Hampton Court Palace & Garden Exclusive Private Tours
Two palaces for the price of one! And gardens too!
West Front Gatehouse
William III's palace designed by Sir Christopher Wren
The East Front garden's herbaceous border.
West Front Gatehouse
Hampton Court sits beside the River Thames in Surrey, 14 miles to the south of central London, and boasts not one but two palaces, a splendid set of apartments as well as some of the grandest gardens in England. My tour will always cover Henry VIII's magnificent Tudor palace but the rest of the tour depends on what you would most like to see: William's Baroque palace; the Georgian rooms, 60 acres of formal gardens or the tennis court where the ancient game of real tennis was played 500 years ago!
Hampton Court is best-known for the palace originally built for a cardinal but commandeered by that most notorious of kings, Henry VIII. By clicking on this link, Tudor Highlights you can find out more about the content of the Tudor part of the tour ranging from Henry's vast Tudor kitchens to his magnificent state apartments, including the Great Hall and the eerie Haunted Gallery!
The second palace at Hampton Court is just as grand, and just as fascinating. The Baroque Palace was inspired by Versailles and built for King William III, who came to England to rule jointly with his wife Mary. To find out more details about William's splendid apartments from his impressive display of weaponry to his world class art collection, click on this link: Baroque Highlights.
The dysfunctional Georgians took the throne of England from 1714 and stayed at Hampton Court until the late 1730s; if the walls of their luxurious apartments could talk, what extraordinary stories they would have to tell as feuding between the fathers and their sons continued for decades!!
It is always fascinating to compare and contrast how the Royals of the various dynasties lived their lives at Hampton Court and throughout the tour I bring history to life with all manner of weird and wonderful stories about them all.
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 37 years ago. The Georgians were an odd mixture ranging from 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! There is royal gossip galore on this tour!!
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!
Wandering the gardens is a delight from the Great Fountain Garden to William's Privy Garden, with its near perfect display of symmetry and the oldest grapevine in the world snuck into a corner.
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.
This tour is 3 hours long but if you would like to explore the Tudor palace only, I offer an hour and a half's tour concentrating on the highlights of Henry's palace.
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
Grace & Favour
These three hour tours are on top of the palace entry fee.
I guide small groups of up to 5 family or friends meaning that the maximum group size is 6 - 5 guests plus me.
If you would like to book a tour, please click on the button below.