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Hampton Court Palace

This post is part of a throwback series to my semester abroad in London in 2007! 

Oh be still my heart; another beloved London site! This one might be a bit further down your list, but I'm completely enamored by Hampton Court Palace.

If you're a history buff or perhaps simply a fan of 'The Tudors' (NO shame), you're probably familiar with the history of Hampton Court. The palace was built in the early 1500's by Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York. After numerous years of building quite a fine palace Wolsey, recognizing his downfall from favor, gifted the palace to King Henry VIII. He died two years later in 1530.

Upon receiving the property Henry rebuilt and expanded to fit his particular requirements of a palace as well as to fit his court of over one thousand people. 

Hampton Court is well seeped in the Tudor history up until 1603, when Queen Elizabeth I died and the monarchy passed to the Stuarts. Continued fame in the British history books and renovation after renovation to fit the family and style of the time occurred through the 1700's, the last time at which the British royal family inhibited Hampton Court Palace. 

Today the location is open to the public and located approximately 11 miles from central London, upstream of the River Thames. 

A few other fun facts:

  • Hampton Court Palace is celebrating it's 500th anniversary this year, as building at the palace commenced on February 13th, 1515.
  • The palace was featured during the 2012 Olympic games for the road cycling time trial. Temporary structures were installed on the grounds for this event. 
  • You can spot Hampton Court Palace in several historical films, as well as in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. 

Visitors are able to tour the palace both through guided walks as well as on your own (audio guides are provided). 

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves of my experience at Hampton Court! 

Find everything you need to plan your own visit here