Hampton Court Palace - a visitor's guide

Planning an independent visit to Hampton Court including public transport

Hampton Court Palace - a visitor's guide
Hampton Court Palace

For almost 200 years, Hampton Court Palace was at the centre of English court life, politics and national history. Its most infamous resident was Henry VIII. Today Hampton Court is an easy day trip for all visitors to London.

There are many books and reference articles about Hampton Court and its history. The official Hampton Court website, (link underneath) is a good starting place for accurate material.

For up to date ticket information please see our tickets section below. Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase from a third party, at other times directly from Hampton Court's website (below).

Why not make it an extra special London day out and combine your Hampton Court Palace tickets with Fish and Chips meal from Poppie's Restaurant?

Or alternatively, you might consider this Hampton Court and Windsor Castle Day Tour from London, where you can enjoy a panoramic coach tour of London together with flexible options to visit Hampton Court only or combine with Windsor Castle.

Hampton Court Palace tickets


Hampton Court Palace

Book in advance to save money on tickets

• Visit the palace & gardens • UK's oldest surviving hedge maze • Great Hall • Haunted Gallery • Tudor Kitchens • World-renowned beautiful gardens • Concessions & family saver tickets available

Hampton Court Palace tickets


Hampton Court Palace

Book in advance to save money on tickets

• Entrance to Hampton Court Palace & Gardens • UK's oldest surviving hedge maze • Meal in Poppie's Fish & Chips restaurant

Changing of Guard London


hampton court palace

Explore two of the UK's most stunning residences on this private tour with driver/guide

• Entrance to historic Windsor Castle • Entrance to Hampton Court Palace & stunning gardens • Expert Driver – Guide or Guide & Separate Driver • Private luxury vehicle

Hampton Court: opening times and location

Hampton Court Palace gardens
Hampton Court Palace gardens
Hampton Court Palace courtyard
Hampton Court Palace courtyard

Opening times

End March to early November - 10am - 5.30pm.

Early November to late March - 10am - 4.30pm.

Hampton Court Palace is open every day of the year except 24th to 26th December.

Last admittance is one hour before closing.


Hampton Court is located to the south-west of Central London by the River Thames. Hampton Court is within the public transport system of London (zone 6). The simplest and fastest route for visitors is by train (see below) from London's Waterloo Station but there are also river options between April and October.

Nearest Station

Hampton Court Station is on the opposite side of the River Thames from Hampton Court Palace and connected by Hampton Court Bridge. It's a 35 minute train journey from London's Waterloo Station (next to the London Eye) and you can also pick up the trains at Wimbledon Station (District Line of the Underground). You can use London Travelcards and Oyster Cards on the train.

River Services

In the summer months (April to October) there are river services. The most frequent service is by Turks boats (see their web site for times), between Richmond and Hampton Court, a journey of around 1 hour 45 minutes. Richmond Underground Station (District Line) is a 5-10 minute walk from the Richmond Pier.

There is also a service from Westminster Pier (adjacent to Big Ben) for a three to three and a half hour trip out to Hampton Court stopping at many stops including Kew Gardens, Richmond and Kingston. Nowadays this service is down to a single schedule in each direction, (you could not squeeze a visit to Hampton Court between the schedules).

Hampton Court Palace official website

Hampton Court - ticket information

Hampton Court Palace lake
Hampton Court Palace lake

Tickets are priced for adults age 18 - 64 years. Concessions are available for children, full-time students, seniors and people with a disability.

What does a Hampton Court Palace ticket include?

Your ticket includes access to the palace, maze and gardens, plus a multi- language audio guide, costumed guided tours, children's activity trails, entry to the Cumberland Art Gallery, Magic Garden, the Young Henry VIII exhibition and much more!

Peak and off peak tickets for Hampton Court Palace

Tickets are divided into peak and off peak tickets. Peak tickets are for weekends, bank holidays and events, while off peak is for weekdays (excluding bank holidays).

Third party sellers

Tickets from discounters like Discount London (banner link below) typically match the price of tickets from the Hampton Court official website, (link at the top of the page). However, beware that third party sellers don't always offer the discounts for certain groups such as disabled visitors, seniors and full-time students. To get this discount, head direct to the official website.

Queues at Hampton Court Palace

Entrance queues at Hampton Court are not really an issue, just buying a standard ticket on-line in advance will skip any queue waiting to buy tickets from the ticket desk.

Group ticket savings for 15 or more people

Groups of 15 people or more can save on ticket prices. Walk-up group visits are welcome.

If you do not have a pre-booked timed admission slot, you may have to wait until availability allows for your group to enter.

Hampton Court Palace tickets


Hampton Court Palace

Book in advance to save money on tickets

• Visit the palace & gardens • UK's oldest surviving hedge maze • Great Hall • Haunted Gallery • Tudor Kitchens • World-renowned beautiful gardens • Concessions & family saver tickets available

Hampton Court - the history

Tudor and Baroque periods

Hampton Court is a story of two palaces: a Tudor palace, magnificently developed by Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII, alongside a baroque palace built by William III and Mary II.

Cardinal Wolsey

The original palace was built 1515-1521 by Cardinal Wolsey who spent lavishly to build the finest palace in England at Hampton Court. He was later forced to give the palace to Henry VIII as he began to fall from favour.

The Great Hall

Henry added the Great Hall which was the last medieval Great Hall built for the English monarchy and the Royal Tennis Court, which was built and is still in use for the game of real tennis today. Not the present-day version of the game. This court is now the oldest Real Tennis Court in the world that is still in use.

