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.
The Tennis Court and Magic Garden are closed during the Winter
3 - 10 January 2017: Henry VIII's apartments will be closed for maintenance
3 - 13 January: The Haunted Gallery will be closed for repairs
19 - 20 January: The Mantegna Gallery will be closed for lighting trial works
23 - 27 January: The Georgian Story: The Queen's State Apartments will be closed for cleaning
- 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.
Gnomes Unearthed (23rd July - 2nd October)
Discover more about the gardens at Hampton Court Palace with the interactive art installation. Can you find Umbriel? Hampton Court’s gnome has been summoned from underground by the Magic Garden’s spell. He is shy, but he also knows all of the gardens’ secrets and he has wrapped himself in their colours. If you can find him, and get close enough, he may just tell you more…
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.
The BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace (27th – 29th August 2016)
For three fabulous days over the Bank Holiday weekend 27–29 August 2016, Hampton Court Palace will host the third BBC Good Food Festival. Discover a great selection of delicious artisan producers, a stellar line up of cooks and chefs including Michel Roux Jr and Paul Hollywood, fabulous entertainment, family fun and great, live music. All set within the backdrop and grounds of the stunning Hampton Court Palace.
The Empress and the Gardener (until 4th September 2016)
An exhibition in partnership with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg will mark 300 years since the birth of Lancelot Capability Brown, Britain’s great landscape gardener. More than 60 beautiful 18th century watercolours sold to Empress Catherine the Great of Russia have returned to Hampton Court Palace to give visitors the most complete visual record of the historic landscape captured before the dawn of photography.
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:
- If you take the London Pass with Travel then all of your train fees to and from Hampton - Court Palace will be covered
- 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
"I would absolutely recommend buying the London Pass if you have 3 or more days to spend exploring London. Buy it ahead of time, online and research what is available and decide what attractions you might be interested in. A top 10 sort of thing, and then any others that might be of interest. It gives you the freedom to visit many popular sites without the hassle of standing in long lines for tickets. I also liked that I wasn't spending all kinds of money every day on attractions and money did not enter into my decisions on what I wanted to do since my admissions where already paid for. I very much enjoyed my visit in London and I think having the London Pass allowed me to see more than I would have, had I not had it. Thank you!!"
Debbie from UK
|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