Today we visited Hampton Court Palace gardens for fun in the sun and snow! Obviously the palace itself is still closed to visitors, but the beautiful gardens are open and are well worth a visit, or a few visits. I love Hampton Court it’s a special place.
My monkeys are with their daddy this week, so I went with my parents, sister & her two children. And yes we are only two households, as I am classed as a household with my folks as they are my support bubble – just Incase anyone wants to be picky! No rule breaking going on here. We drove, it’s such an easy journey from us, just under an hour. It’s however, equally easy to travel by train, we actually parked in the station car park (bargain £7 for the day, off peak), and it’s only a two minute walk over the bridge to Hampton Court.
From the 1st – 18th April there is a Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt within the gardens. Follow the trail of huge gold bunnies around the gardens and claim a prize at the end – really cute bunny ears and chocolate – too cute to refuse! Each bunny is named after a famous character from Hampton Courts past, from William Shakespeare to Catalina, Katherine of Aragon’s royal bed maker. With interesting facts about them at each point. We really enjoyed reading about everyone, love a bit of history, and it’s really nicely done.
Hampton Court has 60 acres of gorgeous formal gardens and is surrounded by 750 acres of parkland, all set within a loop of the River Thames. It’s so beautiful. There are deer in the parkland that are descendants of Henry VIII’s own deer herd. If only they could talk and share the stories that have been passed down from deer to deer!
We each seemed to have a favourite garden today, all liking different things. My favourite was the less formal garden full of spring flowers, I know I know I should be able to rattle off its name, but right now I am comfy on the sofa writing this and quite honestly I cannot remember. But see for yourself just how pretty it is. Which do you like best?
We had to queue to get in the Magic Garden which is the children’s adventure play area, but it was well worth the wait, It’s lovely. We only queued for maybe half an hour, but it was quite sheltered so we were out of the cold breeze thankfully. Children get timed slots in the playground, adults get given a coloured wrist band a d every now and again announcements are made saying that it’s time up for xxx colour. We were there for quite a while and never heard ours called, so you get a decent time to play. The Magic Garden is a gorgeous play area, so well laid out, and maintained. It’s really lovely, we all really enjoyed it. Phoebe and Jude were off playing, we sat in the sun, watching everyone play. A really cute little girl decided she was going to endlessly roll down the slope we were sat at the top of, so she provided us with entertainment and cuteness. Then dad thought it was fun to have a go and slid down! So it started, Katie grabbed me trying to push me down, I grabbed the kids and the chaos commenced. You can’t take us anywhere 🙂 We laughed a lot and probably got more than a few funny looks, but who cares, it was fun.
Check out this YouTube clip of the Magic Garden – https://youtu.be/09LQxRewbVA
Oh and to add to the magic whilst were in the Magic Garden it randomly decided to snow! From blue sky to snow in no time at all, what is going on with this weather?!
I have just seen on their website that they have also have autism friendly play sessions in the Magic Garden from 0930 – 1100, and a whole social story on the website for our SEN children, this just makes me love them a little bit more than I already did. The link is https://bit.ly/2PXjlFM it’s so great to be able to have a play area with reduced numbers for SEN children to enjoy. Thank you Hampton Court!
Despite the actual palace being closed, there are plenty of spotlessly clean toilets available which are really well signposted throughout the grounds. There were several ice cream carts open today. Phoebe has an severe egg allergy, so we always have to check ingredients of everything. The ice cream sellers were super helpful and were really happy to check the ingredients of all the flavours to find one she could have. The Tiltyard cafe is open for takeaways, they had a good range of sandwiches, gorgeous cakes, including a delicious looking vegan coffee & walnut cake, and ice creams, and hooray they also had a vegan magnums! A great choice of hot drinks, and several choices of non dairy milk. I was pleasantly surprised.
How to book and what it costs
Tickets must be pre-booked and upon booking you choose a time slot for your arrival time. The link to book is https://bit.ly/39NOYJ7 They have various options for tickets, including adults, child’s, concessions, or family groups of varying sizes. It’s very well organised. I love how you can buy a ticket for a family group of a single adult and three children, without wasting another adult ticket. Really well thought out, and totally suitable for single parents. To give you an idea of costs, Adults £15, Children (over 5yrs) £7.50, Concessions £12, Family of one adult and up to three children £22.50.