Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Our Day out at Hampton Court Palace

Yesterday the sun was shinning and I thought we must go out for the day. Im so bored of taking Lily to the same places over and over again and so had a little think about where I could take her instead.

Then Hampton Court Palace popped into my head. I had been before when Lily was in my belly and I remembered how much space there was in the gardens to run about and play. So I had a little google and I also noticed there was a special kids garden called the Magic Garden. It said for kids aged 2-13 yeas old and as Lily is not far from 2 I thought perfect!

Its quite easy for us to get there and takes about a hour by train. I packed some packed lunch for me and Lily and off we went.

When we got there, the first thing we did was sit down to have some food. There is a huge patch of grass just before the entrance to the Palace and you had a lovely view of the palace from there so it was a really nice spot to sit.

After eating lunch, I bought our tickets and I figured our first stop would be the magic garden. Lily had loads of energy at this point so I thought it was the best time to go.

It was either £7.70 for a adult entry to the garden and maze, or £19 for the entry to all the gardens and the inside of the palace. Lily was free for both. With there being a restriction of 2 hours in the magic garden at busy times I opted to get the full pass so then we could go and have a nice run around the other gardens to.

When we got to the magic gardens it was so busy with children running around. I spotted that there was a place to park buggies, though I must admit I wasn't to keen as it was right by the entrance and anyone could steal things. So I decided to carry my baby bag around with me. A little bit of a hassle really as it was heavy but needs must.

The first thing we spotted was a giant dragon, it was quite hard to miss. So we went to check it out. It was right by a sand and water pit and the children could climb on the dragon. I wasn't really prepared for sand and water so we didn't bother playing in that, and Lily wasn't to sure on the giant dragon anyway.

We then headed to the crown that was on top of a little hill. Lily was eager to get up the stairs. In front of the crown was a moat and bridge but that was closed off due to customer feedback and safety. I must admit it didn't look very safe for young children. We got to the top of the hill and then Lily noticed that children were rolling down it. She of corse wanted to have a go at that, it looked like fun. She couldn't work out how to roll so decided to slide down instead. As she did it I thought oh no, grass stains! But the grass is actually fake grass and so it wasn't going to leave any stains. Phew! After sliding down she then wanted to go back up the grassy hill, she found it hilarious me trying to help her back up it. It wasn't easy.

Dotted around the garden are loads of mythical looking creatures and Lily really liked these. She loved the unicorn and stroked it. She also was counting the spots on the other creature and managed to spot all the birds that were on the top of the beams.

A lot of things to do at the garden were a little old for Lily. There were caves which she was very unsure to go inside and she was to little to climb up. (though she tried and I had to stop her) There was also some big slides and a fort that the children could climb up and walk along a high bridge. Lily enjoyed playing inside the fort. She was climbing up the 2 steps at the entrance of it and peeping through the windows at me. I did have to stop her going up the spiral staircase though. She was definetly to little for that.

We did eventually find a slide that was the perfect size for her. This one is quite hidden at the back and so we nearly missed it. She loved it and could go on it herself without any help from me. We spent ages with her sliding down this slide.

I didn't spend the whole 2 hours at the magic garden. If I'm honest most of the park wasn't suitable for 2 year olds and I was always frightened of her hurting herself as a lot of the paths were hard with stones on them and there was to many things for her to climb on and hurt herself. Although Lily didn't really want to leave the park I felt it was time and had to endure a few tears as we left. They soon went away though as we approached the other gardens. The first thing we noticed was the horse and cart that was taking people around the park. Lily was really excited to see the horse and when they set of walking she started to drag me to follow them but we couldn't keep up. Which was actually a good thing as that park is huge and it would have been a long walk.

The gardens are beautiful and so lovely to walk around. Lily really enjoyed running around and there was definetly plenty of space to do that. We had a walk down to the water where we could see some swans and in the distance just out of the palace grounds you could see deer.

Also dotted around the gardens are old carriages. Lily was fascinated by the big wheels and even tried to push them round. But of corse they would not move. I got some lovely photographs of Lily in and around the carriages.

Soon after this Lily got tired and it started to get a little cold. So we headed inside. I knew that Lily wouldn't be to interested in the inside of the building really and so my plan was to put her in the pram and try get her to have a nap while I looked around. When I bought the ticket the lady said that there was easy access for the pram everywhere. Well she lied. The main part I wanted to see was the tudor section and to get to that part there was steps. I asked advice from a tour guide and she said that there was a buggy park that I could leave the pram or I could walk to the far end of the building where there is a lift. But that was quite a far walk and we had just come from that part as that is where the gardens are. So I decided to use the buggy park. Right next to the buggy park is a little room with some dressing up and soft play. Really I didn't want Lily to spot this as I wanted her to nap in the pram but it was to late and she did and in she went to play. The dressing up was very cute though and she looked great in a tudor dress. Unfortunately she wouldn't keep still for a photograph.
I had a few tears when I took her away from the room and headed to go see the tudor section. Lily was bored of this just like I thought she would be, but I had payed to see it so I was. Luckily It didn't take to long to go around and we were back in the buggy park for me to wheel her around. We headed through the tudor kitchens and some other rooms and these did actually interest her as she could see a big fire blazing and one room she actually said Wow at because of how big it was and the paintings on the ceiling.

Lily finally fell asleep and I decided to end my day with a nice treat of Tea and Scone. It was the most relaxing part of my day, sat in a little court yard in the middle of the palace and the scones were lovely.

I would fully recommend a visit to Hampton Court if you have never been. The gardens are just lovely to look around and we had a great day. If you are wanting the magic gardens though, they are only open from march to october so its best to check the opening times for that.

Have you ever been before?

Would you consider going?


  1. No never been
    Looks fabulous
    Lily looks like she thoroughly enjoyed herself

  2. Never been but looks like a fun day out xxx

  3. I've been there before my daughter was born, but I've never taken her. I had no idea how much is available for young children. The magic garden and soft play would make her day.

  4. Looks amazing! Beautiful place!

  5. OH WOW that carriage is beautiful!!!

  6. Lovely pictures! You have just given me the perfect place to go this afternoon! #countrykids

  7. What a beautiful place. The magic gardens look amazing! I've never been before but would love to go but it's a 3 hour drive for us.


  8. My brother has gone today
    He didn't realise how much goes on here

  9. Dont you just wish that you could fit everything is a small bag so that trips like this would be comfier? We went to Weymouth and I am carrying a massive backpack and following a 6 year old boy around the busy seafront and it could be a pain =P

    This trip looks so lovely! The place is really worth a trip as its big and spacious even on a busy day. And the scultpure are so cute! #countrykids

  10. I remember taking all of mine to Hampton Court. Funnily enough we did it as a day trip from a holiday with family up in London, ironic that we never visited when we lived just a few miles down the road pre kids! I think Lily did really well as I'd say it is really for older kids, though I do remember inside the house it was only the kitchens and loo mine were interested in. Do they still have the maze? They didn't have the magic garden in my day, my kids would have loved that and we wouldn't have got any further! I loved the grass like sliding and glad you found a perfect sized slide.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  11. Looks like your little one enjoyed being a princess that day.#CountryKids

  12. Looks like an amazing place to explore, I love the photos of Lily admiring the carriages :) #countrykids

  13. What a lovely gardens, love the dragon in the magical garden. Shame it wasn't geared up for almost 2 year olds. Seems they need a bit more thought on their buggy parks! I live no where near hampton court so won't be going anytime soon. shame #countrykids

  14. Oh wow! What a beautiful place. Lily looks like she is having such a wonderful time. Love your photos too. xx