Hampton Court Palace is a magnet for visitors from all over the world and every ticket to the Food Festival includes free entry.
Make the most of your visit and explore the greatest Tudor palace in the world. Experience the real sights, sounds and smells of Henry VIII’s Kitchens. Meet the historic chefs and see what they are cooking on the open fire as they prepare a feast fit for a king. Then let the kids’ imaginations rule as they explore the Magic Garden play area before getting royally lost in the maze.
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The original Tudor palace was begun by Cardinal Wolsey in the early 16th century, but it soon attracted the attention of Henry VIII, who brought all his six wives here. Surrounded by gorgeous gardens and famous features such as the Maze and the Great Vine, the palace has been the setting for many nationally important events.
When William III and Mary II (1689-1702) took the throne in 1689, they commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build an elegant new baroque palace. Later, Georgian kings and princes occupied the splendid interiors. When the royals left in 1737, impoverished ‘grace and favour’ aristocrats moved in.
Queen Victoria opened the palace to the public in 1838. It has remained a magnet for millions of visitors, drawn to the grandeur, the ghosts and the fabulous art collection.
The gardens that are visited by thousands of people every year, were once the exclusive playground of kings and queens. New ideas and designs arrived with each new era, from the Tudors through to the Victorians. Today the Gardens and Estate team continue the work of past royal gardeners.
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