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Trips to Hampton Court Palace from London
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Travel / Tours / England / Hampton Court
Visit Hampton Court Palace
  Clock Court
  Henry the Eighth's State Apartments
  Tudor Kitchens
  King's Apartments
  Georgian Rooms
  Queen's State Apartments
  Great Fountain Garden
  Privy Garden
  Pond Gardens
  Great Vine
  Further information


Hampton Court Palace was the home of Thomas Wolsey, who later gave it to King Henry the Eighth (the English king who is famous for having had six wives). Modifications to the Tudor palace were later made by Sir Christopher Wren. The garden is very attractive, and is particularly famous for its maze and old vine.

Entrance to Hampton Court Palace

King Henry the Eighth

The pictures on this page were taken during a day-trip from London to Hampton Court Palace and Windsor organised by the tour company Anderson Tours. To find out the dates of future tours and to book a place, see: Travel/Tours/Company/AndersonTours (the tour price includes entry into the palace and its gardens). To see pictures taken in Windsor, see: Travel/Tours/England/Windsor.

The coach journey left various locations in central London between 8am and 9am, and took about 1 hour to reach Hampton Court Palace. We stayed at the palace for about 2 hours: for a short visit such as this, it is a good idea to plan what you would like to see in advance.

Hampton Court Palace: The Official Illustrated History
Authors: Lucy Worsley, David Souden
Publisher: Merrell Publishers Ltd
Date: June 2005
The Gardens at Hampton Court Palace
Author: Todd Longstaffe-Gowan
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Ltd
Date: February 2005

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Costumed guides greet visitors and provide tours of some of the palace's rooms. You may want to talk to them about who they represent, and what life was like in the palace in their period of history.

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Clock Court is named after the Astronomical Clock which was made for Henry the Eighth in 1540. The outside shows the hour (the Roman numbers 1 to 12 - I to XII - are repeated twice, first for the morning and then for the afternoon). The numbers in the centre show the phase of the moon. The Sun is shown going around the Earth, because that is what people believed at that time.

Astronomical Clock in Clock Court

Behind the columns in Clock Court there is an exhibition which introduces the palace and its history.

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Your can follow a costumed guided tour or audio guide to see Henry the Eighth's State Apartments.
The Great Hall was where members of the King's court dined. Tapestries woven in Brussels in the 1540s hang on the walls.
The Chapel Royal, which has a magnificent vaulted ceiling created in 1535-6, is still used as a place of worship.

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The Tudor Kitchens show how a feast would have been prepared in the 16th century.

Feasting on food ...

... and drink

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The King's Apartments were built for King William the Third by the famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, and were completed in 1700.
The King's Staircase which leads to the apartments is bordered by paintings by an Italian artist.
The King's Guard Chamber was where the Yeomen of the Guard protected the entrance to the King's private rooms.

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The Georgian Rooms were used by George the Second and Queen Caroline during their visit to the palace in 1737: the last time that royalty stayed in the palace.

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The Queen's State Apartments were created for Mary the Second (the wife of King William the Third), but were completed for Queen Caroline (the wife of George the Second), who used the rooms mainly to entertain visitors.

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If you exit the opposite side of the palace to the main entrance, you enter the Great Fountain Garden. There is a fountain and then a long stretch of water. Yew trees have been cut into triangular shapes. Colourful flowerbeds were added in Victorian times.

East front

Stone vase

View towards the King's Apartments


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The Privy Garden (the King's private garden) has been restored to the way it was originally laid out for King William the Third in 1702.

Posing in front of the Privy Garden

A bird takes a rest - admiring the garden's design?

The ironwork at the end of the garden (separating the palace from the riverside) was created by a French blacksmith.

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The Pond Gardens were originally used to hold carp and other fish, but are now planted with a colourful collection of flowers.

View from the Lower Orangery towards the Banqueting House

View from near the Banqueting House

The smaller Pond Garden

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The Great Vine is believed to be the oldest vine in the world. It was planted by the garden designer "Capability" Brown in 1768.


Base of the vine

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The Maze is part of the North Gardens. It was created in 1702. Although it is not large, it is surprisingly difficult to find the central point and then return to the entrance. A word of warning: don't enter the maze if you need to return to your coach after a few minutes: you could easily spend half an hour inside!

In the maze, be careful which way you turn ...

... or you may reach a dead end

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* Booking a tour
The photos above were taken during a day-trip to Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle operated by Anderson Tours (entry to the palace was included as part of the tour price). For dates of the next tour and to book your place, see: Travel/Tours/Company/AndersonTours

* Visitor information
The Historic Royal Palaces website is the official guide to visiting Hampton Court:
Guides / maps are available on this website.

* Transportation
Hampton Court is in zone 6. The nearest train station is Hampton Court (there is no Tube station). From London, take a train from Waterloo station (the journey lasts about 30 minutes). For train timetables see: Shop/Company/TheTrainline. If you are staying in London you may find it cheapest to buy a 1-day Travelcard (zones 1 to 6) from the ticket office at a Tube station and to use this for bus, Tube or train travel within the greater London area, including the journey on the train to and from Hampton Court (note: Oystercards are not valid on these trains).

Alternatively, you can take the Tube (District line) to Richmond, and then use the R68 bus to Hampton Court.
Boats can be taken from Richmond or Kingston to Hampton Court:

Boat on the River Thames, south of the palace

* Weather forecast for Hampton Court

Lonely Planet verdict: Hampton Court Palace
"Hampton Court is the largest and grandest Tudor structure in the whole of England ... Steeped in history, the palace makes for an enthralling visit and you should set aside the best part of a day to see it"
(extracts from "Lonely Planet Great Britain - 2003 edition", used with permission)
Lonely Planet Great Britain
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: May 2009
Lonely Planet England
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: March 2009
Other Lonely Planet publications

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Anderson Tours: Travel/Tours/Company/AndersonTours
Hampton Court Flower Show: Ideas/Album/HamptonCourt
Windsor: Travel/Tours/England/Windsor.
British history: Britain/History
British gardens: Britain/Photos/Gardens

Home page: Home

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