This post provides details about Hampton Court Palace, including how to get tickets, what to see there, tours of the landmark, and other details you might want to know in order to plan out your trip.
Lying on the western banks of the River Thames sits one of the largest and most beautiful palatial residences in the United Kingdom: Hampton Court Palace.
Originally built by Cardinal Wolsey in the 16th century, King Henry VIII took over the Palace and it has remained in the hands of the Crown ever since.
A popular visitor attraction for first-timers and those who already know London alike, Hampton Court is one of the most magical destinations in London.
There are a lot of interesting things to see and do here, including fun activities, costumed guided tours, art galleries, special exhibitions, and many other attractions.
If you want to visit this historic landmark, it will be necessary to purchase tickets for admission. Tickets include access to pretty much everything in the palace, so there’s no need to pay extra for specific attractions.
Tickets and Tours
Admission to Hampton Court Palace includes access to the following attractions:
- Hampton Court Palace
- The Gardens
- The Courtyards
- The Maze
- Magic Garden
- Cumberland Art Gallery
- Mantegna Gallery
- The King’s Gallery
- Haunted Gallery
- And more!
Here are the current ticket prices as of January 2022:
- £25.30/Adults (18-64)
- £12.60/Children (5-15)
- £44.20/Family (1 Adult, 3 Children)
- £69.50/Family (2 Adults, 3 Children)
Concession tickets are valid for senior citizens (65+), full-time students, and youth visitors between the ages of 16-17. Children under the age of 5 are welcome for free with the accompaniment of an adult.
Guided tours are provided for free to ticket holders at Hampton Court Palace. You must book a tour ahead of time using this booking form. All of the tour guides are qualified at Institute of Tourist Guiding Level 2.
While on these guided tours, you can expect to learn about a lot of different subjects such as the history of Henry VIII, ghost stories, the origins of the palace, and much more.
There are also private guided tours, but prices start at £132 in addition to the ticket costs. If you are interested in this option, check this list of private tours at Hampton Court Palace.
In addition to these options, there are also audio guides to help you find your way around the palace and learn about its history. This service is included with the cost of your ticket to Hampton Court Palace.
During the warmer months, you can also expect rooftop tours which give visitors a great look at the Hampton Court Gardens and the history of the palace while enjoying the best view in the area.
Finally, Hampton Court Palace also provides guided tours for the blind and deaf. Blind visitors can take advantage of their Describer Escorted visits while Deaf guests can take tours with guides who will use British Sign Language (BSL).
There are several ways to save money on tickets to Hampton Court Palace. This section covers some of the best deals and some options that may become available in the future as well.
1. Use a Tourist Pass
Hampton Court Palace is included on multiple London tourist passes at no extra cost. If you’re already planning to visit several attractions in the city, this could be a great way to save money on everything.
Tickets to this historic palace are currently offered by the following tourist pass services:
- The London Pass
- London Explorer Pass
For more information, check our post covering each London tourist pass available.
2. Family Tickets
If you’re visiting with your kids, you could save a lot of money by purchasing a family ticket. Hampton Court Palace currently offers two family ticket options:
- £44.20/Family (1 Adult, 3 Children)
- £69.50/Family (2 Adults, 3 Children)
Each ticket provides a discount of £18.90 off the standard admission prices.
3. Concession Discount
The concession price of £20.20 is a discount of £5.10. The following guests are eligible for this price point:
- Senior Citizens (65+)
- Youth/Teens (16-17)
- Full-Time Students (w/ Student ID)
4. Discount Sites
Hampton Court Palace is often listed on websites such as Groupon and Discount London. Depending on when you check, they may have very good deals on tickets, and they might also be offering additional coupon codes for an extra 10% - 20% off.
5. AAA Discount/Credit Card Discount
In the past, AAA has offered its members exclusive discounts on admission to Hampton Court Palace. You’ll have to check ahead of time to see if this deal is still active, but it’s a great opportunity to save money.
Similarly, many credit card companies offer additional discounts for their customers which work in much the same way. Make sure to check your credit card website for any possible deals at Hampton Court Palace before you head out.
Plan Your Trip
Hampton Court Palace is located southwest of London near the river Thames. Although it isn’t directly in the city center, you can reach this historic site using public transportation. The easiest option is to take the train to Hampton Court Station.
If you’re traveling from the center of London, it should only take about 30-35 minutes to get here. Don’t forget to check our post on how to use the London Underground for more information.
