Hampton Court Palace is a bucket list item for any visitor to London no matter how long they have! The palace has been a royal residence for hundreds of years and covers so much amazing British history inside! Originally owned by Cardinal Wolsey but most well known for its association with Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is the perfect day trip from London! In fact a Hampton Court Palace day trip from London is my absolute favourite day trip from the Capital!
How to get to Hampton court palace on a day trip from London
Travel to Hampton Court Palace on the train from Waterloo station in central London. The journey takes 35 minutes and trains run every half hour. The train station is a short walk to the palace.
If you choose to drive, parking is limited so be warned you will have to get there very early to avoid having to walk a distance from the nearest offsite parking!
But our favourite way is to go by boat! You can pick up boats in Kew, Richmond and Kingston! Kingston is the main stop and is direct to the palace! One of the highlights of the trip is traveling through the beautiful Teddington Lock!
Brief history of Hampton court palace
The original Tudor palace was begun by Cardinal Wolsey but was soon in the possession of Henry VIII! At some point or other all of his wives were brought to Hampton Court Palace but it is most notably associated with the two most unfortunate of his wives Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard! Both are said to haunt the palace!
Its later history is most associated with William III and Mary II (1689-1702) when they commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build an elegant new baroque palace!
The Palace today gracefully blends the old and the new and is a great way to explore both bits of history!
Best things to do at Hampton court palace during a day trip from London
Learn about Henry VIII
The King the Palace is most associated with – it is the best place in England to learn about Henry VIII! Check on arrival as there are live reenactments on certain days!
Learn Tudor Cooking
A highlight of any trip to Hampton Court Palace is learning all about how the Tudors cooked! There are even some hands on activities!
Get Lost in the Hampton Court Maze
The maze is a highlight for kids! Be sure to keep close to your kids so you are not looking for them as well as the centre of the maze!
Learn about Real Tennis!
Hampton Court is the home of Real Tennis – not the lawn tennis we know today! If you are lucky there will be a game going on on their historic court while you are there!
See the Great Vine
The world’s largest single vine can shockingly be found at Hampton Court Palace! One for the botanist!
Take a Train or stroll around the Grounds
The grounds and gardens at Hampton Court Palace at extensive and are one of my favourite things to do is have a picnic in the grounds!
The Magic Garden
Not included in main admission, the Magic Garden is well worth a visit while in the grounds. You can visit the playground without having to buy admission into the palace! The magic garden was opened by the Duchess of Cambridge in 2016 and is a huge playground with Tudor design!
Seasonal things to do at Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace has some great seasonal events – check the calendar for
The Hampton Court Flower Show
Usually held in July and a great alternative to its sister show Chelsea!
Skate at the Ice Rink
London has an array of amazing ice rinks that pop up in December. Hampton Court Palace is one of my favourites and is less busy than some of its central London counterparts!
Tickets for Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court can get busy so we recommend buying your tickets in advance!
You can get your entrance tickets via Viator online HERE
Things to read before visiting Hampton court palace
A tale of deception starring Anne Boleyn and Henry VII
The other Boleyn girl
A historical romantic romp by Philippa Gregory!
What are you favourite things to do at Hampton Court Palace? Is a Hampton Court Palace day trip from London on your bucket list?