Hampton Court or Cambridge for Day

Jun 1st, 2017, 04:49 AM
  #1  
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Hampton Court or Cambridge for Day

My 25 year old daughter and I are looking for a day trip from London in mid June. Originally, I wanted to go to the Cotswolds but evidently that is a bit ambitious for just a day. So, we could do a guided tour with London Walks to Hampton Court or unaccompanied to Cambridge.
Opinions please.....
ps: We are still open to Cotswolds if anyone has suggestions on how to do it w/out renting a car or going on a big bus.
Lilc60 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 05:17 AM
  #2  
 
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Depends what you want to see.

Hampton Court is a Tudor palace that has some lovely gardens, a maze, a Tudor kitchen etc

http://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-...JCg#gs.e6YPAK0

Cambridge is a lovely university town with all the colleges, a river where they do punting etc.

Kind of like apples and oranges.

I have done both and although I found Cambridge lovely, I probably found Hampton Court more interesting. Especially if you are just going to walk around Cambridge on your own.
jamikins is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 05:58 AM
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I'm with Jamikins. We've done both and liked Hampton Court better. Plus, if it's a nice day, you can take a boat back into London along the Thames, which is a neat thing to do in itself.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 06:23 AM
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I would just do Hampton Court on your own, there's no need of a guided tour.
bvlenci is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 06:30 AM
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Agree with Hampton Court Palace, on your own, taking a boat one way. This time of the year the gardens will be lovely. And cruising along the Thames is a nice way to get there. Alternately you could take a boat to Richmond and catch any one of numerous trains to get back into London.

If you have time, go out of the Palace on the side where the maze is and walk over to Bushy Park to see the deer and explore their gardens as well.
Minooka1145 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:01 AM
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I haven't been to Cambridge, but I really enjoyed spending a day at Hampton Court. The maze is well worth walking through - there's a "trick" to not getting lost. We overheard another person telling someone just before we entered - and it was a little counter-intuitive while we were wandering about inside, but it worked.
scdreamer is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:03 AM
  #7  
 
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Just reread the original post - and wanted to say we are going to the Cotswolds in July - and spending a week. I can't imagine trying to see much of that area on a day trip.

So much to see and do in and around London - I would definitely save the Cotswolds for another time.
scdreamer is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:10 AM
  #8  
 
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>>So, we could do a guided tour with London Walks to Hampton Court <<

While a really like London Walks -- I don't think I'd bother with them for HCP. I'd do it on my own. Train to and then, only IF the weather is nice, a boat back into town.

That way you can go when you want for as long as you want.

You can eat lunch at the Palace or one of the nearby pubs.
janisj is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:28 AM
  #9  
 
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We took that London walk trip to Richmond and Hampton Court. We thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the boat ride from Richmond past houses and boat moorages and riverside pubs. And the arrival by boat at Hampton Court Palace, in the same manner as Henry VIII. Though perhaps with slightly less luxury.

I was happy to see something of Richmond, an old luxe suburb of London, as well as the Palace.

I see London Walks will do private tours. If your budget allows, maybe you could do a private tour of the Cotswolds since that's at the top of your list.
Mimar is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:30 AM
  #10  
 
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Hi, Lilc60.
If you really want to see the Cotswolds as a day trip, I can easily recommend the Secret Cottage Tour out of Moreton-in-Marsh. It's designed so that London-based tourists can take the train to M-i-M at the beginning and end of the tour.

The tour guides are wonderful, the food is fantastic, and it's such a lovely day out. I was in the Cotswolds for hiking, but when the day seemed a bit too cold/rainy/muddy, I booked this tour the night before. Here's the website, and a link from my blog when I went.
https://www.cotswoldtourismtours.co.uk/

http://www.susannelord.com/blog/2015...secret-cottage

Anywhere you choose, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
ChgoGal is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:36 AM
  #11  
 
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The problem w/ taking the boat TO the Palace (which per mimar is apparently what LW does) is you don't get to the Palace until mid afternoon at the earliest and by then the time for the Palace/grounds is really limited.

If one takes a morning train to HCP you can spend as long as you want and can always take the boat back to Richmond or Kew if you want to extend your day trip w/ a pub or the gardens.
janisj is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 08:30 AM
  #12  
 
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There really isn't so much in the Cotswolds that it's a shame to see the area just for one day.

The Secret Cottage operation (https://www.cotswoldtourismtours.co.uk/) wants you to get the 0821 train to Moreton in Marsh, collects you in a Merc minibus and after a tour and cream tea gets you back for a 1624 departure, arriving Paddington at 1800.

If you'd rather look at pretty villages than oodles of architecture, this is the perfect day out.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 08:37 AM
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I am considering Hampton Court Palace when we get to London in a couple of weeks as well.

Specifically, what is the 'boat' you are all tossing around? The public tfl thing or something else?
rs899 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 09:01 AM
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We really enjoyed Hampton Court Palace. When we were there, there were actors popping up, putting on scenes from the time of Henry and Anne Boleyn. Maybe a little corny but it was a lot of fun. The grounds are lovely and the maze was fun. You don't need a guided tour. It's easy to get there by train and the palace is well marked.
Taltul is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 09:22 AM
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Also, on the Secret Cottage Tour, you get a lot of local information about the area (as a local is driving you about, and he's chatting as he goes), and we stopped at 2 "statelies" (stately homes) on my tour. The other tour participants that I met, were really lovely, too.
ChgoGal is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 09:27 AM
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Re advance ticketing for HCP. I see that I can buy and print tickets at home now, but cant wave a cellphone in front of them if I decide later to go. Are the ticket lines horrible there if I have to pick up tickets there?
rs899 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 09:43 AM
  #17  
 
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>>Specifically, what is the 'boat' you are all tossing around? The public tfl thing or something else?<<

There is a pier right next to the Palace grounds with regular service back down river. But as I mentioned, you really wouldn't want to use it unless the weather was at least semi-decent. It runs from HCP > Richmond > Kew > Westminster Pier. But the schedule can change significantly because the river is tidal so the journey up and down river take longer/less time day to day.

>>Are the ticket lines horrible there if I have to pick up tickets there?<<

Not horrible really but can be long -- especially on holidays/summer weekends. If you take an early train so you get to the Palace just before or soon after it opens the queues shouldn't be bad.
janisj is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:01 AM
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<>

It's this which is a local service.
http://www.turks.co.uk/turks-pier-hampton-court/


Or this one, you can buy tickets online
http://wpsa.co.uk/index.asp

There is almost always something going on at HCP, eg the HCP Festival which is end of June and is fantastic to attend if the weather is good (& if you can get tickets), open air cinema, cookery tours or just potter around the gardens (love the kitchen garden) so it is busy.

I would recommend the Mute Swan pub which is opposite the main gates or walk up Bridge Road which has several pubs and restaurants.
Odin is offline  

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