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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Step Back in Time with a Visit to Hampton Court Palace with LTD!

Hampton Court Palace has been the setting for many dramatic royal events over the last 500 years!


Watch the video of our visit below!


Just a short ride from London Waterloo Station near Big Ben!  LTD suggests staying at the Park Plaza Waterloo as a base of operations.

Some Facts about the Palace:


The original Tudor palace was begun by Cardinal Wolsey in the early 16th century, but it soon attracted the attention of Henry VIII, who brought all his six wives here.




Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, started Hampton Court Palace’s transformation from ordinary country house to magnificent palace.

Wolsey wanted to create a grand building where he could host not only the King and the royal court but also monarchs from across Europe.

Investing huge sums of money, he created a palace fit for the King. Wolsey was so successful in his work that Henry eventually took Hampton Court for himself.

By the 1530s, Henry VIII’s Hampton Court was a palace, a hotel, a theatre and a vast leisure complex.

The King used it to demonstrate magnificence and power in every possible way, through lavish banquets, extravagant court life and fabulously expensive art.

In addition to Henry’s state and private apartments, where he slept, ate and relaxed, and the queen’s private apartments, the palace contained accommodation for courtiers.  The style depended on the status of the occupant, but again, were intended to impress.

Around Base Court, the first big courtyard of the Tudor palace inside the West Front, there were 30 suites of lodgings used for the grandest visitors.

Anne Boleyn would have visited Hampton Court on a number of occasions and indulged in Henry’s magnificent palace that when completed consisted of pleasure gardens, tennis courts, bowling alleys, a hunting park and even a multiple garderobe.

The palace also held unhappy memories for Henry. His third queen Jane Seymour died giving the King a longed-for son, Edward, later Edward VI. It’s said her ghost, a ‘white wraith’ appears on the anniversary of her death.

Henry's fifth wife Catherine Howard was arrested here and later executed at the Tower for adultery and treason.

Enjoy our visit to the Henry's Kitchens!  Up to 800 courtiers could accompany Henry VIII; all needed to be fed.

The King enlarged and added to the existing Great Kitchen, built in the late 1400s by a former resident Lord Daubeney.

The kitchens became an efficient food factory serving 1600 meals a day.  The kitchens became an efficient food factory serving 1600 meals a day.  You will see when you visit and in our video in the kitchens that costumed characters will make visiting an educational experience for you and your children!  LTD reminds you that museums can be a great way to educate children while traveling! 

Step Back in Time with a Visit to Hampton Court Palace with LTD!


The 17th century saw many dramatic events at the palace, some of them taking place in Hampton Court’s Great Hall.

In 1603 William Shakespeare’s ‘King’s Men’ first performed Hamlet and Macbeth for the new Stuart king James I.  James was also responsible for organizing the 1604 Hampton Court Conference that resulted in the  publication of the King James Bible in 1611 - the Authorized Version of the Bible in English.

When William III and Mary II took the throne in 1689 they asked Christopher Wren to design a new baroque palace for them. Wren scrapped his original plan to demolish the whole palace and instead created the spectacular Fountain Court, leaving much of the Tudor palace intact.

When George II succeeded his father in 1727, the palace entered its final phase as a royal residence.  George and Caroline completed work on their apartments and started new works for the younger members of their large royal family.

In 1838, Queen Victoria ordered the gates of Hampton Court Palace be ‘thrown open to all her subjects’ as an early act of generosity.

Visitors flocked to enjoy the stunning palace architecture, get lost in the Maze and relax in the beautiful gardens.

The palace is still a magnet for visitors from all over the world. Not only can you visit a palace that reflects three eras of the British Monarchy, Tudor, Stuart and Georgian, but you can be immersed into different historical times with costumed docents who will educate you in person!  One of the newest attractions for families is the Tudor-inspired Magic Garden, which was opened in 2016 by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Two famous annual festivals - the Hampton Court music festival and the RHS Flower Show – stay true to Henry VIII’s ‘pleasure palace’ principle.

And the superb art collection – a permanent, rotating display of some of the Royal Collections finest works, continues to delight.

RX Tip:  For your long day touring this fabulous site, LTD recommends this security bag. It is perfect for a day trip! And Following your visit to the Palace, head across the street from the entrance to have a drink and dinner at The Muted Swan!





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