Posted May 24, 2015
The "on this day last year" game is especially rough when we did something really epic. This day last year was really one of our very favorite days. I think we'd all recommend Hampton Court Palace as a must-see for anyone taking a trip to London. It's a bit outside the city, a perfect break from the urban crowds. It's a great combination of beautiful architecture, history and kid-friendly activities.
The buildings are spectacular, it's easy to see why HenryVIII coerced this property from Cardinal Wolsey. I loved the colors, textures and details throughout. There are over 200 decorative chimneys, and unique carved statues all over the place.
The grounds are spectacular too, wish we'd had more time to explore them!
We ate at the Tiltyard Cafe, and LOVED the Honey Mead Cake. Also, I want a sun room and patio just like this someday. :)
One of my favorite photos of Ellie:
There are multiple areas to tour, including the kitchens. It was actually kind of fascinating to learn about the food the royal court ate in the 16th century and how it was prepared.
Joey, Ellie and Ainsley all took advantage of the free cloaks available in the information center. These were so much fun, and made for great photos too. :)
Henry VIII's great hall was interesting too. I think it's one of the few medieval banquet halls still in existence.
I loved the etiquette rules that they had on the tablecloth at each place setting...here are a couple of my favorites:
Rob says we could implement a few of these around here.
The kids loved the games, we had to pry them away to discover some of the other areas.
Again, the details—the stained glass windows and decorative ceilings were amazing.
Living at court required some strict personal hygiene guidelines...hilarious.
The grand staircase leads to the modern (17th century) part of the palace.
It was raining, so we were happy to view the entertainment in the garden from William III's chambers.
Somewhere here we got separated...Rob ended up with Robbie and the three youngest were stuck with me. We were lucky though, we got to meet King George III:
We also met King William and Queen Mary:
Fun with the capes:
In addition to the actors who taught us about the history of William, Mary and George, there was a great interactive segment on the relationship and politics between Henry VIII, Katherine of Aragon and Cardinal Wolsey.
I don't really have much to say about the rest of the photos. I know it probably seems like I'm not being very selective, but we took almost 400 photos for the day, so you're welcome for only including these. :)
We arrived just before noon, and left at closing time about five hours later. If we were to do it again we'd spend the whole day so we could spend more time in the gardens.
England has the best village names ever.
Embarrassing that our first pasty of the trip was in the train station 24 days into our stay in London. It wasn't our last.
Really one of the best days we spent in Europe. Want to go back!!