We had an early start on the 15th December, eagerly anticipating a long-awaited trip! Hampton Court Palace had been postponed once before due to poor weather conditions and we were rearing to go, looking forward to the secrets that the palace held!
After what felt like an eternity! We had arrived. The palace looked beautiful on a crisp, winter’s day, with its towering turrets and chimneys. We walked up towards the palace and talked about what type of person had lived there – we had been learning about the Tudors and were excited to find out more about the monarch we found most interesting – King Henry VIII.
We split off into groups and discovered the kitchens and a welcoming roaring fire to warm our hands up! We couldn’t believe how many people they had working in the kitchens to serve the many feasting areas around the castle. Despite working long, hard hours, the servers, that worked in the kitchen, had far less to eat than the Kings and Queens and nobility. There were at least 200 cooks who slavishly worked throughout the day to feed 800 guests when Henry VIII was staying at the palace. We loved looking through the map and selecting places that we wanted to discover – the chocolate kitchens seemed to be one of the most favorable places but unfortunately, there was no chocolate!
In Base Court and Clock Court, the ground was covered with cobblestones; it really did feel like we had been transported back in time! We went up a huge staircase that led up to King Henry VIII’s apartments. There was a great hall, which looked like something out of Harry Potter, and this is where the great feasts were held. We walked through the different corridors (one is rumoured to be haunted) to the private chapel where we saw a crown adorned with glittering jewels. It wasn’t just Henry VIII that lived in the palace, it was also residence for King William III and Queen Mary II and King George II.
We also loved exploring the garden, which houses the largest vine in the world, finding out about the giant maze, looking at how beautifully decorated the apartments were – can you believe that the ceilings looked like photos. We also had a guided tour where we learnt lots about jobs in Tudor courts, which included being a diver who was commissioned to retrieve missing, precious things.
We really enjoyed our trip to Hampton Court Palace and learnt lots more about the history of our monarchy!
Have a look HERE for some photos from our visit.