I have been fascinated by English history since I was just a little girl. I majored in history in college, and then received a masters in museum studies because well, I can't get enough of the past apparently! I fan-girled and smiled the entire time as I visited Hampton Court Palace, most famously known for being the home of King Henry VIII and his many wives.
Hampton Court Palace built circa 1494 then remodeled into a palace in 1515 is a magnificent feat of Tudor architecture. It was originally a gift to Cardinal Wolsey, but after falling from King Henry's graces the king took it back for himself. This palace is well known for being well preserved and the rich history that it has seen. In terms of castle's and exploration factors, this is one of my favorites. The place is huge, and visitors are allowed access to most of its areas. There were times where we would go ten mins or so without seeing another tourist in the corridors and for England that is pretty darn secluded.
For a price of 21 pounds (17 with student ID) you get full access to the palace and its famous grounds and gardens. You can even purchase a fishing permit and take up a place on the lake for a day of fishing. The stunning palace has a cafe inside, and its so neat. It's located right next to one of the oldest parts of the castle, the tudor kitchens. These kitchens look virtually untouched over 500 years. I felt completely immersed int the past, had free range to roam, and was thrilled by the history presented. Many people tend to visit the more modern castles in England like Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle but Hampton Court was a must on my visit to England.
I think this place will be a beloved memory for me for many years to come. There is so much to see in England but I have a feeling I will be back :)
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