It’s reading week! Yay! Last term, I went on my great northern adventure to Edinburgh. I’m sure you all remember it well! Yes? Okay good! If not check out the first post here X.
This term, I actually have three meetings in London so going off was not really an option. Instead I am trying to check off a few things that take a lot of time to get to, but are still around London.
First up is…
Hampton Court Palace
This is one of Henry VIII’s many palaces and is frikin’ HUGE. This may surprise you all but I actually am a relatively fast museum visitor. I don’t read every label and I skip around a bunch. I do ask questions and stuff but on the whole I am pretty fast. Especially for someone who’s in Museum Studies.
Moral of this story- this place took me about 5ish hours. That is a loooong time for me. Though perhaps the fact that is a PALACE should have tipped me off.
Like most royal palaces, it was not built all at once. There are multiple additions and lots of redecorating done. The curators have cleverly focused on a few ‘trails’ that allow the visitor to try and keep to a single time period/ reign.
There are many clever ideas and concepts throughout the Palace! First off, there’s tonnes of signage than made sure you never got lost. Secondly an audioguide was included in the ticket price (I did not partake. SURPRISE. not) and they had tudor era style robes for anyone to wear (although mostly kids). IT WAS ADORABLE! All these little ones running around in the costumes were amazing. Third, they really used audio-visuals well! Lots of little displays, video presentations and even just ambient sounds- like a carriage coming through the stables.
All the guides had snazzy red coats. I wanted to steal one though I thought that might be a bit rude.
Since it’s a palace it also had stunning Gardens! I loved them. Luckily it was great weather so I spent at least an hour out there. Enjoying the grounds like some kind of fancy person.
The maze was so much fun!
The palace actually filled in some gaps for me which I appreciated (the Hanovers specifically)! They drew the line from the War of the Roses, Tudors, Stewarts, William & Mary, Queen Anne, to the Hanovers and finally Queen Vicky who opened the palace to the public as a picture gallery.
They are very clear about what is undergoing restoration/ conservation and why. Which I very much appreciate!
Pros: Beautiful, great displays, fun interactives, friendly staff, nice cafe, great shop, stunning gardens, as accessible as possible, lots of seating, clear way-finding, good for all ages!
Cons: It’s HUGE so take your time and keep your map on you, some things were closed but I only found out when I tried to go in