Gardens highlights

Gardens highlights

Relax in over 60 acres of the beautiful Hampton Court Palace gardens that run down to the River Thames, featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 1 million flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland.

Highlights

The Maze
Planted over 300 years ago, the world’s oldest puzzle Maze consists of half a mile of winding paths surrounded by towering yew tree walls. On average it takes 20 minutes to reach the centre. How long will it take you?

The Great Fountain Garden 
Relax in the shade of the historic yew trees, marvel at the glistening fountain or take a stroll along the Broad Walk. At 580 metres it is the longest herbaceous mixed flower border in Britain.

Privy Garden

Be inspired by the re-creation of William III’s Privy Garden. Based on a 19th the original 17th century design and historic planting lists, the stunning symmetrical pattern incorporates the original varieties of plants and shows off magnificent marble sculptures.

The Great Vine
Planted in 1768 by the celebrated gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the magnificent Great Vine is the largest in the world and still produces a yearly crop of black, sweet grapes that are sold in the palace shops in early September.

Lower Orangery Garden
Once the home of Queen Mary II’s Exotick plant collection, this garden has been restored to its former glory. Nearby, you can discover the magic of the hidden Pond Gardens which were originally used for holding freshwater fish for the royal courts.

The Magic Garden
All ages are invited to come and play in this imaginative play garden for families. With towers to besiege, battlements to storm, a secret grotto to hide in, and even a 25m dragon, the Magic Garden will prove that the best way to learn about history is to live it!

Kitchen Garden
Explore the wonderful Kitchen Garden and see seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs growing as they would have done for the Georgian kings in the 18th century. Produce from the Kitchen Garden will be on sale at certain times throughout the year.

The Gardeners’ Hut
Look out for our new Gardeners’ Hut – a mobile exhibition travelling around the gardens, packed with interesting stories about our work in the gardens and some surprising objects!

Other areas to visit in the gardens

  • The Rose Garden
  • Home Park and its royal herd of fallow deer
  • The Pond Gardens
  • The Wilderness in springtime
  • The 20th Century Garden

Horse-drawn charabanc rides

Enjoy a leisurely ride on our beautiful horse-drawn charabanc, based on the late 19th-century charabancs that brought visitors to Hampton Court. The ride will lead you through the beautiful gardens.

Rides run throughout the summer holidays, weather permitting (plus school holidays from Easter to October). Separate charges apply.

Seasonal Highlights

January and February - Crocus and Snowdrops can be seen in the Wilderness.

March - The Daffodils in the Wilderness are beginning to flower.

April - The spring displays in the Privy Garden and Pond Gardens are reaching their best.

May - The Wilderness is now carpeted with many wildflowers and Bluebells.

June - 17th century exotics are in the Orangery garden and Privy Garden terrace and the Rose Garden is blooming.

July and August – Flowerbeds in all of the garden areas are now full of brightly coloured plants. Fruit and vegetables from the Kitchen Garden are being sold weekly.

September - The harvest of grapes from the Great Vine takes place.

October and November - Autumn colours add to the gardens, especially in the Tiltyard, Wilderness and 20th Century Garden. Fallow deer are rutting in Home Park.

December - Striking outlines of the Lime trees stretch across Home Park. If we’re lucky, snow highlights the topiary of the Privy Garden!

 

To see the gardens change through the seasons, watch Hampton Court Gardens: A Year in the Life or read more about our Growing Year.

You may also be interested in...