Buckingham Palace probably comes to mind when one thinks of palaces in England,
but another palace that may not have come to mind and was featured in the 2012 London
Olympics is the Hampton Court Palace. Viewers spotted the palace during the Olympic
Cycling Time Trials, and perhaps gold medalist Bradley Wiggins while he was relaxing in
the winner’s throne, built for the winners of the event. Although the royal family has not
lived in the palace since the 18th
festivals and events.
Owned by King Henry VIII, the palace was rebuilt and expanded by King William III.
The two owners made for two different styles of architecture: domestic Tudor and
Baroque. Aside from the detailed pink brick, other outside features include the amazing
gardens. The palace gardens are home to the world’s longest grapevine, a puzzle maze, and
the historic tennis court. I’m afraid a traumatizing encounter with a house of mirrors when
I was a child compelled me to not venture too far into the maze, but it is definitely worth a
visit for anyone with a craving for an adventure.
During the time we visited, the Hampton Court Palace Festival was taking place. It is
an annual festival featuring musicians from across all genres as they play in the open-air
atmosphere of the Base Court in the palace.
If concerts don’t interest you, the palace is riddled with ghostly encounters.
Numerous sightings have occurred at the palace, many of which include sightings of
deceased members of the royal family. Dame Sybil, the Grey Lady, is just one person
rumored to haunt the palace. After her tomb was disturbed, noises of a spinning wheel
were heard through a wall in the palace. An investigation revealed a previously unknown
chamber containing a spinning wheel. As far as ghost stories go, however, the gardens itself
drew me in. The Hampton Court Palace was a great place to explore and spend time in, but
be grateful that you weren’t forced to stay there like the numerous people put under house
arrest in the palace.