Hampton Court Tour: Tudor History and Beautiful Architecture

01

Aug

When I visited London, I had to make a trip out to Hampton Court because I had heard so many great things about it. And it lived up to the hype! Doing a Hampton Court tour was one of my favorite things I did on my trip, and learning about its history was so interesting.

Hampton Court Tour: Tudor History and Beautiful Architecture

Hampton Court tour information

As I mentioned, I went to Hampton Court from London, and it’s a pretty straightforward trip. Depending on where you’re coming from in London, you’ll take the District Line to Wimbledon and then take the South Western Railway to Hampton Court and it’s a short walk to the palace from the station. It’s a little over an hour journey.

Hampton Court opens at 10 am and closes at 5:30 pm, and tickets are £25.30 for adults and £12.60 for children and you can get the most updated information for each season on their website.

If you’re able to join a tour, I recommend it! I joined a tour of some of the main rooms and then was able to explore the rest of the palace on my own. And there are people stationed around rooms in the palace who can give you more of each room’s history.

Front gate entrance to Hampton Court

Front entrance to Hampton Court

Tall red water fountain in the courtyard of Hampton Court

Clock tower at Hampton Court

Clock tower at Hampton Court

History of Hampton Court

Hampton Court is known for being Henry VIII’s residence, but it actually didn’t start at his residence. It was built in 1514 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the chief minister of King Henry VIII. But Wolsey fell out of the king’s favor (he certainly wasn’t alone!), so the palace was given back to the king.

Edwardian style building at Hampton Court

Renaissance style garden with green and white striped poles

Historic white fireplace with busts of men engraved

Hall in Hampton Court with paintings of kings on the walls

Tapestry room with a chandelier and mannequins in ballgowns in Hampton Court

Room in Hampton Court with large paintings and painted ceiling

Oval painted ceiling

Henry VIII at Hampton Court

After Hampton Court was given to King Henry VIII, it became one of his favorite palaces and he did a lot of work to expand it. There were over one thousand people in his court and no place to fit them all, so with the expansion he quadrupled the size of the kitchens, added the Great Hall, and even added tennis courts. With all the expansions over the years, there are 1,390 rooms today!

Large tapestries and a painted ceiling in a room in Hampton Court

King's bed with a gold canopy

Large stained glass window at Hampton Court

Large stained glass window at Hampton Court

The Great Hall has amazing stained glass windows!

Dining hall with large stained glass windows at Hampton Court

Since Henry VIII loved Hampton Court so much, a lot happened in the palace! Prince Edward was born and baptized in 1537, Henry VIII’s divorce from Anne of Cleves is signed in 1540, Catherine Howard was under house arrest in in 1543, and Henry VIII married his sixth wife Kateryn Parr in 1543, just to name a few events. After Henry VIII’s death, Shakespeare performed in the palace for James I, and the King James Bible was commissioned at Hampton Court. So it was a pretty prominent place over the past few centuries!

Large stained glass window at Hampton Court

Large staircase with painted walls and ceiling at Hampton Court

Room decorated with swords on the walls

Throne room with red canopy at Hampton Court

Statues in a hallway at Hampton Court

King William III and Queen Mary II took over the palace in the late 1600s and wanted to modernize it. Sir Christopher Wren tore apart a lot of the rooms built during the Tudor period and added a more baroque style palace. So you’ll see a mix of architecture styles over the centuries on your Hampton Court tour.

View of garden at at Hampton Court from a window

Hampton Court garden with fountain and large trees

Hampton Court garden with statue in front of a pond

Large pond at Hampton Court

Back view of Hampton Court with fountain and trees

As you can see from my photos, it was pretty cloudy and rainy when I went. The gardens were still pretty, but I imagine they would be even prettier on a sunny spring day! So if you can plan your Hampton Court tour around the weather, I recommend going on a nice day 🙂

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  1. Yanitza says:

    The architecture and the artsy details in the ceilings and walls are just beautiful!

  2. I haven´t visited Hampton Court, wish I´ve done this London day trip! Both interiors and gardens look visually stunning – love the paintings on walls and ceilings ! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Shelbs says:

    The fact that there are over 1,300 rooms is so crazy!!! I also can’t imagine have 1000 people as housemates the way Henry VIII did! Such a great post – saving for our Europe trip!!!

  4. MacKenzie says:

    I had no idea Hampton Court was such a prominent place in history! The garden looks especially beautiful.

  5. Patricija says:

    Wow what a gorgeous , royal place to stroll around in! I think even despite the weather it looks beautiful.

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