During a visit to Hampton Court Palace near London, on the banks of the Thames, you can easily fill a day with the family. Historical buildings, gardens, activities and an amazing playground at the Magic Gardens for the kids to let off steam, Plus the famous maze.

After visiting the Tower of London, we got a taste of how a trip to the Royal Palaces can bring history to life for the children in particular and is not dry and boring! 

So during the Easter school holidays, we booked a visit to another of the famous palaces – Hampton Court Palace on the River Thames. It’s good to book online before you go and after we visited the Tower of London we bought an annual Royal Palaces Pass 

We were lucky, as when we went over the Easter Holidays when the Tulip Garden Festival was in full bloom.

Solving the Famous Maze

hampton court maze

The kids had heard of the maze so pretty much as soon as we arrived they wanted to head there. We split up and found our way along narrow, winding paths with high hedges and dead ends to the centre to see who would be first. After much laughter, bumping into each other and a few wrong turns we found our way to the centre. Getting out seemed even harder! No visit to Hampton Court is complete doing the legendary maze!

The Palace

Stepping through the gates of Hampton Court Palace is like stepping back in time. The grandeur of the Tudor architecture, the lush greenery of the gardens, and the echoes of centuries-old stories all come together to create an unforgettable experience. 

Discovering Tudor History

As we entered the palace, we were immediately transported to the Tudor era, a time of kings, queens, and courtly intrigue. Walking through the Great Hall, adorned with its magnificent hammer-beam ceiling and tapestries depicting scenes from Henry VIII’s life, we couldn’t help but feel awestruck by the sheer opulence of the Tudor court.

Our journey through history continued as we ventured into the State Apartments, where we marvelled at the lavish chambers once inhabited by monarchs such as Henry VIII and William III. From the ornate furnishings to the intricate Tudor and Baroque decorations, every room seemed to whisper secrets of the past, inviting us to imagine the lives of those who once walked these halls.

Losing Ourselves in the Gardens

We were lucky with the weather and although cloudy it was fine to be outdoors. The kids loved running through all the different gardens – beautifully laid out and with tulips in abundance, and water features – maintained by many wonderful volunteers. 

The Magic Garden

The Magic Garden, however, was the highlight for younger and older children. Its an enclosed space and you are given bands to get in to limit your time because the kids will probably want to be in there for hours. Big slides, water features, climbing, a huge sand pit protected by a dragon,, drinks and icecreams to buy, picnic tables, and a huge artificial grass amphitheatre to sit and play (lots of talented young gymnasts tumbling and doing handstands) – all with an historical vibe – Magic indeed!

Great Vine

great vine

One of the greenhouses hosts what is said to be the largest grapevine in the world. The sweet grapes are sold to be public every early autumn and it’s quite something to imagine how many ancient kings, queens, princes and princesses have enjoyed the fruit.

Ice cream

There are lots of cafés and sweet treats on site but we headed into the local high street to enjoy one of the many local eateries for a welcome ice cream and cuppa. 

If you have time there is the River Thames to enjoy – walking along the towpath or on a river trip. Plus Bushey Park is close by too.

In summary

Our family visit to Hampton Court Palace was a journey through history, a day filled with wonder, discovery, and shared moments that we’ll cherish forever. From the grandeur of the Tudor court to the tranquillity of the gardens, every corner of this magnificent palace offered a glimpse into the past and left us inspired by the enduring legacy of England’s royal heritage. If you ever find yourself in London, don’t miss the chance to step back in time and experience the magic of Hampton Court for yourself.

Similar Posts