Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is the former home of the flamboyant King Henry VIII, he extended and developed this grand palace after acquiring it in the 1520's.

The London Pass See King Henry VIII's Tudor Kitchens, the world-famous maze and original 17th-century tennis courts at Hampton Court Palace. Normally £24.50 - Included with London Pass

Please visit the official attraction website for current opening times. 

From his public dramas to his private life, King Henry VIII is one of the most compelling kings in history. Explore Hampton Court Palace - the former home of this remarkable royal.


Henry VIII extended and developed this grand palace after acquiring it in the 1520s. Its many royal occupants have furnished the palace with decadent tapestries and paintings throughout the centuries. Set in 60 acres of formal gardens, including the famous maze and Great Vine, this palace is well worth a visit. 

Enjoy access to Hampton Court Palace with The London Pass®

- Pay nothing at the door – simply show your pass.
- Explore the home of one of the most flamboyant kings in British history.
- The pass grants you access to any current exhibitions and tours included with general admission.

Pass Perk

London Pass holders benefit from skip-the-ticket-line entry, as well as a 10% discount in all gift shops at Hampton Court Palace and the Tiltyard Cafe (restrictions apply).



Skip to...

- Hampton Court Palace history

- Hampton Court Palace highlights

- Hampton Court Palace facts

- Don't miss

- Know before you go

- Getting in

- Make the most of your London Pass

- How to get there



Hampton Court Palace history

It was Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, who began Hampton Court Palace’s transformation from ordinary country house to a magnificent palace in 1514, on the north bank of the River Thames. The location of the Palace was significant in allowing fresh water to flow throughout the building - a rarity at the time. Wolsey’s ambitions to create a grand building where he could host the King, the royal court and monarchs from across Europe was a resounding success, as Henry VIII loved the Palace so much, he eventually took Hampton Court for himself.

The King used the Palace as a symbol of his status, demonstrating his power through lavish banquets, decadent court life and extravagant works of art. By the 1530s, the Palace was also a hotel, a theatre and a sprawling leisure complex. And the 17th century saw the Palace as a venue of firsts. Hamlet and Macbeth were first performed at Hampton Court Palace by Shakespeare’s ‘King’s Men’ for the new Stuart king, James I. Read more about the history of the Palace here.

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Hampton Court Palace highlights

  • See the Great Vine vineyard that was planted in 1769, the largest grapevine in the world.

  • Discover the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze.

  • Visit the Kitchens, which were the largest of Tudor England.

  • Hampton Court Gardens span over 60 acres of lush greenery, parkland and plantations.

  • Henry VIII’s crown sits on display in the Royal Pew as a model of the original.

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Hampton Court Palace facts

  • Hampton Court Palace is believed to be haunted by a screaming lady thought to be Catherine Howard, and the grey ghost Dame Sybil Penn is believed to roam the Clock Courts.

  • The truth behind Charles I’s mysterious disappearance in the summer of 1647 is still disputed. He fled the luxurious Hampton Court prison, leaving on a boat to the Isle of Wight.

  • Hampton Court Gardens displays over 200,000 flowering bulbs on display throughout spring.

  • The Great Hall, England’s last and greatest Medieval hall, saw the performance of Shakespeare’s company the ‘King’s Men’ in 1603.

  • Three of the walls that surround the tennis court date back to the 17th century, one of them being Cardinal Wolseley’s original.

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Don't miss

Guided Tours
Enjoy free guided tours of Hampton Court Palace. Learn about this historic landmark from your costumed tour guides, bringing the tales of the palace, court scandal and gossip to life (audio guides are available upon request).

The Great Vine
Planted in 1769, the vineyard is a longstanding feature of Hampton Court Palace. Its original name is ‘Shiva Grossa’ which means Black Hamburg. The vine is still cultivated through the Victorian extension method, which involves a glasshouse. The grapes are usually ripe after the August Bank Holiday and are sold during the first three weeks of December – in the past, the grapes were sent to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.

The Crown
A replica of the crown that was made for Henry VIII, and worn at the coronations of each of his children, sits in the Royal Pew on display for visitors. It stands as a symbol of power, monarchy and religious authority. The original was melted down at the Tower of London by decree of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. The replica was built from the detailed descriptions of Henry VIII’s servants who itemised the size and position of each 344 rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and pearls that embellish the crown.

Chapel Royal
The Chapel Royal delivers traditional services throughout the year and is a masterpiece of religious architecture with a rich colourful design in Tudor style. Kings and queens sit in the private pew which looks down the main body of the chapel and it was even here, in 1540, where Archbishop Cranmer handed Henry VIII the letter accusing Catherine Howard of her adulterous behaviour.

Hampton Court Gardens
Hampton Court Gardens are a horticultural feat to be admired. The park covers 750 acres and the formal gardens cover 60 acres. Within the Court Gardens lies the Great Vine, The Privy Garden – a recreation of the 1702 garden for William III, Tiltyard Walls, Home Park – 700 acres of deer park with ponds and wild bird. Not to mention the Palace Maze from 1690, made up of half a mile of winding passages between 7ft high yew trees.

Tudor Kitchens
A testament to Tudor dining, Henry VIII’s kitchens at Hampton Court are the largest kitchens of their era. Built between 1530 and 1737, the kitchens served up to 600 people twice a day, as well as the royal banquets. Working in the kitchens was hot and dirty – a Spanish visitor in 1554 even called it a ‘veritable hell’. The cooks would often lie by the fire in very little clothes and would drink on the job, having access to all the beer supply.

Please note: the Tennis Court in the gardens is only open to visitors during summer months. 

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Know before you go

- Check our closures and notices page for changes to opening hours.

- The Tennis Court in the Gardens is only open to visitors during the summer months.

- You can use your London Pass and Travel Oyster Card to travel to Hampton Court Palace - please note, this may use a large amount of your pre-paid credit.

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Getting in

Present your London Pass at the main entrance to enjoy skip-the-ticket-line entry.

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Make the most of your London Pass

If you enjoy Hampton Court Palace why not consider visiting some of the other London palaces such as Kensington Palace and Eltham Palace or the Queen’s residence at Windsor Castle, all of which are included with the London Pass®.

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How to get there

Train
- Wimbledon - Take the South West train.
- Waterloo - Take the South West train to Hampton Court.

Underground
- Richmond - District line then take the R68 to Hampton Court.



Hampton Court is situated in zone 6 of the London Transport Network. Travel will be included if you opt for The London Pass with Oyster Travelcard and have sufficient credit for the journey (a top-up might be required).

The venue offers a journey planner to make your journey easier, check it out here.

 

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® blog.

 

See all attractions 

 

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Carlos Armendariz from United States

Learn more

Getting to Hampton Court Palace

Getting to Hampton Court Palace

  • Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
  • Closest Underground Station Hampton Court
  • Closest Bus Stop Stop L & K: Route 411

Opening Times

04 November - 28 March
Monday 10.00 - 16.30
Tuesday 10.00 - 16.30
Wednesday 10.00 - 16.30
Thursday 10.00 - 16.30
Friday 10.00 - 16.30
Saturday 10.00 - 16.30
Sunday 10.00 - 16.30
Last Admission: 15.30
29 March - 03 November
Monday 10.00 - 18.00
Tuesday 10.00 - 18.00
Wednesday 10.00 - 18.00
Thursday 10.00 - 18.00
Friday 10.00 - 18.00
Saturday 10.00 - 18.00
Sunday 10.00 - 18.00
Last Admission: 17.00

Closed:

Please check our Closure & Notices page for changings in opening hours and closure dates.

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