Accessibility

Accessibility

Lady in wheelchair in front of the West Gate, Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace welcomes all visitors and hopes to make everyone's day out enjoyable.

All our staff are happy to help - please ask if you have any special requirements.

Visitors with disabilities are admitted at the standard rate but an accompanying carer, personal assistant or a companion is given free entry. Please notify the admissions staff when purchasing your tickets.  

Assistance dogs

All recognised guide, assistance or service dogs - including assistance dogs in training - are welcome and are allowed into the palace.

They should all be wearing their designated jacket or lead slip to show that the dog is working. Owners should also bring the dog’s 'Assistance Dog’s (UK)’ identification book with them.

Please note that emotional support dogs are not recognised in the UK as they are not required to undergo any specialised training.

Disabled parking

Nine disabled car parking spaces are available on site on a first come, first served basis. 12-seater minibuses may just fit into them. Anything larger should park on Hampton Court Green.

Parking is currently free for blue badge holders. On arrival, please show your blue badge to the staff to gain free entry to the car park.

Accessible toilets

There are accessible toilet facilities in Base Court, Fountain Court, on the first floor of the palace, in the Wilderness Garden and the Tiltyard Cafe.

 


Visitor information in British Sign Language

For information on access, admission tickets, getting to Hampton Court Palace, opening times and events at the palace, please view our video:

Video: Visitor information on Hampton Court Palace in British Sign Language

 


Visitors with mobility needs

Hampton Court Palace is an historic building and, therefore, has uneven surfaces. We therefore recommend that wheelchair users bring their own wheelchair for comfort and ease.

Most of the routes within the palace are accessible to visitors unable to climb stairs as there is a lift to take visitors to the State Apartments on the first floor. Please ask a warder for assistance. However, many of the staircases are wide and shallow (having been built for William III who was asthmatic).

  • Last admission to the first floor for visitors using the lift: 17.15 in summer and 15.45 in winter.
  • A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available for use within the palace. Wheelchairs are available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be booked in advance.
  • Three single-person scooters are available for use in the gardens only, again on a first come, first served basis and they cannot be booked in advance.
  • We also have a powered wheelchair - a 'manual' wheelchair that is powered by a battery pack - which is operated by volunteer guides who take users on dedicated tours. This service must be pre-booked and there is a charge of £4 for each two hours of hire. Book and more information  
  • There are places to sit inside the building - either benches or window seats.
  • Three of the four shops are accessible to wheelchair users: the Palace Shop and the Garden Shop, and the Tudor Kitchens Shop when visited via the Information Centre.
  • The one route that does not have full step-free access - Young Henry VIII's Story - is available as a virtual tour in the Information Centre.

For evacuation reasons, due to the size of the refuge areas, only six wheelchairs are permitted on the first floor at any one time. As a consequence, visitors may occasionally have to wait or visit an alternative part of the palace.

There are uneven surfaces around the palace grounds too, especially in the formal gardens which have gravel paths. The narrow paths in the maze mean that the maze can only be accessed by small wheelchairs with a tight turning circle.


Blind and partially sighted visitors

General audio tours for visitors with partial sight are available for:

  • William III's Apartments
  • Tudor Kitchens
  • The Young Henry VIII exhibition

Braille guidebooks are available free, on loan, from the Information Centre off Base Court. Braille and large print folders are available in the Young Henry VIII exhibition.  Please ask a warder if you wish to use them. The artefacts in the Tudor Kitchens may be handled as they are replicas.

Describer escorted visits
Hampton Court Palace offers an escorted description service to take blind or partially sighted visitors around the palace. The service must be booked a minimum of 14 days in advance to ensure availability.

Describer escorted visits >


Deaf visitors and those with a hearing loss

Induction loops can be found at till points. Copies of the guidebook are available free, on loan, from the Information Centre off Base Court for those with hearing loss. The scripts of the audio tours are available from the audio tour distribution desk in the Information Centre. The scripts have been amended to make them more deaf-friendly.

British Sign Language Tours

Discover more with our British Sign Language interpreter guide and Deaf BSL-user guide by visiting on one of our selected dates when they will be at the palace. More information on sign language tours

Both our interpreter guide and deaf guide are Institute of Tourist Guiding Level 2 Hampton Court Palace qualified guides. You can book a private guided tour of Hampton Court in British Sign Language (for which there is an additional cost). More information on private guided tours.

Virtual tour: Young Henry VIII exhibition

Preview the rooms, 'zoom in' on the paintings and find details of the multiple access routes to the exhibition with this virtual tour. Visit the touch screen in the palace Information Centre.


Improving access at the palace

Hampton Court Palace has an Access Forum who meet periodically to help us tackle a variety of access issues across the palace on behalf of visitors. Members of the Forum all live locally and have a variety of disabilities, some obvious and some hidden. The forum began meeting at Hampton Court in 2006, having previous advised us on access at Kew Palace, and their support and ideas are invaluable.


For parents and families with children on the autism spectrum

We have a guide for parents/carers of children and people on the autistic spectrum and related conditions (available as a pdf below.) It answers common questions and highlights relevant issues.


Further information

For additional information on access at the palace, please look at our comprehensive access guide below. We also have an easy-read version which is more pictorial.

Alternativley, visit the Disabled Go  website.


Those interested in disability throughout history may be interested in a website that English Heritage has created on this subject. Find out more.

Downloadable Resources

Some files are provided in PDF format - you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.

  1. Click here to download Acrobat Reader
  2. Alternatively, Adobe offers a service for converting PDFs into HTML or plain text. Access this service here


    Easy-read information guide
    (Adobe PDF, 997KB)

    HCP Access Guide
    (Adobe PDF, 6.24MB)

    HCP Guide for those on the Autism Spectrum 2015
    (Adobe PDF, 1.38MB)

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