Windsor and Hampton Court

Half day visits to both these royal palaces can be undertaken in one day, although it is quite a tight schedule.

Windsor Castle, which was created at the same time as The Tower of London is not only our Queen’s official home but where heads of state are entertained in the State Apartments.

You will hear how the castle has developed over the last 900 years, changing from little more than a Motte and Bailey stockade in William the Conqueror’s day to its final major evolution in the 1820’s under the patronage of George IV.

Lunch is likely to be taken at a pub on the river Thames which serves one of the best fish and chip meals in Britain.

Hampton Court, by the River Thames like Windsor, is however quite a contrast to Windsor – being primarily a Palace based upon pleasure rather than fortification. You will hear about its first creation as a Palace by Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, through to its redevelopment by Henry VIII and William IV and his wife Queen Mary. This is also, of course, the palace with the famous Maze, the royal gardens of William IV and his Queen Mary, and indoor Real Tennis as played by Henry VIII.

We also pass through Richmond Park possibly seeing Red & Fallow Deer, just as in Henry VIII’s day.