The Handbook
The Handbook

It’s not often you get invited to a party at a palace but this Easter, Hampton Court is marking its 500th anniversary with a fabulous weekender. The royal venue has been home to some of Britain’s most infamous monarchs from Henry VIII, to Elizabeth I and Charles II, each of whom would arrive via the famous Cardinal Wolsey built West Front, so in the spirit of that tradition, five royal carriages specially recreated by the Pinewood Studios team, will be parking up outside.

Wherever they venture, visitors will encounter characters from the palace’s history with ‘Time Plays’ featuring William Shakespeare rehearsing in the Great Hall and a dramatic Tudor jousting accident. Historic chefs will be firing up the Tudor Kitchens – with meat from the spit even making its way into sandwiches on sale to us plebs and there will also be a replica Tudor wine fountain in Base Court – not to mention more pop-up food and drink bars serving everything from roast beef to champagne.

Night-time festivities will culminate in a specially commissioned 3D projection onto the South façade presenting the palace’s 500 year story beginning with the laying of the first stone at Cardinal Wolsey’s instruction – all accompanied by period music and ending with a spectacular fireworks display. So if you’d like to party like a king or queen, well, you know what to do!

Day entry prices, Adult: £19.30 / £18.20 online, Child: £9.70 / £9.10 online, Concessions: £16.00 / £14.90 online, Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children): £48.20 / £44.90 online.

Hampton Court: The Party, is a separate ticketed evening event. Adult: £22 / Concessions: £20 / Members: £20 / Child: £10 / Family ticket: £50

3 – 6 April 2015,