Day Out : Hampton Court Palace

There are so many things to do this 1/2 term, I only wish that our wonderful curators, and imaginators kept these fun activities going through the summer too … remember how fantastic London was last year with the 2012 Olympic Cultural Festival : it all made sense to me.  Well, maybe it’s my job to persuade everyone that we want more events and workshops, and if it is, I’ll gladly take on the challenge, so wish me luck!

I’m going to carefully pick through a selection of the 1/2 term events happening this February for families, so if I miss something that you are passionate about, just drop me a comment, and I can do my best to write it up for the benefit of all our travellers. Here’s a start, with one of the most majestic of the UK’s Royal Historic Palaces :Hampton Court Palace.



Hampton Court Palace offers an excellent value family ticket at £43.46 (£39.50 without the voluntary donation) for up to 2 adults and up to 6 children aged 5-15 years (or £36.50 if you book online).

Children under 5 years old are admitted free of charge.

Your ticket includes access to the palace, maze and gardens, plus a multi-language audio guide, costumed guided tours, children’s activity trails, the Tudor Kitchens, the Young Henry VIII exhibition and much more!


1/2 TERM FUN : Horrible Hampton

Saturday 16 – Sunday 24 February

The Tudor court is recruiting children as apprentices for the dirty jobs needed to make the beautiful palace run smoothly. Have you got what it takes to be a gong scourer or a laundress? Could you pull rotten teeth or diagnose the King’s illnesses? A strong stomach is certainly an advantage!


Ghosts at the palace

Is the palace haunted? People say it is haunted by the ghost of Queen Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII’s wives. But she isn’t the only one! Did you feel anything? Are ghosts real? A ghostly children’s trail is available to help you track down our other ghosts.

A living Tudor world

Join King Henry VIII’s courtiers to hear about this much married King, learn about the business of the Court and to dress up in a Tudor gown. If you are lucky you may even see the man himself… 

Costumed tours and presentations

Meet characters from the Court of King Henry VIII. Check ‘Your day at court’ for presentation times.  

Family room

Our family room, in which under 5’s can let off a bit of steam, is located next to the left luggage lockers and buggy park off Clock Court. It contains some large lego, books, clothes to dress up in and large soft blocks to keep younger members of the family happy and give parents and older siblings a bit of a break.

The Maze

The star attraction in our gardens. Test your skills as a family and get enjoyably lost in ‘the most famous Maze in the history of the world’. The two metre high hedges twist and turn, with false routes and dead ends. See who gets to the middle first. Admission is included in your palace ticket.

Tudor kitchensBuilt to feed the Court of Henry VIII, the kitchens were expected to provide meals for 600 people twice a day. See the kitchens and experience the sights and smells of a real Tudor kitchen! 

The Great Outdoors

The palace is surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland. Take care when visiting the gardens that contain water features, such as ponds and canals.

The King’s Guard Chamber

King William III decorated his guard chamber with 2,846 pieces of arms and armour. A special children’s audio guide and/or family trail takes you on a fun-filled tour through the rest of the King’s magnificent rooms. Look out for his very comfy toilet!

Family trails

Packed with fun quizzes, activities, facts and illustrations, our free family trails are the perfect way to explore Hampton Court Palace as a family. Hard copies are available at the palace’s Information Centre after you have purchased your tickets. When you’ve completed one, bring it back for a prize! Click below to download a sample family trail.

henry 8 pitkin guide


If you want to give the kids a chance to get in character before arriving, maybe buy one of the Pitkin guides to Henry VIII’s life and world.