Windsor Castle or Hampton Court? Both?

Jun 1st, 2017, 11:07 AM
  #1  
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Windsor Castle or Hampton Court? Both?

We will be back in London this August and are trying to decide what places we want to visit. We are already booked for the Buckingham Palace State Rooms and Gardens and don't know whether to add both Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. We don't like to spend a lot of time touring elaborately decorated interiors. Any suggestions are welcome. This will be our fifth trip to London.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:14 AM
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We don't like to spend a lot of time touring elaborately decorated interiors>

Windsor is much more to me than the castle itself - the regional town is superb - and Eton the tony private school for rich is a joy to walk around - but check when the courtyards are open. And Windsor Great Park makes a nice stroll.

Hampton Court also has nice parks and a Thames-side setting-a great maze and inside is not just your typical castle interior - to me both would delight you as your prerequisites.

Do both if possible and if Windsor explore the town itself and Eton -a small town right opposite Windsor over the Thames bridge.

As castles and palaces go I preferred Hampton on the inside.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:18 AM
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I prefer Hampton Court but both are beautiful. I really loved wandering the gardens at Hampton Court but I don't think you can go wrong in choosing one over the other.
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Jun 1st, 2017, 11:19 AM
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We were in Windsor a couple of weeks ago. The line to get into the castle was long in the AM with lots of school groups. I had meant to buy tickets in advance but forgot. We just hung around the town and especially enjoyed the guardsmen marching up to the castle for the changing of the guard. Apparently happens every other day at 10:45 and they return at 11:30.

We had a wonderful lunch at Two Brewers, reserve because it is small! When we went past the entry to the castle in the afternoon there was no line so we went in. Just an FYI.
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Jun 1st, 2017, 11:24 AM
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At Windsor, St George's Chapel was outstanding to me. I loved it.

I also loved Hampton Court.

It's a hard call and I'm glad I've been to both, although on different trips.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:01 PM
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If you only have time for one - I'd make it HCP. I really do like Windsor, but a lot if what you can get inside and see are the grand State Rooms. You will see plenty of that at Buckingham Palace. There is more to Windsor for sure, but St Georges Chapel is often closed for special events. There are more bits to explore at HCP.
janisj is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:16 PM
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We do have time for both as we'll be there ten days. We want to return to St. paul's and Westminster Abbey. Also plan to visit Churchill's War Rooms. This was a last minute decision to go on this trip as we'll be in Boston and it's a short flight to London.
Thanks so much for all your comments. i will book my entrance tickets ahead.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:19 PM
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There are more bits to explore at HCP.>

Yes indeedy -like the Great Vine -from Capability Brown's days there - perhaps the oldest in Europe and the old tennis court and again Tudor kitchens now looking like a feast is bring prepared for Henry VIII - and last time I was there there were live musicians in various rooms or piped in music and a lot less crowds than I saw at Windsor Castle.

And you can take a boat here from London in incorporate a Thames ride - lovely- and wonder around the Thames here and see the Mosley Lock, etc.

Hampton Court is IME a lot more relaxed visit and for the palace or castle itself a lot more interesting and diverse.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:24 PM
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>>And you can take a boat here from London<<

Much better to take the train TO the Palace and (only if the weather is decent) take a boat back. Taking a boat from London up river to the Palace means you don't arrive until mid afternoon.
janisj is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:27 PM
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Yesjanis that makes total sense -relax on a quicker ride back -I would not go both ways on boat -no way but one way one something different and very interesting.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:46 PM
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Walking to Hampton Court can be sweet too - take the train like I did to Kingston/on/Thames and do about a 4-mile stroll along the north/east side of Thames - go thru the vast deer park and palace park to the palace.

The palace itself takes just 3-4 hours or so so you have the whole day to go by boat or foot, etc. and have much more than just another castle interior to see.
PalenQ is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 02:56 PM
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There is much more at HCP than >>just another castle interior <<
janisj is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 03:12 PM
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I enjoyed them both but if I had to choose I prefer Hampton Court Palace.
outwest is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 03:45 PM
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There is much more at HCP than >>just another castle interior <<

well how about "there is much more at HCP than just another palace interior"? Meant of course many castles and palaces have ornately decorated interiors like OP does not care for much - and HCP is not your average palace inside for the reasons I mentioned - not just Versailles-like string of period lavishly decorated rooms.

HCP was fun for me - Windsor was more something I had to see and liked but HCP was so much fun -inside and out - talking about the actual interiors not the towns or parks.
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