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Hampton Court Palace

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The Hampton Court Palace was built in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who later gave the building to King Henry VIII in an attempt to buy his favor. Both Henry VIII and William III enlarged the palace and it was used as a royal main residence until the death of George II in 1760. Guests can visit the rooms of the Tudors as well as those of George, there are also magnificent gardens and an artful maze. Book tickets in advance and save time on the day of your visit!
Miriam DewamBy Miriam Dewam
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Tickets

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Hampton Court Palace, Gardens & Maze: Entry Ticket
4.7starstarstarstarstar half(262)
 
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Private Vehicle To Hampton Court Palace From London With Admission Tickets
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Skip-the-line Hampton Court Palace from London by Car
 
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Skip-the-line Hampton Court Palace from London by Car
 
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With Audio Guide

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Hampton Court Palace and Gardens Entrance Ticket
4.5starstarstarstarstar half(2045)
 
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Guided Tours

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Hampton Court Palace: River Thames Bike Tour
5.0starstarstarstarstar(24)
 
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Hampton Court Palace Private Tour - Secrets of Henry VIII
5.0starstarstarstarstar(71)
 
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Windsor Castle & Hampton Court Palace VIP Black Taxi Tour
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Private Guided Tour of Hampton Court Palace
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Specials

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Southampton Pre Cruise From London Via Hampton Court Palace
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7 tips for visiting the Hampton Court Palace

The courtyard of Hampton Court Palace | Flickr: KT Likes Coffee - CC BY 2.0
1
Book the ticket onlineDuring peak times, especially on weekends and during the summer months, the queues at the ticket offices can become quite long. Due to the popularity of this attraction, the entrance tickets therefore have a timeslot. By purchasing an online ticket, you can avoid the queues!
The private dining room of the king | Flickr: Patrick Gruban - CC BY 2.0
2
Be on timeAs the entrance tickets have a timeslot during peak times (weekend, planned events and summer holidays), these have to be redeemed within the chosen hour slot. Tickets valid outside these times (weekdays and school time) do not have a predetermined time window and can therefore be redeemed at any time within the opening hours.
3
Get yourself a map for the huge areaOn over 150 acres (60 hectares) of garden, 15 acres (6 hectares) of building area, and 1850 acres (750 hectares) of parkland, one can quickly get lost. To not lose orientation, maps of the grounds are sold upon entering the attraction. Should you still get lost, you can ask one of the helpful staff for help.
4
Use the audio guideDuring your visit, while following any route of your choice, there is not much information available, hence it is recommended to take an audioguide with you. It is available in 10 languages for free and can be borrowed from the Undercroft Shop. The audioguide also supports the sign language used in Britain (BSL). Please note that due to their limited quantity, audioguides can run out of stock quickly. Recommended are also the free guided tours, where guides dress according to the period.
The Privy Garden | Flickr: stu smith - CC BY 2.0
5
Have a picnicThe extensive grounds of Hampton Court Palace literally invite you to take a short break, to eat something as royalty did once. On the royal lawn, it is actually allowed to do exactly that, even with your own food! If you decide to do so spontaneously, there is the Tiltyard Café and Privy Kitchen Café near the palace, both offer hot and cold drinks as well as dishes.
Actors dressed in the style of the time | Unsplash: Xuan Nguyen - CC BY 2.0
6
Solve the most famous garden maze in the worldAround 1700, the oldest surviving hedge maze in England was commissioned by King William III and covers half a hectare. Many visitors are led astray here and need an average of 20 minutes to solve The Maze. Admission to the maze is included in the palace ticket.
7
Magic Garden for childrenIn the magical garden, you can encounter fascinating mythical creatures, climb towers, and explore the secret grotto. The garden offers fun for all ages and is a unique opportunity to explore the history of the palace. The park is open every day until the end of October and opens again in February. Due to its popularity, the duration of stay in Magic Garden is limited to 90 minutes. Please note that for safety reasons, adults are not allowed to enter the playground without children.
View of Hampton Court Palace from the Privy Garden | Flickr: bvi4092 - CC BY 2.0

The royal residence

Located not far from the centre of London is the second largest palace in England, the former home of Henry VIII. Even while walking along the gravel path leading to the palace, you can get a sense of how royal nobility once arrived here by carriage. It offers an insight into the former lifestyle of the royal family and their robe.

