Frequently asked questions about the beautiful gardens at Hampton Court Palace.
Are the gardens open all year round?
Yes. The only day of the year that the gardens are closed is Christmas Day, although the formal gardens (the areas to the east and south that are covered by the palace admission charge) are closed on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as well. Home Park is open all year round. On certain occasions the gardens and park may be closed for specific events and in the case of inclement weather they will be closed for safety reasons.
Are there any days when entry to the formal gardens is free of charge?
Yes. We offer free access to the palace’s East Front Gardens between the hours of 9am and 10am throughout the year. In addition to this daily opening, there are an additional nine days of free access to the Palace’s formal gardens during the palace’s summer season in 2017:
National Garden Open Day: We will be opening the East and South Front Gardens free of charge on 1st August each year in conjunction with the National Gardens Scheme.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: We will be opening the East and South Front Gardens for the duration of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: 4th–9th July
Open House Weekend: We will be opening the East and South Front Gardens for the duration of Open House Weekend: 16th–17th September
How old are the trees on the East Front?
Some of the trees are around 300 years old. The others, which are between 75 - 100 years old, have been planted where the original late 17th century trees have been lost.
When is the best time to see the daffodils in the Wilderness?
During March the display generally lasts about 6 weeks with the greatest number of flowers during the 3rd and 4th week of the month.
How big are the gardens?
The gardens cover an area of 26.7 hectares or 66 acres and the wider estate covers an area of 304 hectares or 750 acres. There is a handy map of the gardens (PDF).
Where can I fish at Hampton Court Palace?
In the Longwater and Rick Ponds which can be found in Home Park. You can also fish in the Heron and Leg of Mutton ponds in Bushy Park on the same fishing permits.
How can I get out into Home Park and see the deer?
Home Park is not accessible from the palace gardens. The park can be entered via the gates from either the Barge Walk or Hampton Court Palace Road which are indicated on the map boards throughout the gardens.
Can I exit the formal gardens from the Privy Garden and the South Front?
No. The only exits are through the palace.
Is there a nursery? Where do you grow plants?
There has been a history of growing plants on the current nursery site for over 300 years and the first glasshouses were erected towards the end of the 19th century. Located off the Wilderness garden, the nursery is only open to visitors under special arrangements such as garden tours.
Could you tell me more about the Maze?
The layout of the Maze has survived from the late 17th century and is now listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest hedge maze. The maze itself was created as a humourous diversion for the court of William III and Mary II.
Can I buy a ticket just for the Maze?
Yes you can book a ticket for the maze.
How old is the Great Vine?
Planted in 1768 during the time when Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was in charge of the gardens at Hampton Court, the Great Vine is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest productive vine.
Do you make wine from the grapes?
No. The Great Vine is a dessert type so the grapes are harvested and the fruit is available to buy through the palace shops from late August until mid September.
Tell me more...
We have restored the Kitchen Garden to an approximation of how it would have looked in the 18th century. Few records survive of the original garden, but the layout of the beds can be discerned from contemporary paintings and engravings and as far as possible we have chosen historically accurate fruit and vegetable crops.