A-Maze-Ing Hampton Court Palace

Running around a magical palace is every (big) kid's dream! This week, my sister and I did just that, our cheeks still hurting from all the fun we had!

With exquisite rooms brimming with history and endless enchanted gardens to prance around in, Hampton Court Palace is always somewhere I have wanted to go to.

It's amazing how such a magnificently sprawling palace lies so close to London - less than an hour from Waterloo, the fun started as soon as we hopped off the train!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court train station

As soon as we crossed the bridge from the station,  I could see the Palace - it was huge and truly fit for a king! Although when we arrived the skies were grey and gloomy, the sun soon cloaked the Palace in a delightful warm glow and it shone in all its glory.

Superpeach blog Hampton Court from afar

Up close it was even more beautiful - the rich colour of the Tudor red brick, the Gothic ornate windows, the King's Beasts statues, we were immediately transported back in time.

Superpeach blog Hampton Court up close
Superpeach blog Hampton Court King's Beasts statues
Superpeach blog Hampton Court windows

Our excitement levels already sky high, we were told we could dress up so without hesitation, we ran over to the glorious gowns and swishy cloaks which lined the wall - perfect for kings, queens, princes and princesses. 

Superpeach blog Hampton Court costumes

I opted for a rather charming cloak whilst my sister chose an elegant drapey jacket. We were ready!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court dress up
Superpeach blog Hampton Court dress up zoom

Now we were completely in the role, where to even begin?!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court Base Court

The Palace is impressive in every way - each and every luxurious room, lavish staircase, grand window...

Superpeach blog Hampton Court staircase
Superpeach blog Hampton Court window

And not forgetting the small details which really added to the whole extravagance of the Palace; pretty tiled floors, prized hunts lining the walls and intricate portraits hanging from the corridors.

Superpeach blog Hampton Court horns
Superpeach blog Hampton Court portrait
Superpeach blog Hampton Court tiles
Superpeach blog Hampton Court ceiling
Superpeach blog Hampton Court bannister
Superpeach blog Hampton Court reflection

There was so much to see and do - the Palace had us completely enthralled.

Superpeach blog Hampton Court Henry VIII portrait
Superpeach blog Hampton Court hall
Superpeach blog Hampton Court Remi stairs
Superpeach blog Hampton Court hall walls

It was amazing that hundreds of years ago, this Palace was buzzing with life, a hive of activity - people running up and down these very corridors which we were walking through!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court corridor

But my favourite parts of the Palace were definitely those which showed the behind-the-scenes of it all. Yes it was sumptuous and rightly so, it was after all, the home of King Henry VIII, but I really loved seeing the working life behind the Palace - how it was run day-to-day.

From the enormous kitchen complete with life-sized pies to the Privy Council where we could sit amongst the debates (I obviously chose to sit in the main chair to lead the debate even though I had no clue what I was doing...)!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court kitchen
Superpeach blog Hampton Court court

But nothing could have engaged us more than the live interactive performance that led us through the Palace and entranced us with the story of Thomas Culpeper and Catherine Howard (Henry VIII's 5th wife), who were accused of adultery and sentenced to death.

Superpeach blog Hampton Court interactive 1
Superpeach blog Hampton Court interactive 2

Finally, it was time to explore the gardens and to say they were breathtaking would be an understatement.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves but you have to be there to see for yourself just how stunning the grounds were - it really were as if we were wandering around a wonderland!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court garden entrance
Superpeach blog Hampton Court gardens 1
Superpeach blog Hampton Court Remi peek
Superpeach blog Hampton Court peek
Superpeach blog Hampton Court flowers
Superpeach blog Hampton Court garden door
Superpeach blog Hampton Court flower pot
Superpeach blog Hampton Court hedges
Superpeach blog Hampton Court vineyard jump
Superpeach blog Hampton Court infinity pond
Superpeach blog Hampton Court garden selfie
Superpeach blog Hampton Court fountain

And finally of course, there was the famous maze of Hampton Court to conquer! Sadly I don't have that many photos of the maze because I was too determined to figure out how to find the centre!

It is the most famous maze in the history of the world, and immeasurably the one most visited.
— Ernest Law, 1926

After walking around aimlessly, we finally decided to follow a more logical approach (run your hand along the left-hand wall and follow it) and we finally found the centre. Feeling triumphant and pleased with ourselves, it was time to call it a day!

Superpeach blog Hampton Court Remi maze
Superpeach blog Hampton Court maze

Time for one final coffee before we headed back to London, absolutely knackered from all the running around but oh so very happy - it was such a memorable day filled with adventure.

I can't recommend this extraordinary Palace enough but make sure you give yourself plenty of time as we spent hours on end exploring all the nooks and crannies of it!

Hampton Court Palace is open everyday from 10.00am - 4.30pm up until 24th March 2016 with extended summer opening times from 25th March 2016 to 29th October 2016 when it's open until 6.00pm.

Buy your tickets online for a discounted rate starting at £17.10 for adults and £8.60 for children.