William and Mary

During the reign of William and Mary, parts of Henry's additions were demolished. A new wing was added (partly under the supervision of Sir Christopher Wren), and the state apartments came into regular use. Half the Tudor palace was replaced in a project that lasted from 1689-1694.

George III

From the reign of George III in 1760, monarchs tended to favour other London homes, and Hampton Court ceased to be a royal residence.

Visiting Hampton Court - what is there to see?

Hampton Court Maze
Hampton Court Maze

Three sections to the palace

Hampton Court is one of those places where you can spend a couple of hours or a day. The Palace itself is split into three major sections broadly corresponding to phases in its development.

Tudor house

The most popular is the Tudor section with Tudor kitchens and Great Hall. The driest is probably the Georgian section.

For each section there is a complementary audio guide.


Throughout the day there are interesting demonstrations to supplement the audio tours along the routes. So it's a bit like scheduling your visit to a zoo so you see the various feeding times. Demonstrations are on things like musical instruments in Tudor times, the life of a maid or expert talks on some of the paintings.

Talks in the grounds

There are also costumed characters that do scheduled talks in the grounds. These are relatively lightweight but are good for kids.

How long will I spend at Hampton Court Palace?

To 'do' the whole Palace will take you half a day. Besides the core Hampton Court Palace there is much else that might divert you.

Hampton Court Maze

For kids and those young at heart there is the famous Hampton Court Maze. There are extensive landscaped gardens and often horse and buggy rides available if it takes your fancy too. Of course there are also restaurants and gift shops too.

Hampton Court & London's attraction passes and promotions

Railways 2 for 1 Promotion - The railways 2 for 1 entrance promotion is valid at Hampton Court Palace, and you need to pre-book your tickets in advance online.

The London Pass - Hampton Court Palace is supported by London's most popular attraction pass, (with over 80 top London attractions). Top attractions on the London Pass list include the London Zoo, Westminster Abbey, St, Paul's, View from the Shard and the Tower of London. The London Pass offers incredible savings over buying individual attraction tickets.

Go City London Explorer Pass - this pass is similar to the London Pass only instead of allowing entry for a set number of days, it gives entry for up to 60 days, and you purchase by the number of attractions you wish to visit.

To purchase either of these passes follow the banner links below.

The London Pass


The Londpon Pass

The more you visit, the more you save

• Access 80+ London attractions including the Tower of London, London Zoo, Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, The View from Shard, Windsor Castle, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and many more...
• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 day passes available.

London Explorer Pass


London Explorer Pass

Save up to 50% on top London attractions

• Choose from two passes: All-Inclusive (unlimited) and Explorer (over 60 days) • Attractions and tours including: Up at The O2, Tower of London, Big Bus hop on, London Zoo, View from the Shard, City Cruises, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's and more...

Tour: London, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace

Take a panoramic guided tour of London before you enjoy entry to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens and in addition, Windsor Castle.

Upon arrival to Hampton Court Palace, guests will receive a warm welcome and introduction from a guide in periodic costume.

In London see Parliament Square and the 12 statues of famous statesmen including Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill. Pass by Trafalgar Square, home to Nelson’s Column, which honours Admiral Nelson in his victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Then, it’s on to Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner and Kensington before heading to Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace.

  • Panoramic tour of London
  • Entry to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens (if selected)
  • Entry to Windsor Castle State Apartments (if selected)
  • A fully guided tour with a professional guide
  • Return travel from London on a comfortable coach

Windsor Castle


London, Windsor Castle & Hampton Court

Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and London tour

Windsor Castle only £109

Hampton Court Palace only £109

Windsor Castle & Hampton Court Palace £129

No entries £85

• Panoramic tour of London • Visit to Hampton Court Palace, Maze & Gardens • Visit to Windsor Castle State Apartments • Luxury air-conditioned coach • Professional tour guide


Other royal palaces in and around London

Other royal palaces and castles in and around London include:

Tower of London: Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 and enlarged and modified by successive sovereigns, today the Tower of London is one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses. In its time it has been a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, an armoury, a treasury and an astronomical observatory. The Tower of London now displays the Crown Jewels.

Kensington Palace: A rich royal history. Kensington Palace can boast of being the birth place of Queen Victoria and the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, not to mention being the home of a host of Georgian monarchs and royalty including Princess Diana who have all left their mark on this impressive Palace. Explore the vast state apartments which contain an array of beautiful paintings and sculptures.

Windsor Castle:: Windsor Castle is one of three official residences of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years.

The Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. The imposing towers and battlements of the Castle loom large from every approach to the town, creating one of the world's most spectacular skylines.

Buckingham Palace: has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. Today it is the administrative headquarters of the Crown and is the main venue for the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Kew Palace (with Kew Gardens) Open from March - September, Kew Palace, once the home of George III and Queen Charlotte, requires a valid ticket for Kew Gardens to enter. See the Great Pagoda (which can be climbed with a separate ticket), Queen Charlotte's Cottage and the Palace itself with Royal Kitchens.

Royal palaces in London - more information


Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Windsor Castle - all included with London Pass

The London Pass can save you £££'s on walk-up entry prices for over 80 of London's top attractions.

Included in the pass are the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle, Kew Palace & Gardens, The King's Gallery, and Hampton Court Palace. In addition other top attractions such as London Zoo, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's and View from the Shard are included.

The London Pass


The Londpon Pass

The more you visit, the more you save

• Access 80+ London attractions including the Tower of London, London Zoo, Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, The View from Shard, Windsor Castle, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and many more...
• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 day passes available.


London Eye Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.
The Shard Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.
St Paul's Cathedral Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Westminster Abbey Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Tower of London Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.
Madame Tussauds See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.
London Dungeon The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.
Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.
The London Zoo World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.


Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.