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What’s happening at Historic Royal Palaces – January to March 2018

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There are a host of thrilling events, fascinating exhibitions and educational family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone this new year across the spectacular Historic Royal Palaces.

Hampton Court Palace will host live cooking demonstrations and the return of the much-loved Lindt Gold Bunny Easter Hunt, whilst Kensington Palace will have plenty on offer for the little ones over half term. At the Tower of London hear storytellers and poets confess their innermost secrets in the atmospheric chapel of St Peter’s ad Vincula with “Confessions at The Tower of London”. This intimate performance is inspired by the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’s infamous confession at the ancient fortress. Meanwhile, the Banqueting House will be giving visitors the chance to unleash their competitive spirit with a fun-filled session of board gaming in one of the oldest gaming dens in the country.

Highlights

The Gaming Den

21 January, 14:00-17:00, 18:00-21:00

Banqueting House

Head to Banqueting House on Whitehall and enjoy a session of board gaming in one of the oldest gambling dens in the country – used by King James I himself! Grab a drink, roll a dice and unleash that competitive spirit as the on-hand gaming gurus teach the rules to both historical and modern games. With participants attempting to win favour in the royal court, the stakes are bound to be high!

Tickets: £10, suitable for persons aged 18+

Confessions at the Tower of London

31 January, 19:00-20:45

Tower of London

On the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’s infamous ‘confession’, hear live storytellers and poets confess their innermost secrets in the atmospheric chapel of St Peter’s ad Vincula. Inspired by the story of Guy Fawkes’s interrogation at the Tower, this intimate performance explores the themes of coercion and free will.

Tickets: £25.00 / £22.50 HRP members, suitable for persons aged 18+

Lindt Gold Bunny Easter Hunt

24 March – 14 April

Hampton Court Palace

The Lindt Gold Bunny Easter Hunt will return to Hampton Court Palace again for 2018. Hiding in the palace and gardens will be the Lindt Gold Bunny, with new stories to be discovered with every bunny found, before the chance to claim a delicious chocolate prize.

Included in palace admission.

Events

Life in the Medieval Palace

2 January – 9 February, 11:00-12.30 and 13.30-15:30

Tower of London

Travel back to 1299 and enter the Medieval palace of King Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, in this live performance drama. Discover a world of chivalrous knights and beautiful ladies, troublesome lords and royal prisoners. There are money problems at home, too, as the King leads his armies off to war.

Included in palace admission.

Ghost Tours

7, 14 & 21 January (Adult Ghost Tours) / 7 January (Family Ghost Tours)

Hampton Court Palace

Take in some of the palace’s most ghoulish locations on one of these exclusive out of hours Ghost Tours, complete with suitably spine-tingling commentary. A special family-friendly version is also available for children over the age of 8. . Participants will be able to hear from 500 years of chilling tales, such as the Tudor royal nurse whose spirit is said to stalk her former apartments, and the mysterious figure ‘Skeletor’ caught on CCTV in the palace in the dead of night.

Tickets: Adult Ghost Tours: £27.50, Family Ghost Tours: Adults £14 / Children £7

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Story Time

7 January, 4 February, 4 March

Hampton Court Palace

Suitable for children aged between 3-7 years, ‘Story Time’ is a great way to enjoy some of the little ones’ favourite stories within the comfort of Hampton Court Palace. Each of these special story-telling sessions includes themed toys to help bring the magic of the stories to life. Sessions are available on a drop-in basis, enquire at the Information Centre for further details.

Included in palace admission.

Twilight Tours

Selected Sundays to 2 April, 19:00-20:30

Tower of London

The Tower’s Yeoman Warders give an exclusive twilight tour of this infamous palace and fortress. Take in world-famous sights such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents.

Tickets: £27.50 / £25 HRP members, suitable for persons aged 12+

Nightwatchers

Selected dates in February, 18.00, 18:30, 19.00, 19.25, 19.50

Tower of London

Enter the shadowy world of state surveillance in this immersive experience at the Tower of London, where messages and phone calls lead participants around one of history’s most notorious prisons. Consider this an induction into the art of covert investigation, but in a climate of global insecurity, who watches the watchers?

Tickets: £20 / £18 HRP members

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Tiny Explorers

7, 10, 21, 24 & 28 February & 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21 & 24 March

Kensington Palace

These multi-sensory storytelling sessions for under 4’s will transport little ones into a magical world of stories. Each session involves music, movement, messy play and more, and separate sessions designed especially for different development levels are also offered to suit babies not yet walking and walkers under 4.

Tickets: £6 per child

Heavenly Hampton

10 – 18 February

Hampton Court Palace

Head to Hampton Court Palace this half term for live interpretations for all the family to enjoy. Discover the story of Katherine Parr’s secret romance and wedding to Thomas Seymour, and enjoy family participation activities running throughout the day such as learning traditional dances.