In addition to this option, there is also a shuttle bus from Windsor Castle to Hampton Court Palace which will take you between the two landmarks with ease.
Travel time is around 30-35 minutes and this service is available from March to October.
Visitors who want to take the public bus can use the following lines to reach this location: 111, 216, 411, 461, 513.
They also offer river cruise services which will bring you to this historic site during the warmer months. From April to October, you can take a cruise from Richmond to Hampton Court Palace.
If you’re closer to Westminster and Big Ben, there is also a river cruise service that will take you to Hampton Court Palace, but it’s much slower at around 3-4 hours in length.
If time is of the essence, we recommend using the tube or shuttle bus.
Hampton Court Palace is open daily with the exception of December 24th - 26th. Here are the timetables you can expect throughout the year:
- March - November: 10am - 6pm
- November - March: 10am - 4.30pm
The last admittance is approximately 1 hour before closing, so shave an hour off the closing time to get a sense of when you can visit.
Things to See at Hampton Court Palace
There are a lot of things to see and do at Hampton Court Palace, and this section will detail some of the best attractions in the area. Admission to each of these locations is included with the cost of a ticket.
The Great Hall
This hall was designed as a show of power and prestige to impress the guests of Henry VIII.
The roof was built in the Hammer-beam style, and if you look closely you’ll spot Anne Boleyn’s initials and coat-of-arms. The walls are covered in a series of tapestries which depict the life of the biblical figure Abraham.
Hampton Court Gardens
At 60 acres in size, the formal gardens here are not only beautiful, but also quite massive. As a matter of fact, the total expanse of the gardens includes 750 acres of parkland!
There are several individual gardens and other things to see here, including the following locations:
- East Front Gardens
- Lower Orangery Garden
- The Privy Garden
- The Kitchen Garden
- 20th Century Garden
- The Wilderness
- The Great Vine (World’s Largest Grape Vine)
Henry VIII’s Kitchens
These were the largest kitchens in Tudor England, with more than 200 cooks and other people working to prepare over 800 meals per day. So much food was prepared here that they burnt 1.3 million logs just to keep the cauldrons boiling and spits roasting.
William III’s Apartments
Located at the top of the King’s staircase, these state apartments were once owned by William III, but his own private apartments were actually downstairs. The state apartments include several different chambers you can usually visit:
- The Guard Chamber
- The Presence Chamber
- The Eating Room
- The Privy Chamber
- The Great Bedchamber
- The Little Bedroom
The Magic Garden
This is a special garden designed for younger visitors and their families, with plenty of room to run and play. There are aso slides, a gigantic dragon statue for kids to climb on, and several other fun activities for children. Think of it like a gigantic playground, and it’s all included in the price of admission!
Religious services have been held here for hundreds of years, and the chapel is still in use to this day. The interior of this chapel was remodeled in 1710 by Christopher Wren, who also rebuilt St. Paul’s Cathedral and other notable sites in London after the Great Fire of 1666.
The vaulted ceilings were actually installed by Henry VIII in the 1530s. You’ll find a period accurate replica of the crown worn by Henry VIII in the Royal Pew of Chapel Royal.
This gallery might not seem spooky at first glance, but there is actually a legend about a ghost that might haunt this hall. In 1541, Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard was charged with adultery.
It is said that when she discovered this, she ran along the length of this gallery hoping to find her husband in the chapel. Unfortunately, she was caught by the guards before she could make it the whole distance. Today, some say her ghost has been seen running through the gallery screaming for mercy.
Cumberland Art Gallery
This art gallery houses a variety of pieces from the Royal Collection. Hampton Court Palace was a royal residence from the 1500s - 1700s, which was a period in which there were many great and important artists creating amazing works of art.
After the palace was no longer used as a residence for royalty, it was used as an art gallery, and this is the modern day extension of the purpose this palace once served.
This gallery focuses on the Triumphs of Caesar, nine large paintings by Andrea Mantegna, one of the most well-known artists of the Italian Renaissance. These paintings depict Roman ruler Julius Caesar on a triumphal chariot as he returned from a successful military campaign.
Commissioned in 1700 by William III, this is actually the oldest surviving hedge maze in the United Kingdom. The maze is well known for confusing visitors, but it usually takes around 20 minutes to reach the centre. But will you be able to find your way back out just as quickly?