Are you wondering how to do a Hampton Court Palace Day trip from London? We think Hampton Court should be top of any London bucket list but requires a bit of planning. In this guide we will tell you all the options for doing a day trip to Hampton Court from London via public transit or via car, tips for getting tickets and what you need to see at this amazing royal palace.
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Hampton Court is one of the many royal palaces in London but it is not in central London. In fact it is in Greater London in the suburb of Hampton which is close to Richmond upon Thames (famed as the filming location of the AppleTV hit Ted Lasso).
There are a couple of ways you can get to Hampton Court Palace via Public transit in the form of trains and buses or also via driving.
However before we get into the details of how to get to Hampton Court Palace, we will first look at the brief history.
Brief history of Hampton court palace
Hampton Court Palace is the original Tudor palace which was begun construction by Cardinal Wolsey. However it didn’t take long for Henry VIII to want the palace and it to go into his possession
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 Henry VIII’s wives Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. Both of whom suffered the fate of being beheaded.
And in actual fact both of these wives are said to haunt the palace despite the fact netter were actually killed at the palace but were taken to the Tower of London for their execution.
The palaces’ later history is most associated with William III and Mary II (1689-1702) and they they commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build an elegant new baroque palace extension.
The Palace today gracefully blends the old and the new and is a great way to explore both bits of history. In my opinion it is one of the best palaces near London!
How to Buy Tickets for Hampton Court Palace
If you plan on going on an organised excursion to Hampton Court Palace the tickets will usually be included in the price.
However if you plan to do Hampton Court on your own, which is what we recommend as it is a very easy day trip from London, you will need to organise your tickets separate to your transportation.
Now you can buy tickets to Hampton Court Palace on the door but this isn’t something that we actually recommend. The reason for this is that the tickets on the day are usually slightly more expensive and also there are usually very long queues at the ticket office on the day. Therefore we recommend booking the tickets in advance.
You can book your tickets via Viator online HERE
How to get to Hampton court palace on a day trip from London
So now you know about tickets and the history of the palace we will give you all the necessary information about how to get to Hampton Court Palace on a day trip from London.
There are two ways to get to Hampton Court Palace on a day trip – either via train or via car. If you are coming from Central London we recommend taking public transit as traveling in and out of London in a car can be stressful and time consuming.
The best way to do a Hampton Court Palace day trip by train is to start your journey at Waterloo Station. From there you will hop on board a Southwest Train to Hampton Court Station.
The journey takes 35 minutes and the trains run every half hour during peak hours.
Once you are at Hampton Court Station the Palace is just a short walk from the train station.
If do you choose to drive which we don’t advise from Central London please note that 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.
However one our our favorite ways to get to Hampton Court Palace, albeit not the fastest way to get there is via boat.
You can head to Kew, Richmond and Kingston and pick up a boat that takes you to the palace. Kew is furthest away so the journey will take longest from there. The nearest boat stop and biggest stop is at Kingston.
Best things to do at Hampton court Palace
So know you how to do a day trip to Hampton Court from London we will turn our attention to the best things to do at Hampton Court Palace.
Learn about Henry VIII
The King that Hampton Court Palace is most associated with is of course Henry VIII. And in my opinion it is the best place in England to learn about Henry VIII!
One of the things my kids love is the reenactments that are in the palace by costumed actors. Check the board as you enter the palace to check times of reenactments.
Learn Tudor Cooking
Although there are so many favorite things to do at Hampton Court Palace my family’s favorite is the Tudor Kitchens.
The Tudor Kitchens are a living history area where chefs will recreate dishes from the Tudor period. During the summer you will really feel the heat these chefs had to work in.
And the helpful cooks will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
Get Lost in the Hampton Court Maze
If you are visiting Hampton Court Palace with kids then the maze is an absolute must do. Be sure to keep close to your kids so you are not looking for them as well as the centre of the maze!
If you would like to find a London itinerary designed specifically for kids then check this post out!
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
Did you know that Hampton Court Palace has the world’s largest single vine? No me either. But is definitely worth going to look at.
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
Ok if there is one things my kids love at Hampton Court Palace it is the Magic Garden. The Magic Garden is perfect for those traveling to London with toddlers or children
Tickets to the Magic Garden are included in your general admission ticket but it is worth noting that you can’t buy admission just to the Magic Garden.
Seasonal things to do at Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace has some great seasonal events so be sure to check the calendar for your dates of visit.
If you are visiting Hampton Court Palace sin Summer then it is worth looking for The Hampton Court Flower Show. This is usually held in July every year and is a great alternative to its sister show and more famous Chelsea Flower Show.
However if you are visiting Hampton Court Palace in the Winter then our favourite thing to do is go skating on the Hampton Court Ice Rink.
London has an array of amazing ice rinks that pop up all over the city in December. However Hampton Court Palace is one of my favourites and is less busy than some of its central London counterparts! Definitely one to add to your Christmas in London itinerary!
Things to read before visiting Hampton court palace
A tale of deception starring Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII
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?
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Monday 4th of March 2019
We are regulars of Hampton Court Palace for various reasons - ice skating in the winter, flowers in the spring, maze for fun, magic gardens for the kiddies, palace for historical outings ? thanks for sharing your lovely post with us on #CulturedKids
Vyki from Museum Mum
Saturday 2nd of March 2019
Totally agree, Hampton Court is a must do for visitors to London! The new playground is much enjoyed by my little ones. The kitchen and maze are probably my favourite bits. I must try a boat trip there one day #CulturedKids
Saturday 2nd of March 2019
The boat trip is amazing - you must try it ext time
Nicky@Go Live Young
Wednesday 27th of February 2019
Loved Hampton Court when we lived in this neck of the woods. Was pre-kid but still used to get lost in the maze! #CulturedKids
Thursday 28th of February 2019
It is our fave local thing
Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays
Tuesday 26th of February 2019
We live close to Hampton Court and used to pop in regularly, happy days! Our especial favourite was seeing who could get to the centre of the maze first and the velvet covered royal loo was popular too! Thank you for linking up with #CulturedKids
Thursday 28th of February 2019
Yes it is our local place! My little one not big enough for maze races yet but I’ll remember that tip for when she is older
Sunday 24th of February 2019
We lived in Teddington for years, so Hampton Court was our neighbour just across Bushy Park. So beautiful, and definitely definitely worth a visit! :) Thanks so much for joining in with #CulturedKids