Hampton Court Palace boasts more than five hundred years of Royal History. The 550 acres of gardens and deer-inhabited parkland are free of charge to enter and make a spectacular visit alone. The Palace itself was residence to Archbishop of York Thomas Wolsey in 1514 and was later the residence of King Henry VIII.
In 1604 James I presided over the Hampton Court Conference which led to the James I version of the Bible- the most widely recognized version to this day. The Palace is a regular venue for exhibitions- the Globe Theatre Company recently performed three of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays for the public. Within the Palace is a permanent exhibition documenting the history of the house and grounds. Sir Christopher Wren designed a Baroque landscape with many lakes- the most impressive of which is the Pond Garden, a sunken water garden built from the designs of Henry VIII.
Running alongside the Thames is a spectacular man-made lake known as the Long Water. In the Victorian Garden is the world famous Hampton Court maze- an immaculate and vast maze featured in many television programmes and feature films. In 1786 Capability Brown planted the Great Vine- the oldest grape vine in the world. The vine still produces grapes which are sold to the public to this day.