Easter at Hampton Court Palace – From stunning tulip displays to exciting chocolate trails for families, step into spring this Easter at Hampton Court Palace
1 – 18 April – Lindt GOLD BUNNY Hunt
Experience the delights of the great outdoors this spring with a visit to the beautiful gardens at Hampton Court Palace. Throughout the Easter holidays, the grounds will be filled with gold bunnies waiting to be discovered in the Lindt GOLD BUNNY Hunt, as well as offering a riot of seasonal colour with the palace’s first-ever Tulip Festival.
Little ones can set off on an adventure-filled treasure hunt this Easter, with the return of the popular Lindt GOLD BUNNY Hunt. Hidden all around the palace – where monarchs have indulged their sweet tooth across the centuries – will be the famous Lindt GOLD BUNNY. Crossing through the Tiltyard – Henry VIII’s former jousting ground – and the daffodil strewn Wilderness, families will be able to enjoy the stunning historic gardens along the way. As children embark on their bunny hunt, they’ll find out about a whole host of former Hampton Court residents, tracking each one down to find a GOLD BUNNY named in their honour. By following the clues on their trusty trail map, they’ll discover more about some of the lesser-known characters from the palace’s past, including John Dale, Henry VIII’s Master Cook and John Blanke, the King’s royal trumpeter. Once completed, treasure hunters can claim their chocolate reward and a pair of GOLD BUNNY ears guaranteed to put a spring in anyone’s step! Perfect for children aged 3-12, the trail is included in general gardens admission and takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to complete.
17 April – 3 May – Tulip Festival
From 17 April, the gardens will be filled with colour for the first-ever Hampton Court PalaceTulip Festival, with over 100,000 bulbs set to bloom in spectacular displays throughout the formal gardens in homage to the estate’s long royal history of tulip cultivation. Once one of the most sought-after commodities of the time, with tulip planting at the palace dating back to the reign of Queen Mary II, visitors will now be able to marvel at types of tulip that have not been on show at the palace since the 17th century. Across the gardens, ten different heritage and modern types have been planted, including Parrot, Triumph, Rembrandt and Darwin tulips, with a total of 105,000 bulbs planted during autumn 2020 by the gardens team at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace. The elegant formal lawn of Fountain Court, which is overlooked by the grand Baroque state apartments built for Mary and her husband King William III, will be transformed with a display containing over 15,000 bulbs alone, while the Privy Garden – a faithful recreation of the garden that would have delighted courtiers during their reign – will be filled with multicoloured Rembrandt tulips.A self-guided trail will lead visitors around the grounds, taking in the famous red-brick courtyards – filled with ornate planters and flowers specially-selected to match the historic brickwork – and the ornate gardens.
A host of measures, such as hand sanitiser dispensers and social distancing signage will be in place along the route to ensure returning visitors feel safe. Visitors are also asked to book in advance to help Historic Royal Palaces manage capacity and allow everyone to enjoy their time in the gardens with plenty of space. Both the Lindt GOLD BUNNY Hunt and Tulip Festival are included in the price of a standard ticket and are free for Historic Royal Palaces members. A membership of Historic Royal Palaces not only supports the charity’s work in preserving these remarkable spaces for future generations to enjoy but allows unlimited access to explore the buildings, collections and tranquil gardens in their care.