On Monday, 19th August, I finally was able to return to my beloved Hampton Court Palace during the tail end of my trip to London! So I thought I’d share some of that day with you. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.) Off we go!
We arrived 20 minutes before opening on a Monday, so it was blissfully peaceful as we entered and for about the first hour or so. I’m someone who moves heaven and earth to do things on off times, and the payoff is great. Before the main gate opened, we meandered around the main courtyard, where the recreation of the Tudor wine fountain sits. There are also concrete recreations of ye olde partyers enjoying some wine or having a bit of a lie-down…
as well as feeling quite ill from the festivities.
Interesting! We took some photos of the courtyard and the exterior and then went directly to the Young Henry VIII exhibit. One room holds the gorgeous painting of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, and it is here that I recognized our friends and activities from the main courtyard:
So that explains it! This exhibit also introduces us to Young, Fit Henry and his Regal and Polished Queen, Catherine of Aragon. One of the most striking visual elements of this exhibit is a York/Lancaster family tree that adorns one wall:
But I don’t want to give away the entire exhibit for you … Go and see it!
No trip to Hampton Court is complete without time spent in the impressive Great Hall, bedecked with antlers and tapestries…
and impressive stained glass and fan-vaulting…
And look, there’s Anne Boleyn wafting by a tapestry!
The palace is buzzing with costumed actors, who really lend to the atmosphere of the place. Henry and Wife #2 were kind enough to pose for a photo before continuing with their hallway bickering:
No photos are allowed in the gorgeous Chapel Royal, so this photographic tour now moves to the Secrets of the Bedchamber exhibit. No photos allowed inside this exhibit either, but here’s one from the entrance, reflecting the awesome Queen’s Staircase (and the photographer!)
Now into the gardens on this gorgeous day we go…
and a peek at the Tudor kitchens…
Then a gander at the ceiling in Anne Boleyn’s Gateway, where the intricate design holds the pesky entwined “A” and “H” that got away from Henry VIII’s efforts to destroy any reminders of his saucy second wife:
before heading back to Waterloo Station and grabbing a quick lunch from Marks and Spencer Simply Food to nosh on back in the City, with this lovely view:
(Hint: Lady Diana Spencer was here in a very poufy dress!)
Finally, another Tudor-y part to my day as Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb was kind enough to carve some time out of her day to meet me for coffee. Not only is she a brilliant historian, she is a super-nice person to chat with! (You’re following her on Facebook and Twitter, aren’t you?)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sojourn, and keep your eyes peeled for additional posts about this recent trip to My Favourite City!