Hampton Court Palace
Located in the southwest of London, near the north bank of the River Thames, Hampton Court Palace is one of the best and famous tourist sites in England. The palace, which was originally built as a private residence for Cardinal Wolsey in 1514, was later presented to Henry VIII in order to get the King's favour.
King Henry's five out of six wives lived in this palace as queens. Elizabeth I liked to stay there, and she was staying there when she heard of the destruction of the Spanish Armada. This was also the place where Charles I lived as a king and as Oliver Cromwell's prisoner.
Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect designed this magnificent baroque mansion which was built next to the old Tudor palace. However, future royalty did make modifications to the space in the following centuries, but they did not complete any major construction projects. Queen Victoria was the first to open the Hampton Court Palace to the general public, allowing paid visitors to explore the magnificent surroundings.
Explore The Hampton Court Palace
The public has access to Hampton Court Palace's enormous grounds, which are complemented by lovely gardens. The Great Vine, the magnificent Privy Garden, the Royal Tennis Court, and the maze are among the many attractions on the royal palace grounds.
King William III's rooms were constructed by Christopher Wren and adorned with magnificent wood carvings made by Grinling Gibbons. The luxurious Great Bedchamber, located in the State Apartments, was where the monarch got dressed up. Williams III's Private Apartments have more living space which showcases his personal art collections. Between 1716 and 1737, Mary II's chambers were refurbished to reflect what they would have looked like for George II's wife, Queen Caroline.
Henry VIII's State Apartments are a must-see attraction for everybody planning to visit the Hampton Court Palace. To get started, visit the Buttery and take in its wonderful film about the wives of Henry VIII and how they met their end. The gorgeously decorated Great Hall and Great Watching Chamber and the King's Council Chamber and the Processional Route that connects the chambers are the only parts of his lodgings that have survived.
One spot to relax in the Great Hall, especially as it is considered England's grandest medieval hall and even hosted Shakespeare's company in 1603.
Visiting the massive medieval kitchens and basements of Hampton Court Palace offers a fascinating insight into the practicalities of feeding the palace's 600 members of the court, who dined here twice a day. The kitchens were constructed in 1530 and were an important aspect of life in the palace, where the Master Cooks and their crew were numerous.
The 18th-century Chocolate Kitchen, with its antique campfires and kitchen equipment, is also a wonderful place to explore. Fun dining events are also held regularly, allowing guests to taste the traditional meals cooked in the kitchens.
Getting stuck in Hampton Court Palace's maze is perhaps the only time you'll enjoy it in England. Laid out in 1689, it covers one-third of an acre and features half a mile of walkways partitioned by high hedges that are impossible to see. It is the oldest of its kind in the world.
Hampton Court Palace has added the Cumberland Art Gallery, a gallery showing some of the most prestigious pieces from the Royal Collection. Paintings by Holbein, van Dyck, and Gainsborough are among the masterpieces on display here.