So we went to Hampton Court Palace yesterday! I've never been. Wanted to but never managed to get there. Driving from North Herts, its a bit of a way through the horrible Heathrow section of the M25 so I suppose its always put me off. And its half way home to Salisbury too so we would always feel the pull of travelling on.
Knot gardens and fountains.....
Hampton Court Palace is not as you imagine. I thought it would feel a lot like the National Trust, more so as its a royal palace. I thought it would feel very formal with staff that either 'shhhh' or tut or eye suspiciously a lot! But it wasn't! The staff were a real mixed bunch, friendly and helpful and were happy to interact and chatter. I loved the red coats uniforms. Maybe its because there are much less valuable artefacts on show...its more about the buildings than the stuff in them.
What's really fantastic though is that the palace is very human sized. The rooms have an odd intimacy. The sense of it being a working palace for hundreds of years, a place where people have really worked and inhabited, is so tangible. It doesn't feel a dead place at all. There aren't many artefacts to see. Its the building that's the gem. The architecture for me. And the gardens were such a treat even on a very cold April Fools Day.
Through the hedge........
|Acanthus Leaves & Scrolls in the William 111 Banqueting House|
|This would have been a magical tucked away garden to be away from the crowds.......|
|Wrapped statues looking eerie...|
|Hampton Court Palace has beautiful formal gardens!|