What’s happening at Historic Royal Palaces, July - September 2019?

3 May 2019

3 May 2019

It’s set to be another spectacular summer across the palaces, with food festivals, outdoor cinema and live re-enactments for all to enjoy.

The popular Hampton Court Palace and Tower of London Food Festivals return, offering a jam-packed series of activities for all the family to enjoy, from live cookery demonstrations to an array of fabulous street food from artisan producers and even live music entertainment. The Luna Cinema will also be screening a whole host of films under the stars at both Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace, including special family friendly evenings in the elegant gardens of Hampton Court.

In July, the newly transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens will serve up a foodie extravaganza with its own food festival – before the outrageously entertaining Horrible Histories stage show ‘Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians’ take over in the Castle’s gardens in August. At the Tower of London, discover daring feats of escapology as notorious Elizabethan prisoner John Gerard attempts to descend the historic walls in ‘Escape from the Tower of London’. This live performance and summer spectacle will bring to life the story of imprisonment at the Tower like never before!    



Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival

5 – 7 July

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

It will be food glorious food this summer at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens when it will host a new food festival within the grounds of the estate. Enjoy a majestic day out exploring 100 acres of beautiful gardens and discover fabulous local produce. From live cookery demos from chefs and experts - including Nadiya Hussain - to entertainment on the bandstand, it’s set to be a fun weekend for all the family.

Tickets: Adult festival tickets including access to the gardens and castle tour start at £17.50 while adult festival tickets with access to the gardens only start at £13.90. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members.

The Real Tennis Champions Trophy

16 – 21 July

Hampton Court Palace

The Real Tennis Champions Trophy will return to Hampton Court Palace in July, and for the first time will be screened inside the palace itself throughout the day. Now in its third year, the tournament sees the world’s greatest players battle it out on the world’s most historic court, a designated National Monument. Visitors can also step onto the Royal Tennis Court itself, learning more about this legendary game from Club professionals. The 2019 Real Tennis Champions Trophy is proudly supported by Mitsubishi Electric.

Tickets: Match day tournament tickets start from £25 and include palace admission.

Escape from the Tower of London

3 – 31 August

Tower of London

The Tower of London was built to both keep intruders out and keep those on the wrong side of the law in. However, with the right blend of cunning, ingenuity and disregard for danger, escape was sometimes possible. Relive the story of Tower prisoner John Gerard’s dramatic escape as he descends the historic walls in this live performance and summer spectacle for all the family to enjoy.      

Included in palace admission. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members. 

Horrible Histories Live on Stage, Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians

10 August – 14 August

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Step into the world of the ‘Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians’ this August with Horrible Histories live on stage… with all the nasty bits left in! From helping to cure mad King George III, to exploring the gruesome hospital conditions with Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale, discover the grisly details of some of history’s most gruesome stories in this open-air hour-long performance set in the Castle’s stunning grounds.

Included in gardens admission. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members.

Hampton Court Palace Food Festival

24 – 26 August

Hampton Court Palace

Its set to be another fantastic bank holiday for foodies and history lovers alike at the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival. Visitors can tuck into an array of mouth-watering street food from artisan producers, enjoy cookery demonstrations from expert chefs as well as a whole host of live music, all set in the palace’s stunning East Front Gardens. There will also be an array of entertainment available for the little ones to enjoy throughout the weekend.

Included in palace admission. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members. 

Tower of London Food Festival

12 – 15 September

Tower of London

Head to the Tower of London this September for another fabulous food and drink festival in the historic dry moat, packed with the tastiest street food stalls and artisan food producers. Enjoy live cookery demos in The Kitchen from a stellar line-up of chefs and experts, plus family fun and live music to complete the festival atmosphere!

Included in palace admission. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members.



RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

1 – 7 July (Preview and members’ days 1-3 July)

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival returns with a dazzling summer celebration of glorious gardens, immersive floral displays, unique shopping, gourmet picnicking, celebrity talks and live music. This year, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge will be co-designing a garden with award-winning Davies White Landscape Architects, following their collaboration at RHS Chelsea. The Historic Royal Palaces Gardens team will also be showcasing some of their Queen Mary II Exotics National Plant Collection, a recreation of part of a plant collection originally displayed at Hampton Court Palace in the 17th century.

Tickets: Advanced tickets available from £20. Book via the RHS website.

Luna Cinema

30 July – 2 August

Kensington Palace

Enjoy an alfresco evening in palatial style with the return of the Luna Cinema at Kensington Palace. An array of films will be on offer in the beautiful formal gardens, with the palace itself offering a regal backdrop. Included in this year’s schedule is The Young Victoria, which charts the early reign of Queen Victoria, born at Kensington Palace 200 years ago this year. Other films include The Favourite – with Kensington Palace being the setting for much of the on-screen drama - and A Star is Born.

Tickets: Adults £17.50 / Children £13.50 /Disabled & Carer admission £8.75 / Premium £30

Luna Cinema

8 – 11 August

Hampton Court Palace

Enjoy a screening under the stars this summer as the popular Luna Cinema returns to Hampton Court Palace. Movie-lovers can spread out in the splendid East Front Gardens, with the magnificent Baroque palace providing the perfect backdrop. This year’s films include A Star is Born, The Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, which features a scene filmed in the very location of the screening!

Tickets: Adults £17.50 / Disabled & Carer admission £8.75 / Premium £30

Luna Kids Cinema

14 – 18 August

Hampton Court Palace

This special series of child-friendly screenings in Hampton Court Palace’s Twentieth Century Garden will see a selection of films shown each day, with family favourites including Mary Poppins Returns, Moana and The Lego Movie 2 playing throughout the week.

See website for ticket information: www.thelunacinema.com/hampton-court-palace/

Shire Horse Carriage Rides

Various dates until 20 August

Hampton Court Palace

Enjoy a horse-drawn Charabanc tour of the stunning Formal Gardens of Hampton Court Palace, as the popular shire horse carriage rides return for the summer months. Once ubiquitous across London, today shire horses are rarer than pandas, and Hampton Court Palace offers a unique opportunity to meet these wonderful creatures, who have a fascinating link with one of the palace’s most famous former residents. These majestic animals were originally bred by Henry VIII nearly 500 years ago, aiming to develop a horse that could carry a man in heavy armour into battle!

Tickets: Adults £5 / Children under 12 £3

Notes to editors

All events and materials are included in the general admission ticket price for each palace and free for Historic Royal Palaces members unless otherwise stated. All events are subject to change, please check www.hrp.org.uk for up-to-date information on prices, opening times and details on event booking. For further information about events and listings please contact the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office on 020 3166 6166 or email [email protected]

All individual ticket prices include a voluntary donation. Buy online to save.

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk