Hampton Court Palace Tours
Two Palaces in one !
It is wonderful news that Hampton Court is open again following the coronavirus pandemic. Entry is by timed ticket only and details of this are explained in the 'Bookings' section of the website. For the foreseeable future, all visitors follow a one-way route which takes in highlights of Henry and William's palaces and the Georgian Rooms. Do read on for information about these areas but do bear in mind that not all rooms described below will be open.
Hampton Court nestles into the banks of the River Thames, 14 miles to the south of central London, and boasts not one but two palaces.
Hampton Court is best-known for the palace originally built for a cardinal but commandeered by that most notorious of kings, Henry VIII. Hobnob’s Tudor Tour takes in Henry's highlights from the vast Tudor kitchens to his magnificent state apartments, including the Great Hall and the eerie Haunted Gallery! Click on the link above to find out about the content of Hobnob's Tudor tour.
But there is a second palace at Hampton Court, just as grand, and just as fascinating. The Baroque Palace inspired by Versailles was built for King William III, who came to England to rule jointly with his wife Mary. Hobnob’s Baroque Tour explores the grandeur of William’s ceremonial staircase and the splendour of his apartments -including an impressive display of weaponry and a world-class art collection. Click on the link above to find out about the content of Hobnob's Baroque tour.
While exploring the two contrasting palaces, I bring history to life with all manner of extraordinary stories. The Tudor tour revels in ghosts and executions, Henry’s expanding waistline and wife-collection - and how his attempt to show the world how clever he was completely backfired! In William’s Walk the talk turns to assassination, bizarre court etiquette and how the palace nearly burned to the ground just 30 years ago.
Children are captivated and horrified in equal measure by the tales of Henry VIII and his tyrannical rule - and how things aren’t quite as they seem in William’s apartments!
If you have been to Hampton Court before and have exhausted the Tudor and Baroque bits, why not book one of my specialist tours: find out about those dysfunctional Georgians who stayed at the palace from 1714 until the late 1730s; what an odd mixture they were with a King who disliked ceremony and kept his wife locked up in Germany to a Prince who rushed his pregnant wife to London at the dead of night when she was in the early stages of labour! Alternatively, why not find out about the community that grew up at the palace following the departure of the Royals - the Grace and Favour era. Find out why living at a prestigious address like Hampton Court did not necessarily mean living in luxury! Come and listen to the tittle tattle of what was an extraordinary period in Hampton Court's history. Or listen to the story of the man who built the palace: Thomas Wolsey. From a humble background, he rose to become one of the most influential men in England's history. Learn about his background, his meteoric rise to the top and how he stayed there and his swift demise when he failed, for the first time, to give Henry what he wanted.
If you're feeling a bit daunted about travelling outside of London, let me know where you're staying and I will give you directions for travelling to Hampton Court.
The meeting place for the start of this tour is outside the West Front Gatehouse of Henry VIII's palace at the end of the driveway leading from the main road.
Henry V111's Tudor Palace
William 111's Baroque Palace
This three hour tour costs £135. The tour price is on top of the palace entry fee.
I am currently only taking bookings for family units of up to 5 people meaning that the maximum group size is 6 - so, 5 guests plus me.
If you would like to book a tour, please click on the button below.