Our first course trip of the New Year was one to Hampton Court Palace. We attended as part of our Engaging Audiences module. The day itself was very cold – so no exploration of the maze for us – bu the Palace is very beautiful. We got in for free as we were an education group, but there is an entry fee for visitors usually.
Our coach arrived just before 11 and we were given a talk by the CEO and the operations managers – both of which were fascinating to hear because they provide you with insight into everyday running of the sites. After this, being the food oriented person I am, I was hungry and needed lunch (luckily to did my friend) and so we headed for the cafe. The vegetarian option available – a vegetable tagine with giant couscous – was delicious, always a pleasant surprise to be honest, and with the raspberry lemonade I had to go with it came to around £11.. not bad.
After this we explored the rooms, of which there were many and so it was quite overwhelming. They had a chocolate kitchen but no chocolate – disappointing. The displays varied in time period, with some about Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey, some on art, and some on the kitchens. Some of the displays had difficult to follow text, but the actual aesthetics were stunning- one of the images below features the family tree they had on display. I also very much enjoyed the staff in costume, as that added a fun element to the interpretation available. As well as this they had a section with some games to play, an interactive the majority of my fellow students had a go at.
The gardens are also stunning and also varied, on a warmer day this would be a wonderful way to spend a chunk of the day at the palace I think. For someone who enjoys Palaces and Country Houses, a day at Hampton Court Palace would be one well spent.
There are many nooks and crannies to discover on a trip here, but for me the food was definitely the highlight I think. Although upon speaking to my mum, she said she had a wonderful time with her friends, so it is probably a better day out in the summer when you can take full advantage of those beautiful gardens – I know they have just opened a WONDERFUL new park for children. They sell AMAZING fudge in the gift shop btw. Here’s a photo of me with one of the drunk fellas in the courtyard.