See King Henry VIII's enormous Tudor Kitchens, the world-famous maze and original 17th century tennis courts at 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 1520s and 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.
Please check our Closures & Notices page for changes to opening hours this month
- The Great Vine vineyard that was planted in 1769 (submitted to Guinness World Book 2005)
- The Maze, apparently the most famous maze in the world, according to Ernest Law
- Enormous Tudor kitchen built to feed the entire court
- 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
Did you know:
- 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 mystery disappearance in the summer of 1647 is still disputed when he fled the posh prison of Hampton Court and left 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
Don’t miss in your tour:
Enjoy free guided tours of Hampton Court Palace and be taken around this historic landmark by costumed tour guides, bringing the tales of the palace to life. Learn about court scandal and gossip in these interactive guides (audio guides also 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 Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria.
A replica of the crown that was made for Henry VIII, and was 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.
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 birds, not to mention the Palace Maze from 1690, made up of half a mile of winding passages between 7ft high yew trees.
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.
How to get there:
- South West train from Wimbledon or Waterloo to Hampton Court
- Take the tube or overground to Richmond and get the R68 bus to Hampton Court
- Hampton Court is situated in zone 6 of the London Transport Network so your 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)
Make the most of your London Pass:
- You can use your London Pass + Travel Oyster Card to travel to Hampton Court Palace. Please note this may use a large amount of your pre-paid credit.
- Show your London Pass to skip the long lines - a great time saver in the busy summer months
- If you enjoyed 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 free with the London Pass
London Pass holders also benefit from a 10% discount in all gift shops at Hampton Court Palace and also in the Tiltyard Cafe (restrictions apply).
Please note: the Tennis Court in the gardens is only open to visitors during summer months.
Full List Of Attractions Included
Well worth the money!
We bought a six-day pass, including an Underground pass, and used it every day we were in London. In fact, I calculated that we would have spent more on getting into places and using the Tube, than the pass cost. The pass book, listing where it could be used, was invaluable and pointed us to places, like Benjamin Franklin's home, we wouldn't have visited otherwise. I'll get a London pass again, next time I visit!
Sally Young from USA
|Mid October to Mid 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|
|Mid March to Mid October|
|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|
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Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
0844 482 7777