Make like the Tudors and enjoy a staycation summer at Hampton Court Palace – With 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres of parkland to explore, there’s nowhere better to escape to this summer, with fine food, fast cars and fun for all the family!
Tudor Summer School: Weds to Sun, 12 – 23 August
Hampton Court Palace Food Market: 29 – 31 August
Concours of Elegance: 4 – 6 September
Have you ever wondered what the Tudors used for toilet paper? Or why Elizabeth I always looked like she’d just seen a ghost? Find the answers to these burning questions and more by joining in with the Tudor Summer School, Hampton Court Palace’s new fun-filled alternative to home-schooling. To make sure families are able to make the most of their day, Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity which cares for the palace – has added a host of new measures to ensure returning visitors feel safe. Hand sanitiser dispensers and social distancing signage have been installed across the site, and visitors are asked to book in advance to help Historic Royal Palaces manage capacity and allow visitors to enjoy their time at court with plenty of space.
Uncover the gross and gruesome stories of one of history’s most infamous families, right where it happened, as the palace’s costumed players take to the stage for a whistle-stop journey through Tudor history. Set in Hampton Court’s famous gardens, attendees will be walking in the footsteps of textbook supremoes Henry VIII and ‘Bloody Mary’, the boy king Edward VI and ‘Good Queen Bess’. Sharing tales of divorce to disease, excellence to excrement; the plucky Tudor tutoring duo will be doing their best to catch everyone up on what they missed while school’s been out… all in just 40 minutes!
Running three times a day Wednesdays to Sundays from 12 to 23 August, there’s no excuse to skip class, so grab a picnic blanket, take a socially-distanced spot in the gardens and bag yourself a front row seat for this ‘school’ with a difference.
Meanwhile, this August Bank Holiday weekend the palace will be welcoming a hand-picked selection of artisan producers, street food and boutique drinks companies for the first ever Hampton Court Palace Food Market. Visitors will be able to sample delectable treats and enjoy live entertainment from festival favourites in the palace’s stunning East Front gardens, all with social distancing and safety measures in place to make the day safe and stress free.
Promising stalls to suit every taste, hungry visitors will be able to feast their way around the world, with everything from Cluck London to the Crispy Duck Rotisserie, BEYRoots Lebanese Street Food and Bayou New Orleans Kitchen, all washed down with a tipple from some of Britain’s finest artisan drinks producers. For those with a sweet tooth, Hampton Court has got your back, with treats from Cookies and Cream, Churros Garcia and The Brownie Bar among those on offer.
Once appetites have been satisfied, visitors can head inside Hampton Court Palace; the former home of one of history’s most notorious foodies, King Henry VIII. Here, visitors can walk through the Great Hall where the famous king once dined and entertained his guests, then pay a visit to his Kitchens, taking in sights and smells little changed since the 1500s. After exploring the palace to discover hundreds of years of history, visitors can take a stroll in 60 acres of magnificent gardens and enjoy fun for all the family in the Magic Garden. Offering a unique way to explore the history of Hampton Court Palace, this spectacular play garden is inspired by the palace’s many stories and legends, with mythical beasts, battlements, towers and even a secret grotto!
Meanwhile, for those with a need for speed, from 4 – 6 September the Concours of Elegance will bring together a selection of 60 of the rarest cars from around the world -many of which will never have been seen before in the UK. From one of the oldest road-going production Aston Martin models in existence (of less than 15 examples still existing) to a 1966 Ferrari Dino 206 SP, one of only 17 Porsche 356 American Roadsters ever produced, and even the Williams FW15C, a masterpiece of F1 design in which Alain Prost cruised to his fourth World Drivers’ title in 1993. Alongside these legends of automotive history, guests can pre-book a Fortnum & Mason picnic, and soak up the atmosphere of this unique event with a glass of champagne.
Hampton Court Palace admission tickets include free entry to the Tudor Summer School and Food Market, while Historic Royal Palaces members can enjoy free entry across the sites throughout the year. Tickets to Concours of Elegance start at £45 for adults.
Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace, is hoping visitors will show their support for its national treasures by returning for a visit this summer. The charity is dependent on visitor income and facing a £98 million shortfall in its finances following the pandemic. The return of visitors will make a vital contribution to the charity’s work caring for Hampton Court Palace and sharing its stories with the public.