Hampton Court Palace

Everybody likes good neighbours, and Bushy Park has one of the best, in the form of the majestic Hampton Court Palace, a site with a distinctly regal history.

A former barn and country manor, it became a palace in Tudor times and was then owned by Thomas Wolsey. The palace often played host to the King Henry VIII and his family, and when Wolsey fell from grace, King Henry gained a new home.

Other monarchs associated with the palace include William III and Mary II, who asked Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild Hampton Court in the Baroque style. Work was never finished, so the Hampton Court Palace of today, represents both Tudor and Baroque Architecture.

Visitors can explore the apartments both William III and Mary II had commissioned, along with King Henry VIII’s apartments. The Council Chamber, Great Hall, Haunted Gallery, and Great Kitchens are open to the public, along with an exhibition titled Young Henry VIII’s Story.  There’s also the chance to try on traditional costumes, and view a re-enactment of Henry VIII’s wedding to Catherine Parr.

The Palace is also set in over 60 acres of world famous gardens, most of which the public can explore. There are the remains of the Tudor Tiltyard, where Henry VIII used to joust, a Fountain Garden, The Privy Garden (Private Garden for the King), a Knot Garden, and a 20th Century Garden. There’s also a famous (and very old) Grapevine, an Orangery full of exotic plants, a Maze, and Home Park. Home Park houses a golf course, fallow deer, summer carriage rides, and the well-known Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, an important part of the palaces events schedule.

All this and more awaits you and your family on a visit to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, which are both open to the public all year round. Opening hours will change during the summer and winter months for both the Palace and Gardens, with tickets available for the Gardens (Summer Only), Maze, or an access all areas Palace Ticket.

If a site full of interest, intrigue, beauty, and history sounds like your ideal day out, then you can take a train from Waterloo, travel by road, or take a River Boat from Westminster Pier, and you’ll soon be exploring all this stunning site has to offer.