On 27 June the Magic Garden will close at 17.00. Last entry will be at 16.00.

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing info

Included in palace admission

History of the courts

The first tennis court at Hampton Court was built for Cardinal Wolsey, between 1526 and 1529.

As a young man, Henry VIII was a keen and talented tennis player who spent hours on court. His second wife Anne Boleyn was gambling on a game of tennis when she was arrested to be taken to the Tower of London. She even complained that she couldn’t collect her winnings!

There has been a tennis court on this site since 1625 when this one was built for Charles I. Three of these walls are 17th century, the external wall to the right of the viewing gallery is Cardinal Wolsey’s original.

One of the first English guides to tennis in 1553 claimed that, ‘this game has been created for a good purpose, namely, to keep our bodies healthy, to make our young men stronger and more robust, chasing idleness, virtue’s mortal enemy, far from them and thus making them of a stronger and more excellent nature’

Real tennis is the original indoor racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis is descended. It only acquired its ‘real’ tag at the end of the 19th century to distinguish it from the new-fangled ’lawn’ tennis.

Visiting the courts

The tennis court has displays along the visitor route viewing gallery. These include interactive handmade balls, life size character illustrations and custom made racquets.

The tennis club at Hampton Court Palace is a private members' club so non-members and visitors are only allowed into the viewing gallery to watch a game during the summer months (April to October). Its members only during the winter. They may also close at short notice for private events and maintenance. However, it is a very active club, with a lot of members, so your chances of seeing a game in play when the viewing gallery is open are very high.

Would you like to try your hand at real tennis? The club offers an introduction to the game, and if you like it you can apply to be a member.

 

Join Siobhan Clarke for an exclusive tour of this revolutionary building.

Selected dates

Banqueting House

Come face to face with mysterious mythical beasts, storm the battlements and discover the secret grotto in the Magic Garden.

01 April - 29 October 2017

Hampton Court Palace

Summer only

Meet the 'pin-up' prince before he became notoriously fat and tyrannical. The Young Henry VIII exhibition tells the stories of the people who knew him best.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace
Tudor Rose Cushion - Perfect for a history lover, this Tudor rose cushion symbolises the joining of two rival houses, York and Lancaster.

Tudor Rose cushion

Perfect for a history lover, this Tudor rose cushion symbolises the joining of two rival houses, York and Lancaster.

£40.00

Inspired by the Chapel Royal's magnificent ceiling, this bone china trinket box features gold stars and gilded musical cherubs.

Chapel Royal bone china trinket box

Inspired by the Chapel Royal's magnificent ceiling, this bone china trinket box features gold stars and gilded musical cherubs.

£29.00

Tudor court pendant, inspired by the carvings on Anne Boleyn’s gateway, a lasting reminder of their royal love story.

Tudor court drop pendant

Tudor court pendant, inspired by the carvings on Anne Boleyn’s gateway, a lasting reminder of their royal love story.

£150.00