Children at the palace
Babycare and pushchairs
There are baby-changing facilities off Base Court and in the Tiltyard Café. The Mother & Baby Room off the ladies' toilets off Base Court contains bottle-warming facilities as well as changing mats. For older children and parents, there are toilets inside the palace (off Base Court and Fountain Court) and in the gardens (behind the car park, in the Wilderness Garden and, during the summer only, near the maze). There are accessible toilets in the palace, gardens and Tiltyard Café.
If you have very young children, you can take pushchairs and buggies around the palace. There is a lift to the first floor, please speak to a warder if you wish to use the lift. A buggy park is available off Clock Court if you don’t want to take the buggy around with you and any abandoned buggies will be removed to here. All items are left at owners’ risk.
Please note that there are uneven surfaces around the palace grounds, especially in the formal gardens which have gravel paths. The maze also has very narrow paths so pushchairs and buggies should be left outside.
There is a left luggage facility with the buggy park off Clock Court. It contains lockers that can take hand baggage and small rucksacks. A £1 coin is required to access the lockers, which will be returned when you collect your belongings.
Large bags or suitcases may be left at your own risk in the Warders Office by the West Gate. Please speak to the Warders when you present your ticket if you would like to use this facility. This facility may be withdrawn without notice.
Visits include plenty of walking on uneven, cobbled surfaces. Please wear comfortable shoes. Heelys should not be used inside the palace.
Food and drink
Follow the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' trail to the Tiltyard Cafe for healthy children’s meals. Families will love the great value lunch offer; kids can play pick-and mix to create their very own 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' lunch box or they can opt for a ‘hot meal deal’. Then families can munch their lunch in the Very Hungry Caterpillar Den, which is furnished with books and games to keep the kids happy.
Take your time
There are places to sit down and relax, inside and in the courtyards. You don't have to do it all in one day. Why not become family members and come back to the palace and our other historic royal palaces as often as you like? Our staff are ready to answer your questions: some are fully trained storytellers! The Hampton Court Palace visit planner has lots of ideas of things to see and do at the palace in one, two and three hour visits.
All indoor visitor routes have places to sit, either benches or window seats. There are also benches outside in the courtyards and gardens. For the really young children, there is a Family Room with limited play equipment next to the left luggage lockers and buggy park off Clock Court, just opposite one of the entrances to Henry VIII's shop which contains many pocket-money priced souvenirs and products suitable for older children studying the Tudors at school.
Extra care should be taken in the palace gardens, especially if they contain water features. Please do not allow children to touch or eat the plants as they may be harmful. Also, treat the swans and geese with caution; they are wild birds and should not be approached or fed.
The maze is a hedge maze with yew walls about 2 metres (7 feet) high. Designed and built for secret assignations, parents should be aware that very young children may find the narrow paths and high hedges overwhelming.
The use of balls, frisbees, bicycles, scooters and rollerblades is not permitted within any part of the gardens, please see the park regulations at the entrance to the grounds for further details.
For the safety and wellbeing of the palace and all our visitors, we do not allow scooters into the palace or formal gardens either. Please leave scooters with staff at the main entrance to Hampton Court Palace at West Gate. Scooters can be collected on leaving the palace.
Point out the State Apartment Warders in their distinctive red uniforms and let your children know they can trust them if they are lost. Lost children will be taken to the Information Centre off Base Court. The warders are also the people to contact for first aid.
We find that having a picture of a lost child can be a great help when trying to find them. If possible, it’s a good idea to take a picture of your children at the start of your visit which you can then show to warders if necessary.
Visiting with children on the Autistic Spectrum
A guide for parents and carers of children on the autistic spectrum and related conditions is available at the bottom of this page and was compiled with the help of the Hampton Court Palace Access Forum and some families with a child on the Autistic Spectrum. It aims to give information and suggestions which may help inform people who bring children on the Autistic Spectrum to Hampton Court Palace. As every child on the Autistic Spectrum is different, and responds to things differently, parents/carers need to decide how to plan and undertake a visit, so we hope this guide will answer common questions and highlight issues of relevance.
Some files are provided in PDF format - you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.