A couple of weeks ago, we were surprised with a sunny, warm weekend day. We were determined to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. We remembered that a few months ago we had gotten a family membership to the Historic Royal Palaces. We had only used it once so decided to visit Hampton Court Palace again.
If you're not familiar with Hampton Court Palace, it is the former residence of Henry VIII. It is incredibly beautiful and grand. But if you have young children, you may want to skip the palace itself and just enjoy the stunning grounds. We did go inside the palace, but only for about 20 minutes. The sunshine was calling us.
There are 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres of parkland. The gardens include the maze, which is the world's oldest puzzle maze (it takes about 20 minutes from start to finish). Apparently, in the olden days, gentlemen and ladies used to get 'lost' in the maze for some private time. Very saucy. The gardens also boat the largest grapevine in the world. And if you're feeling lazy, there is sometimes a horse-drawn carriage (charabanc) for a £3-£6.
Or you can just walk around and delight in the spectacular trees and the pretty flowers. And of course, be happy that you were never married to Henry VIII.