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The Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace

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by Sue Lancaster (subscribe)
I live and work in west London and enjoy writing as a hobby. Visit my blog at
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Let their imaginations run wild
The Magic Garden is a wonderful new attraction for children located within the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Since the summer of 2016, children of all ages have been able to explore the myths, legends and stories of Hampton Court within a secure and safe adventure playground.

Once inside, a huge amphitheatre picnic spot, with soft artificial grass, greets you. This area forms the hub of the garden and is a perfect spot to relax in. There is a cafe to one side, serving drinks and sandwiches, as well as a buggy/scooter park, toilets and a baby change.

Beyond this, a huge fire-breathing dragon snakes its way around one corner. The fantastic beast is great fun to climb upon and is surrounded by soft sand, rock pools and water pumps. Next to this, there is more water-play in the form of fountains (a new feature for 2017), and steps up to a magnificent crown atop a small mound, with a tunnel slide to get back down again. Behind this are some secret walkways, where you may come across a mythical creature or two and a dragon's nest hidey-hole to climb up into.

Along the other side of the garden, is a high walkway to climb up and walk along, with several bridges and look-outs, a helter-skelter- slide and long fireman's pole.

Two stand-out red and blue look-out towers continue with the mythical theme and add some eye-catching colour to the garden.

Both my husband and I were really impressed with The Magic Garden - as were our two young children - and we will definitely visit again. Entrance to the garden is included in the main Hampton Court Palace ticket price (well worth a look if you haven't been), or if you want to you can buy tickets for the Magic Garden and Maze only. These cost:

Adult (16 ) 7.70
Child (3-15 years) 5.50
Senior 6.60
Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) 22.00

The Magic Garden is a seasonal attraction only - it opens from 1st April to 29th October - and during peak times it can get very busy, so staff operate a wristband system and may ask you to leave after 90 minutes. There are limited shady spots within the garden, so if it's a sunny day, make sure you bring plenty of sun cream and sun hats for the little ones, as well as swimwear or a change of clothes in case the water play area proves popular! For more information and FAQs visit the website.

To reach Hampton Court Palace by public transport, South West Trains services run from London Waterloo to Hampton Court Station (via Wimbledon) every 30 mins. You can also get buses 111, 216, 411, 461 and 513 from Kingston, or from Richmond the R68.
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Why? A fun outdoor playground for children
When: Daily from 1 April to 29 October
Phone: 44 (0)20 3166 6000
Where: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Cost: Adult (16 ) 7.70 Child (3-15 years) 5.50 Senior 6.60 Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) 22.00
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