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Off with your head if you don't visit Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court (London)
Member Name: logberg
Hampton Court (London)
Advantages: Royal history, treasure trove on the Thames
Henry VIII is arriving, his barge is pulling in,out on the Thames and there's a scurry of activity all over the palace.
Put yourself in the Hampton Court picture. Guides are dressed in period costume and special exhibitions easily take you back in time.
Time in this case is from 500 years ago. My research tells me that probably the first most famous resident was Thomas Wolsley,who took over the palace in 1514 when he became Archbishop of York. He had to give it up when Henry VIII wanted it- I think he wanted to keep his head, so gave up the palace!
Henry took over around 1537 and his only son was borth there and christened in the Chapel Royal; a couple of days later his mum, Jane Seymlour died at Hampton Court Palace.
Since then its been a palace with many roles: a house arrest venue, it's seen birth, deaths and marriages and 3 honeymmons for Henry VIII.
Ive been a couple of times and will go again. I just love it.
Last time I took my New Zealand sister and we scored a very lucky day. For a couple of festive weeks a year the Tudor Kitchens come alive with olde staff actually making chocolate, cooking a sumptuous banquet and even skinning the poulty in front of you.
A massive fire burns in the huge fire place and there's a poor wretch sitting in the searing heat to turn the spit around until the joint cooks to perfection.
What a thrill. For me the Tudor kitchens are the highlight of the Hampton Court Palace visit but, having said that my mind moves on the the State Rooms and these truly are grand. Walk up the staircase and experience the most fascinating and georgeous paintings covered on every available space.
See the Great Hall and spend time contemplating religious life in the Chapel Royal and look out for some of the most beautiful and interesting Renaissance paintings.
You can pick the themes you want to visit indoors and get an audio kit (6 languages I think!) and these surely do ensure you get so much information about what you are seeing. There are little side-information pieces to expand the knowledge ever further.
From the inside orangery you get a glimpse of the gardens and it's obvious you need to set plenty of time aside for a Hampton Court Palace visit.
Outdoors the 60 acres of gardens are just so beautifully groomed, especially the formal garden which takes you strolling down to the river Thames.
The daffodils in spring are absolutely out of this world and have appeared on far too many of my photo album pages. Alongside is the world famous maze and it attracts members of the entire family.
Flowers here seem to grow the best I've ever seen them, and the trees so ancient amid fountains, garden features and places to sit awhile to appreciate the really impressive architecture of the palace.
Hampton Court Palace is the setting for one of the worlds most renowned flower shows, a must for me next year.
The guides live their subject. The history comes alive and it is just amazing to see how kings and queens have enjoyed their breaks there, a short trip up the Thames from London.
Nowadays, the trip is easy because you get a special Hampton Court Palace train from London (I think we got on at Clapton but put in London to Hampton Court Palace in your search engine and it will tell you where to get on and the fare price).
Then, when you arrive at the station it is a short walk over to the palace. Buying the ticket is easy, signposts take you to the office and then it's up to you to meander, explore and be amazed inside and out at Hampton Court Palace.
Costs: Adults 12 pounds
Children 7 pounds 80pence
Seniors 9 pounds
Students 9 pounds
Families 35 pounds
Summary: Hampton Court Palace, regal, historic and amazing
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