My birthday was at the end of May and I had requested to go to Hampton Court Palace. But it rained on my birthday so we didn’t go. I was very grown up about it but made myself a promise that we would go at some point this year. And today was the day.
The last (and only other) time I visited was on my 30th birthday when I was heavily pregnant with T. When I say heavily I mean I was heavy. I still had around 7 weeks to go but I was huge. Subsequently we didn’t see more than about a third of what there is to see so I vowed I would return.
I’ve always loved history and the Tudor period of British history has always fascinated me. Whether it’s the very tenuous claim that Henry VII had to the throne or the ruthlessness of his delightful son or the powerful women that are a constant theme throughout, I don’t know. There just isn’t another era that intrigues me as much.
Hampton Court Palace is stunning and this year it celebrates its 500th anniversary. To walk the same paths that people walked 500 years ago and to see the rooms they lived in is just awesome. They have some very engaging exhibitions and the whole set up is very accessible and aimed to draw you in and make you feel like you’re part of it. From the Great Hall where you can imagine hoardes of courtiers gathering and hoping to be the favoured one to sit near the king, to the courtyards where you can envisage Wolsey charging through having been summonsed to see his master. It’s brilliant. And I loved it.
They had deckchairs set up on the lawns and we had a lovely rest whilst eating ice creams. We walked miles round Formal Gardens, Kitchen Gardens, Rose Gardens, the maze, we saw the worlds largest vine (bizarre) and stunning stags.
It was a fabulous birthday outing and well worth the wait.
(Photos are all on camera so will upload a few when all sorted).