Royal Places, Park & Palaces
Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace in one day? Both places deserve 3 hours each, but when youíve a busy schedule and really canít decide between the two, then this is the tour for you.
Leaving Windsor, we drive along a pretty stretch of the River Thames for a short stop in Runnymede where you will hear about the origins of the Magna Carta. The actual memorial is a short walk away across fields. Pleasant in summer, but if itís been raining, then it gets very muddy underfoot, and instead we will head straight to Hampton Court Palace.
The journey to Hampton Court Palace is through built-up areas, but there are plenty of little nuggets of information and insights for you on the half hour journey.
We have Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to thank for the magnificence of Hampton Court, and when you gaze upon the vast palace complex, you will understand why Henry VIII wanted it for himself. What may come as a surprise is the dual-style of the palace Ė it was transformed during the reign of William III and Mary II with baroque architecture and style. You will have about 2.5 Ė 3 hours to enjoy the palace and gardens at your own pace. There are excellent audioguides, and children and adults alike are sure to enjoy the costumed guides. If you are lucky, you may see Henry VIII himself, as he prepares for his marriage to Ö. well, which one of his six wives will it be? Come and find out! Hampton Court Palace is especially well-geared up for families, and youngsters will enjoy burning off some energy in 'the most famous Maze in the history of the world'.
Time for a change of scenery, and we journey a short distance to Bushy Park, where we have time for a short walk in the second largest Royal Park in London. Itís hard to believe you are so close to London when youíre surrounded in a landscape of hills, woodlands, ponds, gardens and grassland.
About 650 red and fallow deer roam freely within the 1100 acres, and whilst I can give no guarantees that we shall see the deer, I have always managed to see them so far. The photos on here are from a walk I did in January Ė I have quite fallen in love with the noisy, colourful parakeets who abound in this area.
All too soon it will be time to head back to Windsor so that you have time to visit the castle. But we shall return via Eton, home of the world-famous Eton College, founded by King Henry VI in 1440. On this tour, I can drop you off in Eton, since it is quicker for you to get back to Windsor on foot over the pedestrian bridge than it would be for me to drive round, but of course I am more than happy to drive you back to Windsor Castle if you prefer.
Tour duration: Approx 5 hours
What extra costs should you factor in?
- Click HERE for range of entrance fees to Hampton Court Palace (Adult = £14)
- Lunch at Hampton Court Palace = about £4 for a sandwich; £8 for a hot meal. The restaurants outside arenít any cheaper!
- Admission to Windsor Castle = Adult £16.00
Over 60/Student (with valid ID) £14.50
Under 17 £9.50
Under 5 Free
Family £42.00 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)