I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves - Anna Quindlen.
Published August 13th 2012
Learn about Henry the 8th
Hampton Court Palace is a must see for any of you that are interested in history. It investigates the lifestyle of the Tudors and gives an insight to Henry the 8th that you may not have previously known. I was never able to learn about the Tudors because I moved schools, so learning about their lifestyle and Henry the 8th in particular is of extreme interest to me. There is a car park that customers can use upon visiting the Palace. It is not particularly cheap to park but most car parks these days aren't.
Tickets are £16.95 but before I went I managed to get a two for one voucher on admissions, so you should see if there any offers on before you go. If you book online it is brings the price down to £14.40 per person. Children under five are admitted for free which is something worth considering if you are planning a family outing. It is £8.50 for children under 16 years and £14.50 for full-time students and over 60s. All of these prices are lowered if you book online and there are also group packages that you can find on the website.
You can scout the grounds at your own leisure with the free map from reception (where you buy your tickets as well). There are a number of things that you can see, such as the Kitchens, Georgian Private Apartments and much more. You can learn about Henry the 8th's first marriage to Catherine of Aragon which I previously did not know anything about. I hadn't realised how long they had been married. You can learn more about this in the 'Young Henry the 8th's Story' section in Base Court.
The cafe serves a selection of teas and coffee which are to an adequate standard. You sit on benches as if you are in an old style kitchen which adds a unique touch to the cafe. One problem with the cafe was the space for customers to queue. This is something that could be improved upon but by no means ruined the overall experience of Hampton Court.
Hampton Court Palace offers a tour round the stunning gardens. Unfortunately, on my visit the weather was not accommodating enough to visit the gardens. However, if the weather permits it, the garden can give you your full money's worth by adding some time onto your visit. There is also a maze in the garden which is extremely fun to explore. I did this a few years back with my family and it was brilliant fun.
There are also a few gift stores around the palace where you can buy a range of souvenirs as well as books, both fictional and non-fiction. As I have been interested in the wives of Henry the 8th, I bought a postcard with all his wives on.
I managed to resist the urge to buy a bookmark, as this is one of my obsessions. However, I recommend checking out the gift shop as there are a lot of interesting things on offer.
There is a 'Top ten Things To See And Do' at Hampton Court Palace. There are also various events going on throughout the year such as The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned which continues until 30th September 2012 where you can see portraits of Charles the 2nd's mistresses. I was lucky enough to see when I visited the Palace. For more events in the future please visit the website.
I hope you enjoy your visit if you decide this day out is for you.
I first visited Hampton Court Palace on a school trip, without the benefit of the walking history lesson that is my wife. I remember being fascinated by the size of the kitchens and the place overall. A good reminder, thank you Sally.
You're welcome! Hope you enjoy it if you decide to visit again. I went with my sister who is also a walking history lesson like your wife! She knows all there is to know about the Tudors.
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