Hampton Court’s Gorgeous Gardens And Grounds

After a morning exploring the indoor delights of Hampton Court Palace, we were pleased to be heading outside to explore the grounds and gardens. With 60 acres of lovely riverside gardens time though was at a premium for us and stamina was required.

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07.30.84 - Hampton Court

Our first port of call was the famous maze. Son was super excited about this – let’s just say we were a little underwhelmed. The maze was more than a bit straggly and bare, you could actually see everybody else through the sparse hedges and we found the centre in a matter of minutes. Fair to say this wasn’t really a challenge and Longleat it was not. However the fact it is the oldest maze in the country – designed in 1689 – and probably the most visited made me feel a little more forgiving.

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07.30.46 - Hampton Court

A stroll around the formal gardens more than made up for the maze disappointment – simply stunning with colour and beauty everywhere. A walk down to the Thames to take in the magnificent gates is a must and we just sauntered, ice-creams in hand taking in the glorious views.

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07.30.52 - Hampton Court

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Henry VIII designed the tennis courts – a keen player – and when we looked inside there was a game going on. We didn’t linger too long, signs warned to be quiet when a match was underway, Son was struggling with the quiet bit.

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A highlight for me was the Great Fountain and the Privy Garden, laid out as it was originally designed in 1702. The Pond Gardens are flower rather than fish filled nowadays but also a lovely spot.

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In Henry’s day apparently you could tell a wealthy house by the number of chimneys – I read somewhere Hampton Court was said to have enough chimneys for every day of the year.

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Last but not least we found the Great Vine, planted in 1768 by Capability Brown and thought to be the oldest in the world. Huge is an understatement here, inside the greenhouse we saw the vine itself and were amazed that the area of soil outside is where the roots extend, nothing else is planted there to avoid competition for water and nutrients with the Great Vine.

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07.30.83 - Hampton Court

We lingered in the grounds right up until closing time. Totally exhausted at the end of the day but definitely worth the pain – the palace and the interior provided a fascinating morning but exploring these grandest of gardens was simply sublime. An experience I would highly recommend.

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55 thoughts on “Hampton Court’s Gorgeous Gardens And Grounds

  1. Pingback: Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 2 – Anabel's Travel Blog

  2. Beautiful! A great place for the family: my kids would have loved the maze, we all would have enjoyed the flowers and I would not have anything against the Great Vine! However, my first thought was that I’d be in terrific shape if I’d be mowing the lawns with a pushable lawn mower! 😀

    • It is a gorgeous place – so much history and yet you can have so much fun here too with the family. We all loved it. I would probably be dead if I had to mow those lawns!!!

    • We had a lovely sunny day Laura which definitely helps with photo taking! It’s such a stunning place, would love to visit the gardens at a different time of year and see how they look. Not sure if our expectations were set too high for the maze but it was a let down, still everywhere else more than made up for that.

  3. A remarkable place and as a family, we probably would appreciate the “too easy” maze. Been lost in quite a few in our day. The chimneys are unreal… so many. It makes you wonder if they were all used at one time. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl

    • Well my sense of direction is dreadful Cheryl and no maze would ever be too easy for me!! Spin me round twice and I’m lost but our son thought there would be more to it! I loved the chimneys too, they fascinated me but the whole place is incredible. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. I just love those trees! They look so pretty like umbrellas. They must be shaped endlessly by a full time topiarist.

  5. What a stunning garden. Not only the flowers, but the shape of the trees is fantastic, so fun! And that is a lot of chimneys for sure!! 🙂 Lovely post!

  6. I don’t get excited about gardens but I liked your post, and your pictures. The size of the grounds really surprised me. Thanks for the post, and the photo’s, Your son is going to have lots of cool memories when he looks back at his childhood.

  7. Beautiful, Joy. I remember walking through the gardens, stopping to speak with some of the landscapers and not wanting to leave. Gorgeous, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • They definitely have some green fingered and talented people working there George – the colours and landscaping was amazing we thought! Glad to bring you back down memory lane!!

  8. Wow, the gardens in England have to be the most beautiful! I was blown away by everyone that we saw while traveling through England. We did not get to see Hampton Court though, so thanks for sharing your photos. 🙂

  9. The grounds and gardens really are stunning aren’t they? I haven’t been in that maze for at least 2 decades! I remember it being much bushier! Apparently, if you turn left every time you’re able to, you find your way out!

    • I think that was the problem with the maze – you could see right through it! Still no maze is too easy for me – I could lose my way out of a paper bag – I just follow my son!! The grounds are just gorgeous – we expected that but were completely blown away, loved every second of our exploring.

    • This was last summer Rosemary – blue skies and sunshine seem to be a bit elusive here at the moment although it’s supposed to pick up a bit for the Bank Holiday. We’re just off to Cannes though for a week during the school holiday – definitely hope we see some sunshine there!!

      • Cannes should be lovely Joy!! We went to Nice years ago when backpacking and one of the highlights was going down to Antibes and Juan Les Pains on the train. From what I remember they were much less crowded than Nice (this was in the summer too). I’ll be looking forward to your “Cannes” posts!! We’re thinking of going to France for our next trip as we haven’t been there for a while. My dad says the weather has been very dreary in Yorkshire and our daughter in London was grumbling about the greyness there too this week. Hope the weather picks up for you over the weekend! 🙂

  10. I Love Hampton court and your photos have given me so much pleasure. It’s way too long since I was last there and none of those shots are digital. Note to self!

  11. It does not look too crowded there! It was fairly crowded when I went last week. We thought the largest vine was an interesting attraction and also stayed until closing. I definitely hope to go back there one day!

    • We visited on a Tuesday last July and although plenty of people around inside found the gardens were pretty empty. That vine is incredible – we would go back again too, a fascinating place.

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