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Hampton Court Palace

Listed under Castles & Palaces in London, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Hampton Court Palace
  • Photo of Hampton Court Palace
  • Photo of Hampton Court Palace
  • Photo of Hampton Court Palace
  • Photo of Hampton Court Palace
  • Photo of Hampton Court Palace
Photo of Hampton Court Palace
Photo by flickr user edwin.11
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Hampton Court Palace is a hugely atmospheric place. Built by Cardinal Wolse, Henry XIII decided to remove it from his uppity cleric, and have it for himself. And the tone of the place is still defined by this most charismatic of English kings.

Still part of an extensive area of public park land grazed by deer, one can easily picture Henry and chums out hunting. The maze now echoes to the laughter of children, but one can imagine the giggles of young tudor maids. The grounds, with elegant topiary and plashing fountains now hosts music and flower festivals, but surely once witnessed a manolin playing royal seducer.

Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. Whilst much of this palace actually post dates Henry, his vibrant legend suffuses it with interest beyond the interesting architecture, elegant gardens, ancient 'real tennis' courts and river views.

It is also a very lively place these days. In its drive to fund the maintenance of the palace, the trustees have introduced a wide range of commercial events, but all with appropriate elegance and taste. Each month there is real cookery undertaken in the vast tudor kitchens. Not quite the roast swan and deep fried wolf's nipple of legend, but still of great interest to all ages.

Around Christmas there is skating in front on the place, the summer flower show claims to be the world's biggest, and the music festival, held in an ancient tudor courtyard, is wonderfully atmospheric.

Within half a mile of the palace are a range of other activities - golf on the 110 year old Hampton Court palace Golf Club, there's a lovely open air swmiimg pool in Hampton Hill, walking and cycling in Bushy Park and boating on the river. All in all, a decent day out. And surely after such exertions, ole 'Enery the Eighth would have had a beer - if so the pub next to the "lion Gate" entrance to the palace is just the job.

Written by  Robert M.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Hampton Court Palace

Impressive Royal palace, formerly the private palace of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Extensive grounds and gardens hosting annual flower show, a magnificent Fountain Court by Christopher Wren, a famous maze and some fascinating tudor kitchens make it a must see on any extended London visit. Get here by boat down the Thames from Westminster Pier.

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