We spent a couple of days already this spring at Hampton Court Palace. There is just the right amount of history, stunning variety of gardens, fountains and yards, kitchen, maze, very cool playground and acres of beautiful landscapes to run around by Thames. And all within 45 minutes drive from Kensington. Lots of activities for kids and a daily program, encounters with the Tudors, from intrigues, to history cuisine preparing food for the king’s table, to love affairs, betrayals, treason and even heresy.
Friends joined us on both occasions, also with kids, first time round similar ages to ours, second slightly smaller.
So first time round we soaked in history and encounters with princesses, cooking manners couple of centuries old, starred at Henry VIII’s apartments and staircases, compared with William III’s apartments and talked about. The palace is just overwhelming visually and fascinating, even for the 3 year olds.
Second time round, with friends with younger kids, we spent a long sunny afternoon at the magic gardens, keeping a vague eye on very excited monkeys climbing frames, magical beasts, exploring poles, aerial walk-ways and cool slides.
There’s also sand and water play, a tree house/ dragon nest, a strange topiary, a battle tower, a king & a queen tower, perspective pergola and so on. Each part of the Magic garden has its own tales that can be seen at Hampton Court Palace, with our favourites being the Wine Fountain in the Court with its 2 merry characters- definitely intriguing for the boys; the dragons- there’s one at the palace front entrance – the Tudors loved them and were part of their Wels heritage and the Encampment with its tents to be found on Young Henry VIII’s story.
The food at Tiltyard is good, we had twice delicious pulled beef and healthy yum salads, whilst the kids indulged in sausages, French fries, pasta and icecream. There’s also a cool selection of beers, ales, cider and wine and if the sun is shining, the outside terrace is the perfect place to indulge.
Another morning we explored at length the Great Fountain Garden, the Home Park, the Privy Garden and its amazing tunnel, the lower orangery and terrace. Our eldest loved the flowers, tales, running around, bubbles and exploring.
And throughout Easter and the summer months, Shires horses are at Hampton Court, so we took a tram ride around the grounds.
Hampton Court Palace – such a royal place to spend the day soaking in history, grand architecture and design, stunning gardens and magic entertainment!
PS: Many thanks to Cass Alumni Office for the complimentary tickets.