming out and the gardens are heaven! You can roam around for free and have to pay to enter the palace - it's definitely worth it and make sure you have a good day to spend here. Henry VIII's place is decadent and impressive so enjoy room after room with audio guides to tell the story. Afterwards, I recommend the Prince Albert pub for dinner (especially the Sunday Roast) - yummy.

A really beautiful building with stunning views. Firstly, It's near some great little restaurants so great to have a quick lunch before you head in (if you don't want to buy food in the palace restaurant!) The gardens are spectacular and you can stroll around for hours taking beautiful images! Or grab a seat on one of the many benches dotted around and watch the sun go down. Quick tip - if you go at the end of September/ early October it's free to get in!

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Fabulous location right on the Thames. Was a little bit odd to be greeted by Henry VIII and one of his wives at the entrance, but that made for a very immersive start to our visit. You can easily spend an afternoon here and still have plenty left to do for another day - the various state rooms are interesting enough, although not as impressive as Windsor castle, the maze is worth a vist, but for me the winning part is the sprawling landscape gardens which are so immaculately kept it beggars belief. There must be an army of gardners working 24-7. There are horse rides around the gardens which are fun with the kids, if a little pricey. All in all a great day out.

This glorious building is spectacular and the gardens are stunning. It is by far one of the most worth while places to visit just outside of London. If I could, i'd move in, in a heart-beat.  

The costumed guides and actors really engage younger visitors, bringing the history of the palace to life. Wonderful venue for ice skating too!

We visited when it was very cold and the huge rooms were even chillier but I have warm memories of that day, as it was like a travel back to time!

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