The Peace Agreement

The Gold and Glory Exhibition presents the history of the peace agreement between the King of England and the King of France, Francis I. It also displays wardrobes worn by the kings at the time, and many different historical artifacts from this era. The agreement was revolutionary at the time, as England and France were at war. However, the peace between the two countries lasted only two years, as both kings were driven by jealousy and ambition.

The Royal Tour

Along this route, there are rooms used for public gatherings as well as chambers of the royal family. The throne room, where the monarch once sat, adorned with paintings and chandeliers, deserves special attention. Here, you can also find the King's Gallery, which has a comprehensive collection of paintings purchased by the monarchs. In this section, there is also the legendary Haunted Gallery, that is rumored to still be haunted today. Of course, there are many other rooms to visit, such as the chamber where The King’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, the bodyguards of the British monarch, were located, or The King's Dining Room, where artistically draped cloth napkins adorn the former banquet table. In 1986, the state rooms were destroyed in a fire and were subsequently reopened by Queen Elizabeth II. in 1992.
The Haunted Gallery | Photo: Flickr, Michael Gaylard - CC-BY-SA 2.0

There is a ghost in the palace

Whilst Henry VIII was still married to his fourth wife Anne, he fell in love with the significantly younger Catherine Howard, who was prettier than his current queen. He showered Catherine with expensive gifts. Just three weeks after the annulment of his marriage to Anne, he married his beloved. In 1541, Catherine was accused of adultery with two lovers and knew what would become of her. She hoped that the king would believe her and ran screaming in today's Haunted Gallery to reach the door that led to the king. Today, both visitors and staff report that they hear Catherine knocking at the door, and that they see ghosts. When the queen signed her confession, she was executed in the Tower of London on February 13, 1542, less than two years after marrying Henry VIII.
The Great Hall | Photo: Flickr, bvi4092 - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Great Hall

Under the huge wooden roof, the splendor of the Tudor court is displayed in the Great Hall on magnificent wall tapestries. When construction began in 1533, Henry VIII was married to his second wife, Anne Boleyn, since then Anne's coat of arms and her and Henry's initials have been carved into the wood. The Great Hall once served as a dining hall for the lower-ranked members of the royal household and the servants, on special occasions it was even used for theatrical performances, dances, and masquerades. Today, you can learn more about the king's six wives and the table manners as well as the associated hierarchy rules.
The Tudor Kitchens | Flickr: Michael Gaylard - CC BY 2.0

Henry VIII's Kitchens

At the time when the House of Tudor ruled, the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace were the biggest in England. Every day, over 800 meals were prepared in the Tudor Kitchens by 200 workers per day for the palace. Unlike today, the preparation of food was a sweaty and dirty affair, as the pots were operated with fire. So 1.3 million logs were needed each year to satisfy the hunger at court. Visitors can visit the authentic cooking shows on weekends, from May 27th to June 4th and from July 22nd to September 1st these take place daily.
The Chocolate Kitchen | Flickr: Katie Heil - CC BY 2.0

Hot chocolate

The special feature of the site is the Chocolate Kitchen, which remained undiscovered until 2013 and is the only preserved kitchen of its kind in Great Britain. Until the 1800s, chocolate was mainly served as a drink, either mixed with water, milk or wine, and sometimes even refined with chili. The Hampton Court Palace had a specially designed kitchen for this purpose, where the chocolate from bean to cup was made by chocolatiers like Solomon de le Faya or Thomas Tosier who were employed specifically for each monarch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hampton Court Palace accessible for those with disabilities?

The palace is accessible for people with disabilities. Wheelchairs and electric buggies can be borrowed on site. Please note that the electric buggies are only suitable for outdoor use. Read more.

Can I enter the palace multiple times during my visit?

The ticket can be used multiple times for entry on the booked day. The ticket must be presented again when entering via the West Gate or The Rose Garden. Read more.

Are there any parking facilities?

