Today we visited Hampton Court Palace choosing to depart from the Vauxhall Station on the Victoria line. Using our Oyster Card for entry, we boarded the 9:35 am train, stopping at seven stations in-route, before arriving at the last stop of ‘Hampton Court’ about 10:13 am.
Upon exiting the train, clear signage at the station showed us the way to Hampton Court Palace. Basically, we continued through the station, walked across the street, and over a bridge, to arrive at the palace in 10 minutes.
Since we had purchased our tickets in advance, we only stopped by the ticket office to pick up the included guidebook. Once inside, we acquired Audio Headsets which expertly described each section of the palace and its rooms. The richly decorated Palace contained detail-laden woodwork, ornate furniture, and elegant rooms just as one might imagine. In all, we visited the following five tour areas.
Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace:
A 16th Century complex offering a theater, entertainment, and hotel for Henry VIII’s court upwards of 600 people.
Henry VIII’s Kitchens:
A large complex of kitchens around the palace that included a Boiling House, Fish Court, Great Kitchen, Chocolate Kitchen, Serving Place, and Wine Cellar. It certainly was a huge undertaking to supply food throughout the palace when the court was in attendance.
William III’s Apartments:
Rooms created in a baroque style interwoven with successive richness as you advanced through the framework closer to his Majesty William III.
The Georgian Story:
These rooms built over-top of Queen Anne Boleyn’s apartments used for entertainment purposes by King George I and II, Queen Caroline, and Frederick, Prince of Wales.
The Palace Gardens:
Hampton Court Palace is the home to the most recognizable gardens in England consisting of the Great Fountain, Broad Walk, Privy, Pond, Lower Orangery, Great Vine, Rose, Tiltyard, Wilderness, and Maze. We also paid £5 each to take a horse-drawn carriage ride on Queen Anne’s Walk alongside the Broad Walk. At the end of our carriage ride, we walked the gardens in their entirety which took about an hour and a half. We also visited the Maze Garden which is free of charge with a valid palace tour ticket (otherwise a £7.50 entry fee applies).
By 3:30 pm we were thoroughly exhausted and left the palace for our journey back to London. Crossing the Hampton Court Bridge back towards the train station, Gloriana, The Queen’s Rowbarge, passed by.
Luckily our return was booked on an express train which called on only one station before delivering us to London Waterloo. From the Waterloo station, we jumped aboard the London Underground for the short ride to our hotel.
Cruise Port: London, England
Tour Name: Hampton Court Palace
Cruise Ship: None
Tour Guide: Self Guided