What’s happening at Historic Royal Palaces?

Hampton Court Palace

What’s happening at Historic Royal Palaces, October – November 2018? 

Prepare yourselves for spooky tours, mythical beasts, and much more this autumn at Historic Royal Palaces.

At Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s famous home will be transformed into a mythical world this October half term, with the arrival of Beast Quest. Perfect for all the family, this interactive experience sets visitors the challenge of completing a series of tasks to vanquish the beasts that have been unleashed throughout the palace. Halloween sees the return of the spine-tingling Ghost Tours at the palace, including family-friendly tours and a special late-night Halloween fright fest. For those feeling really brave, the Dusk ‘til Dawn sleepover allows visitors to bed down in the palace for the night, complete with evening entertainment and more.

Head to the Tower of London this October half term and retrace Elizabethan adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh’s life with ‘Walter Raleigh Beat the Block.’ In the 400th anniversary year of his execution, meet Sir Walter and discover the choices he made which led to his imprisonment and eventual demise at the Tower. Meanwhile, the popular Twilight Tours return to the famous fortress on selected Sundays between November and April. Follow the Tower’s iconic Yeoman Warders as they lead an atmospheric tour after hours, taking in Traitors’ Gate and the Bloody Tower. Visitors will be appalled and amazed by the tales of prisoners and past residents and the secrets kept within these ancient walls, making this a truly unforgettable tour for those that dare. 


Walter Raleigh Beat the Block. 20-28 October 

Tower of London

Sir Walter Raleigh is one of the Tower’s most famous prisoners. This October Half Term, in the 400th anniversary year of his execution, retrace the Elizabethan explorer’s life with ‘Walter Raleigh Beat the Block’. Join Sir Walter as he regales the audience with stories of his adventures and navigate the choices he made which led to his three periods of imprisonment at the Tower and eventual execution. Included in palace admission

Beast Quest. 20 – 28 October

Hampton Court Palace

This October half term, the stories, and magic of the palace will be brought to life with mythical beasts and fun for all the family, as Beast Quest arrives at Hampton Court. Make a family ‘team’ and complete a variety of timed tasks, where bravery, quick thinking, and skills will be tested in this action-packed event. Find out what it takes to defeat the evil Malvel as he casts a spell over the palace and brings these beasts to life! Included in palace admission

Ghost Tours. Selected dates in November, January, and February, 18.30 – 20.30 and 19.15 - 21.15

Hampton Court Palace

Discover stories of mystery and paranormal activity on a ghostly gallivant of Hampton Court Palace. Hear the tale of the Tudor royal nurse whose spirit is said to stalk her former apartments and decide the origin of the mysterious figure caught on CCTV in the palace in the dead of night. There’ll also be the chance to visit the spot where two bodies were discovered in shallow graves in the 1870s. Tickets: £27.50 (must be aged 12 or over)

Twilight Tours. Selected Sundays from 4 November to 7 April 

Tower of London

Join the Tower’s Yeoman Warders as they lead exclusive tours of the Tower after dark. Take in world-famous sights, such as Traitors’ Gate, the scaffold site, and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents, of royal gossip and of the secrets kept within these ancient walls.Tickets: £27.50 / £25 HRP members

Family Ghost Tour. 31 October, 4 November & 6 January

Hampton Court Palace

Join a State Apartment Warder for an early evening walking tour where the history of the palace really does come creepily to life! Along the way participants will discover the stories of ghostly apparitions, paranormal activity and all manner of spooky happenings from over 500 years of the palace’s history. With mystery sightings, a haunting hound and even Hampton Court’s own species of spider to discover, it’s fun for all ages! Tickets: £14 adults / £7 children (minimum age 8 years old)

Halloween Ghost Tour Late Night Special. 31 October

Hampton Court Palace

For those who dare to brave the palace after dark, the night of Halloween will see a Special Late Night Ghost Tour take in some of the palace’s most ghoulish locations, complete with suitably spine-tingling commentary. The tour begins at 10.30pm. Tickets: £35 (must be aged 18 or over)


Queen in Danger. Weekends 8 September - 25 November (no live performances 20 – 28 October)

Hampton Court Palace

Step into the dangerous declining years of Henry VIII’s reign, as the palace comes alive with plots and intrigue. Now that the King has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, to oppose him is not only treason but heresy! Through these live performances, visitors can decide whether to become part of the plot against Katherine Parr, or help to save her life. Included in palace admission

Wicked Women. 1 September – 19 October 

Tower of London 

Travel back to 1533 at the Tower of London, where King Henry VIII has imprisoned Elizabeth Barton, the Holy Maid of Kent and Alice Wolfe. Accused of piracy, they face execution if convicted. Listen to their stories and decide whether and how you could help them escape! Included in palace admission 

Luna Cinema. 5 & 6 October

Hampton Court Palace

Enjoy an alfresco screening in the splendid grounds of Hampton Court at the Luna Cinema autumn screenings. This year will see family favourite Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (5 October) and musical spectacular Moulin Rouge (6 October) screened on the palace’s East Front lawn, providing a truly unforgettable floodlit backdrop.

See website for ticket information here 

Life in the Medieval Palace. 29 October – 23 December 

Tower of London 

Step back to the Middle Ages and meet the Knights and Ladies who accompanied King Edward I on his travels. Discover their colourful stories and how they lived in the comfortable and luxurious Medieval Palace at the Tower of London. Included in palace admission 

Dusk ‘til Dawn. 3 November

Hampton Court Palace

Do you dare to spend a night at Hampton Court Palace, immersing yourself in the 17th Century and delving into the dark past of witchcraft and sorcery?  Dusk ‘til Dawn begins with a hearty 3-course dinner, followed by evening entertainment with tours and an overnight stay in the King’s State Apartments at the palace. Tuck into a hot breakfast the following morning, before enjoying complimentary entry to the palace. Tickets: £145 (must be aged 18 or over)

Confessions at the Tower of London. 27 September and 6 November 

The Tower’s Poet in Residence for 2018, Innua Ellams, curates a series of poetry, spoken word and performance events with Confessions at the Tower. Hear live performances from award-winning poets, beatboxers, essayists, and storytellers as they explore stories inspired by the Tower’s 1000 year history. The next two installments cover the themes of ‘Justice’ (27 September) and ‘Perspective’ (6 November), with both performances taking place within the atmospheric chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Tickets: £20.00 / £18.00

Poppy Watt