The area has a limited number of parking spaces. The parking ticket is payable and can only be paid at the parking machine by card, alternatively, the Glide App can also be used. There are furthermore nine disabled parking spaces on site, which are free of charge for holders of the Blue Badge. If these are full, holders of a disabled pass can switch to the other parking spaces without surcharge. Please note that parking spaces cannot be reserved in advance. Read more.

Are guests allowed to bring food into the gardens?

Food can be brought into the gardens, however, consuming it within the premises is not permitted. Picnics can be had outdoors, but open flames or portable picnic furniture are not allowed. Please note that you should definitely dispose all trash yourself. Read more.

Are there dining options at Hampton Court Palace?

There are two cafes and two kiosks on the grounds. The Tiltyard Café offers coffee, tea, pastries, cookies, muffins, cakes, and light lunches in both indoor and outdoor seating areas. The Privy Kitchen Café is located in the heart of the palace and is the ideal place for a quick snack such as sandwiches and pies. The Magic Garden Kiosk offers ice cream as well as refreshing drinks, while the Wilderness Kiosk offers snacks, tea, and filter coffee. Both the Wilderness Kiosk and the Magic Garden Kiosk are only open on weekends and during school holidays. There is also an ice cream cart on the royal premises that offers ice cream and sorbets from the County of Devon. Read more.

Can bags and backpacks be carried during the visit?

Lockers are provided at the Buggy Store of the Clock Courts to store bags or luggage. Baby strollers and prams are allowed in the castle and gardens, and can also be left in the Buggy Store. Read more.

Is there a souvenir shop?

Opposite the ticket counter is the Palace Shop, the Undercroft Shop is located in the basement. Both shops offer a wide range of jewelry, toys, books, gifts, and souvenirs. The Palace Shop is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, the Undercroft Shop closes 15 minutes earlier. Read more.

Is an audio guide available at this attraction?

The audio guide can be borrowed free of charge on site at the Undercroft Shop and is available free of charge in German, English, French, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, and Japanese. The audio guide also supports British Sign Language (BSL). Read more.

Are dogs allowed in the Hampton Court Palace?

No animals are allowed on the premises. An exception is only made for certified guide dogs. Read more.

Can photos and videos be taken of the palace?

For personal purposes, videos and photos can be taken in most areas of the palace without flash and tripod. This does not apply in the Chapel Royal, the Cumberland Art Gallery and the temporary exhibition rooms. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The Hampton Court Palace is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm from September 4th through October 22nd. During the summer vacations from July 24th to September 3rd and October 23rd to October 29th, the Palace is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm daily. Between October 29th and December 22nd, the palace is open from Wednesday to Sunday as well as over the Christmas holidays (December 23rd to January 7th) from 10 am to 4 pm daily. From December 24th to December 26th, Hampton Court Palace will be closed. The opening hours are regularly updated on the Hampton Court Palace website depending on the season. In general, however, it can be assumed that at least between 10:00 and 16:00 is open (except for certain holidays on the website)

address

Hampton Court Palace
East Molesey
Surrey
KT8 9AU

tickets

Prices for entrance tickets differ for peak times (weekends, scheduled events, and summer vacations) compared to cheaper off-peak times (weekdays and school hours). On-site, the ticket per person is £29.00 (£26.30), and for children between 5 and 15 years, £14.50 (£13.10). Children under 5 can visit the palace free of charge.

discounts

Youths between 16 and 17 years old as well as students pay £14.50 (£13.10) on site. Holders of a disability pass and seniors over 65 years can visit the palace at a price of £23.20 (£21.00). Companions of physically restricted visitors receive free admission. Please note that corresponding IDs must be presented.

how to get there

Hampton Court Palace can be reached by public transportation from Central London. Hampton Court station is a 5-minute walk from the palace and is served by trains from London Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, and other stations in southwest London. The station is in Zone 6, which is within the London Oyster Card zone. Bus lines 111, 216, 411, 513, and R68 also run. Paid parking is available on site. Another paid parking lot is located not far away.
Miriam Dewam
Written byMiriam DewamMiriam is keen on traveling and has a passion for photography, which she can enhance through her cross-media studies. She uses her knowledge as well as first hand experience from diverse travels to help other travellers as a content creator at TicketLens.
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