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The best palace by far!
Hampton Court Palace (Surrey)
Member Name: teafan11
Hampton Court Palace (Surrey)
Date: 22/02/12, updated on 22/02/12 (33 review reads)
Advantages: an amazing palace full of history.
Hampton Court Palace has to be my favourite place to visit; we have been there countless times. Driving there is simple, exit the M25 at J13 towards Heathrow T4 and follow the signs to Hampton court. The parking is very reasonable, I think we paid about £6.00 for the day and is right in the palace grounds. The train is also a simple by taking south west trains from Vauxhall rail station to Hampton Court Rail station, the palace is just over the bridge, and you can't miss the magnificent red Tudor palace across the river.
You buy your tickets just after the gates before you reach the palace; although you can purchase them online at a reduced price.
The address is:
Tel: 0844 482 7777
The prices for the Palace and the maze for 31st october2011-24th March 2012 are:
Family ticket (two adults and up to 6 kids); 43.46
Under 5s are free and an essential carer is admitted free with a paying disabled visitor. Please be aware that this is an old building, therefore access is limited to some areas of the palace.
There are plenty of toilet and baby changing facilities all of which are of high standard and very clean.
Prices include a voluntary donation.
You can pay just to go in the maze and not the palace for:
Family ticket (two adults and up to 6 kids); 11.00
Under 5s are free.
No concessions available unfortunately.
We have used our Tesco vouchers for entry on many occasions.
The opening times for 31st october2011-24th March 2012 are:
Last entry is 15.30
Last entry to maze is 15.45.
Summer opening is 10am-6pm
Last entry 5pm
Last entry to maze 17.15
Formal gardens is summer: 10am-7pm
All other times 10am-5.30pm
Informal gardens summer 7am-8pm
All other times 7am-6pm
Palace, maze and tiltyard cafe close earlier.
This palace is truly magnificent with an eclectic mix of historical eras. From its origins with Cardinal Wolsey and Henry viii kitchens to the beautiful Georgian paintings and rooms every part of this palace oozes history. Well worth a viewing are the magnificent Henry viii tapestries and the Tudor kitchens. They often have special cookery events where re-enactors cook Tudor style...the sights and sounds of history come alive. They have re-enactors playing out little acts around the palace and visitors are encouraged to take part, which made my sons day. My son learned loads from the palace and meeting Henry viii was amazing for him, he had a long conversation and it made my son feel hugely important. He has also had the opportunity to meet Catherine Parr and he has also been included in some re-enactments with Catherine Howard and Lady Rochester. The palace is great at interactive learning and especially including children in the whole atmosphere. Whenever you ask my son where he wants to go, he will always say Hampton court Palace.
Although in my opinion the most amazing part of the palace is the chapel, it is elaborately decorated in blue and gold, the atmosphere is electric, to think that Henry himself stood and looked at this very chapel and even married here.
The maze is not as large as you would expect but still entertained my kids for an hour and they both wanted to go back again before we left for home. At the centre of the maze is a little seating area and a sign saying that you made it to the centre which is a perfect photo opportunity.
If you like in the summer you can take a horse and carriage ride around the grounds for an additional charge, the horses were huge black beautiful beasts. Along with the trip around the ground you get a lovely commentary from one of the grooms.
Every year there is a different part of Henry viii life being re-enacted. They have re-enacted the marriage of Henry viii and Catherine Parr and also Catherine's Howards first Christmas as queen at the palace. History truly comes alive.
When you say Hampton Court Palace, what immediately comes to mind are the iconic red Tudor buildings commissioned by Cardinal Wolsey and that eventually became one of Henry viii majestic palaces! However this palace is so much more, looking from the rear the palace looks entirely different; it becomes an incredible Georgian palace. The gardens are amazing and make a wonderful place for picnics in the summer; and a lovely place for little ones to exert some energy amongst the topiary trees.
If you would rather eat there, there are two main restaurants and we have eaten in both. There is the Tiltyard cafe, which has both cold and hot food, from sandwiches to pie and chips. The prices for main meals are 4.50 for children and for adults the prices range from 4.50 for soup and a roll to 9.95 for a carvery.
We had a pie and chips and decided not to add vegetables as an extra side cost 2.50 and I refuse to that for a few carrots. However the food was lovely and very filling. We paid around eight pound each for a meal and then drinks on top. For two adult and a child to eat cost about £30.00 (my youngest just had a milkshake and some food from each of our plates because he would not have managed a full child's meal), the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food but finding a table does prove a challenge as the cafe has always been very busy when we have been there.
The other cafe tried is the Privy Kitchen which is less formal. Serving tea, coffee and a selection of sandwiches and cakes, you eat in a hall at large oak table, very Tudor. Coffee for about 2.00, this again is a good price.
There are numerous shops selling many souvenirs and replica historical items, which I think are wonderful. Again the historical royal palaces really know how to bring history alive. It have given my oldest a real enthusiasm for history.
A highly recommended day out, although one visit will never be enough. You will never see it all in one day.
Review summary for the review "The best palace by far!"
An amazing palace jam packed with history and amazing gardens. Great for young and old and a place you must visit.
Summary: An amazing palace and gardens that are full of history.
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