Everyday throughout the year, our costumed interpreters take visitors around the palace and give dramatic presentations about the stories and events that really happened at Hampton Court.
2009 was the 500th anniversary of the succession of Henry VIII to the throne. Since then all our presentations have been focusing on Henry. This is your chance to meet the man himself and get close to history where it really happened!
Join his courtiers as they speculate on which lady has caught the royal eye this time (and it may be a different lady at different times of the year) and discuss the business of the day. If you haven't come dressed to meet the King, don't worry as you can borrow a gown from the Wardrobe in the Information Centre.
During school holidays, bank holidays, selected weekends, Christmas and Easter the costumed guides are joined by additional interpreters to really bring the palace alive. Additional activities may include the Tudor cooks in Henry VIII's Kitchens preparing a feast, Tudor etiquette lessons, falconry displays, Fool Shows, the chance to tilt at the quintain (beginner jousting) and dancing – subject to the time of year.
How to join the costumed presentations:
- There is no need to book
- You don’t need to show your admission ticket to join as they all begin inside the palace
- Just look in 'Plan your day at court' to find the meeting place and simply turn up at the appointed time
Guided tours or talks with a member of palace staff
These are generally seasonal and don’t take place every day. They cover a range of specialist subjects - from the gardens (both the history of them and the work that goes on in them) to the Great Vine in the summer months, from tours of the Verrio paintings to a specific tour of the Little Banqueting House in the autumn, and conservation tours or object talks on a more general theme at any time of year. Details are in 'Plan your day at court'.
How to join a tour or talk given by a member of palace staff:
- You don’t need to show your admission ticket
- However, you may need to reserve a place as some tours have a limit on numbers. If this is the case, go to the Information Centre off Base Court
- Check 'Plan your day at court' for day and time details