Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hampton Court Palace

Tips for visiting Hampton Court Palace
By Mark Fitzgerald

We will be arriving at Hampton Court late morning after touring Epsom.  It is not normally considered a London attraction and is located 16 miles (25 kilometers) downriver from the Tower of London.  We plan on arriving via train.

We will have to decide if we are ready for an early lunch when we arrive. If so, we will eat at the Tiltyard Cafe which is located within the grounds but outside of the castle by the maze. If not, we will explore the first gallery on the left as we enter the castle. Currently it is an exhibit about the paintings of the Triumphs of Caesar.

Hampton Court Tour Guides. Some rights reserved by Ian Kershaw de Moura on Flickr.  Used through Creative Commons.
Tour Guides
We will plan on a costumed tour guide of the castle at 12:30 PM. We will meet up with the tour at the Base Court in the Tutor section of the castle. The tour is about 30 minutes long.

Hampton Court stained glass. Some rights reserved by Marcio Cabral de Moura on Flickr.  Used through Creative Commons.
Royal Chapel
The tour returns to the base court. From there we will go to the left of the entrance towards the Tutor Kitchens. Looks for signs that say Master Carpenter's Court.

The exit from the kitchens will put us at the Clock Court, and we will head west towards the King Henry VIII Apartments. This brings us upstairs. When we exit we will head down stairs and guide to the north towards the Royal Chapel.

Depending on if we had an early lunch or not, we will head out to the Tiltyard Cafe or to the maze. It may take 20 minutes to go through the maze. Then again we may get lost. It is a good thing that the train leaves every 30 minutes in case you miss it. If there is time and we had an early lunch, we will grab a snack to tide us over.

The train station is just outside the castle and right across the river. The trains are run by South West Trains, but an Oyster Card can be used.  Hampton Court is considered Zone 6.   You also have the option to arrive via car, taxi, boat and bus.  If you have access to a bike you could consider a riding the National Cycle Route 4 through the Thames River Valley.  It is estimated it would take you an hour to ride the 11.5 miles from Kensington Palace to Hampton Court.

There is enough to see at Hampton Court, we may consider making an itinerary change and staying another 2 hours.  Hampton Court Palace is considered a London attraction and is covered by the London Pass.  It is also part of the Historic Royal Palaces.  If you plan on going to the Tower of London and Kensington Palace you way want to consider an annual membership pass which will get you into all three.

Floor plan and of Hampton Court Palace:

Map of Hampton Court Palace:

Historic Royal Palaces put together an introduction and overview of the Palace.  It is highly worth watching:

Going on a family vacation builds memories, provides life changing experiences and helps teach about the world we live in. Take time to explore, enjoy and have fun. If the London Transport Museum sounded interesting, you may also like Windsor Castle. You can also look at our entire list of London Attractions.

The website for Hampton Court Palace is:


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