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Hampton Court Palace--How much time needed to really enjoy it?

Hampton Court Palace--How much time needed to really enjoy it?

Old Apr 12th, 2016, 08:01 AM
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Hampton Court Palace--How much time needed to really enjoy it?

Due to flight changes, we might have an extra day in London. Originally, we didn't have time to go to Hampton Court Palace even though I think my 14 and 13yo would enjoy it.

We leave on the Eurostar at 3:30. Do we have enough time to do the place justice assuming we get there before the open? We are not dawdlers and do tend to move through places at a quicker rate than the average tourist.

Our hotel is within walking distance to St. Pancras station so we can grab stashed luggage quickly on way to station. What time would we have to leave the palace to give us enough breathing room to make the train easily.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 08:26 AM
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I don't know about doing it justice, obviously, if you have limited time you can't see as much as if you had more. But that doesn't mean some place isn't worth seeing if you really want to go and have several hours, you can see something, you just have to prioritize. You probably have about two hours there to visit. I imagine I didn't spend more than 3-4 total myself when I had no time constraints.

The issue is it doesn't open until 10 am and you have to take a train back which goes to Waterloo. So then you have to take the tube from Waterloo to St Pancras, and that involves a transfer. And you'd have to make sure you got the train, it runs about every half hour.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 08:52 AM
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With so little time, you might want to just visit the grounds. There's a great labyrinth there.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 08:55 AM
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I typically spend about 4-5 hours there (that includes having a meal) You could get a nice feel in 3 hours - but no time to eat.

>>you have to take a train back which goes to Waterloo.<<

The journey from HCP to St Pancras takes about one hour (fastest would not be to return to Waterloo but to get off the train at Vauxhall and take the Victoria line to Kings Cross/St Pancras.

You need to be at St Pancras by 2:45. If your hotel is really nearby I'd plan on being there to collect the luggage by 2:30 at the latest.

So yes, you do have time but - just be sure to note the train schedule so you catch one by 1PM or a little after.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 08:58 AM
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I would not spend time doing the Maze on such a short visit -- first it s time consuming and you do have time to see quite a bit of the Palace if you skip the maze.

I would also concentrate on the grounds and Tudor bits first (the older parts of the Palace), and then if you are making good time explore some of the Stuart wings.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 09:42 AM
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If your hotel's close to St P, I'd go to St P with yr bags first thing, leave them in Left Luggage, then return to the station (via Vauxhall and the Victoria Line) after Hamptoning.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 09:56 AM
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That's a great idea -- take you bags to the station and stow them, hop on the tube and get to the Palace first thing. You will have to pay for Left Luggage, but in this situation IMO it would be worth it. You'd probably net an extra 45 minutes or more at the Palace.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 10:07 AM
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Another idea:

Could you switch out HC with one of your planned activities IN London itself?

SO if you were going to the Tower one day, maybe you could use that day to go to HC, and do the Tower on your final day before leaving London.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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Yes to the tuscanlifeedit's post above - HCP to me is much more than the palace interior itself - it is the formal gardens, sprawling deer park, Capability Brown's Great Vine and of course the Maze which your teens may enjoy as much as anything in the palace itself.

Plus I love to walk along the Thames to the Mosely Lock not far away and see how this antique thing works:

http://www.visitthames.co.uk/about-t...s/molesey-lock

And opposite the palace overlooking the Thames is an ancient pub with pub grub on overlooking the Thames.

And taking a boat one way there from either London or Kingston can be neat too.

Make a leisurely whole day out at Hampton and not just at the Palace itself IMO.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 10:43 AM
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As I understand it, the OP was only going to be in London one day -- now they have two. They aren't going to have a full/leisurely day for HCP in any case. So It really doesn't matter if they do it day 1 or day 2. They are already squeezing in the Tower of London -- HCP is just icing on the cake so to speak.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 11:16 AM
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Thank you everyone, this is very helpful. I'll let the kids research the place to see if they think they are interested. And then we can figure out if it is worth the 1/2 day over other things.

Thanks to AA changing our award flights many times, our schedule has been very fluid but it now is finally set in stone (knock on wood). At first, we were going to have 1 1/2 days, then just 24 hours, back to 1 1/2 days and now 2 1/2 days. But that first day is after an overnight flight. So I am reconsidering our activity schedule.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 07:29 PM
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Sorry I didn't realize your time was so short. But do it if you can; it's pretty fabulous.
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Old Apr 13th, 2016, 04:01 PM
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Is it a bad idea to go right after we arrive at Heathrow (9am) assuming we aren't completely waxed? An uber is quoted at about £22. It will be a Sunday morning. It might be interesting enough to give us some energy.

We'd have to deal with our luggage. All 4 of us will have a carry on and daypack.

This is from their website:
Is there anywhere I can leave my heavy bags?
There are some left luggage lockers off Clock Court. They can hold hand baggage and a small rucksack or overnight bag as they are 45cms wide x 45cms deep. One set are 55cms high and the other set are 40cms high. A £1 coin is required to use them, which will be returned after use. Large bags or suitcases may be left at your own risk in the Warders Office by the West Gate. Please speak to the warders when you present your ticket if you would like to use this facility. This facility may be withdrawn without notice.

So the one set of lockers are 17 x 21 x 17 inches which I think will fit the carryon bag. I'll have to measure it.
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Old Apr 13th, 2016, 04:12 PM
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Yes -- there is left luggage. But no, I would not plan on that. At least some of you will be zonked and likely cranky.

You do have time on your departure day.
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Old Jun 13th, 2016, 08:03 PM
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Hi..I havent read all the replies

I have just been to Hampton Court
Take the train at Waterloo Station for Pounds 12 round trip one day fare anywhere

You arrive at the station of Hampton Court and walk one block crossing the river to Hampton Court Castle
If you go by train there is a sign that they sell 2 x 1 for the entrance at the Castle..otherwise pounds 20 each...
I was told you need like 3 hours..the castle is huge but worth going..as I had booked a bike tour..along the river and along 700 hectares of park with wild deers..I didnt have the time for the castle..will sure go next year!
Also there are boats to London but found the expensive 18 pounds one way

cheers
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Old Jun 13th, 2016, 08:08 PM
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Hi Again

If you arrive Pancras you are 20 mins walk to Paddington station and you could do Windsor Castle!.. the train station is 2 blocks from the entrance and u can buy the tkts upon arrival.. you have free audio guides... Paddington to Windsor Central (Eton) like abt less than an hour.

Otherwise Waterloo is across the Thames behind the London Eye.

Cheers
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Old Jun 13th, 2016, 08:18 PM
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doloresmercado: This thread is 2+ months old -- I <i>think</i> the OPs trip is over (or perhaps in progress as we speak) . . .
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Old Jun 14th, 2016, 10:33 AM
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OP - If trip is done please report back with your actual experiences!
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