With Will and Kate's wedding anniversary falling on 29th April and Princess Charlotte's 2nd birthday on 2nd May 2017, a lot of us Brits are reminded of our love for the Royal family at this time of year. So what better way to spend a Saturday or Sunday than exploring the grounds of Hampton Court - home to one of England's most famous (or notorious) monarchs.
Though most well-known for his penchant for beheading wives, a walk through the various wings and apartments of Hampton Court Palace will show a side to Henry VIII that not many know about. The story of a young Prince becoming King, his first wife Catherine of Aragon and the King's most trusted advisor, Cardinal Wolsey, is laid bare around the palace.
The dim lighting and dark wood of the hallways lend a suitably eery backdrop to a historical walk through time and it's not hard to imagine the King himself dining in the great banquet halls or the Queen and her ladies in waiting sitting on a window seat, gazing over the real gem of Hampton, the royal gardens.
Even a little Wisteria climbs up the walls of the palace, leading you to the world's largest grape vine. 'The Great Vine' was planted at Hampton Court in 1768 and now measures 4 metres around the base!
We strolled around the blooming gardens as the day warmed up, even enjoying an educational look around the Kitchen Garden. Don't be fooled, like we were, by 'The Magic Garden' - which is one for the kids (with an actual playground).
Though the maze is worth a go, it's not lengthy or challenging enough to really justify buying a ticket if you are only visiting the gardens, which are accessible to the public without an entrance ticket to the palace.
Spring really is one of the best times to pay a visit to Henry's old haunt, as everything has begun to bloom - and the blossom is still around too. Perfect for an alternative family day out in the capital, especially for those trying to avoid the crowds of central London AND trying to keep the whole family happy.
Click HERE for tickets and information on Hampton Court Palace.