Included in palace admission.

Tiny Explorers

8, 10, 22 & 24 February, 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22 & 24 March

Hampton Court Palace

These multi-sensory storytelling sessions for under 4’s will transport little ones into a magical world of stories. Each session involves music, movement, messy play and more, and separate sessions designed especially for different development levels are also offered to suit babies not yet walking and walkers under 4.

Tickets: £6 per child

Great Palace Quest

10 – 18 February

Hampton Court Palace

The Great Palace Quest is a time-travelling voyage of discovery exploring Hampton Court Palace in search of the Palace Quest code word. The quest will involve participating in puzzles, games, crafts and meeting characters from the past.

Included in palace admission.

Defend the Tower!

Daily 19 February – 31 March

Tower of London

England’s greatest medieval fortress is under attack! Relive the life and death struggles to overcome its mighty defences in this live performance drama. Join the garrison and defend the Tower against its three greatest threats.

Included in palace admission.

Funtastic Sundays

25 February & 25 March

Kensington Palace

Perfect for children aged between 0-13 years, the last Sunday of each month sees Funtastic Sundays taking place at Kensington Palace. These fun-filled activity days for families include the chance to try out the palace’s activity bags and trails, enjoy Story Time or take part in special creative workshops.

Included in palace admission.

Cooking for the Court

30 March – 2 April

Hampton Court Palace

Over the Easter weekend, visitors to Hampton Court Palace should head to the Tudor Kitchens for a chance to join the King’s Cooks and discover the truth behind Henry VIII and his legendary appetite. With the palace’s historic chefs providing live Tudor cookery demonstrations, uncover the secrets behind creating a dish fit for a king!

Included in palace admission

For more information , visit the HRP website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Festive fun for Christmas 2017 at Historic Royal Palaces

With festive season just around the corner, there’s a whole range of events at Historic Royal Palaces.

Hampton Court Palace will be welcoming in the holiday season with a series of Christmas-themed entertainment and activities, from carolling in the courtyards to a special Elizabethan Christmas. Visitors can take a spin on the ice at Hampton Court’s famous ice rink (24 November – 7 January), where the palace’s Tudor facade provides a suitably magnificent backdrop to this magical riverside setting.

The BBC Good Food’s Festive Feast returns for another year, setting mouths watering with over 50 stalls featuring handpicked producers, all filling the palace’s historic courtyards. It won’t just be delicious treats filling the air either, with the Christmas Music Weekend (16 – 17 December) promising traditional carols and sacred hymns within the walls of the Great Hall. Performed on traditional instruments just like those used at the court of Elizabeth I, this special event offers a wonderful mix of traditions old and new. On selected dates, visitors will also be treated to an ‘Elizabethan Christmas’, with Tudor-style courtyard entertainment, live period music and dance conjuring up the Christmas of 1592 with Elizabeth I and her court. The Tudor Queen herself will even be in residence for the celebrations!

Head to the Tower of London this Christmas where there will be a number of seasonal events for all to enjoy. The ice rink returns to the famous dry moat, where visitors can take in the majestic views of the capital from this iconic historic landmark. The Tower will also host a royal celebration, complete with Medieval Christmas festivities (27 – 31 December). Revel in the festivities with King Richard III, Queen Anne Neville, and the knights and ladies of medieval England with music, dance and games adding to the family entertainment. Meanwhile, Noel Noel promises to hit all the right notes with 500 years of music for Advent and Christmas performed in the atmospheric Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. This sumptuous concert includes Spanish riffs, English traditional songs, melodies by Monteverdi and the original version of Silent Night.

Kensington Palace will also be suitably dressed for the occasion, with a Victorian Christmas theme running throughout the palace, complete with stunning lanterns, a gorgeous 25ft Christmas tree and a display of illuminated Victorian scenes. Running throughout the day on selected dates, visitors to the palace will also be able to experience the excitement of Queen Victoria’s Christmas with ‘Under the Christmas Tree’. This family-friendly event will see visitors being treated to Victoria’s memories of Christmas past, before being able to create their own beautiful Christmas decoration to take home. 16 December will see ‘Funtastic Saturday’ take place, where children can hear Christmas stories and create their very own Victorian puppet theatre. The ‘Tasty Talks’ will also return every Sunday throughout December, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through the story of the items that now grace our Christmas table and how they arrived there. Live music will also take place in the Queen’s State Apartments between Christmas and New Year, filling the palace with the sound of traditional festive music.

For more information , visit the HRP website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

What’s happening for Kids at the Historic Royal Palaces from April – June 2017

The Historic Royal Palaces run a wide range of activities for children all throughout the year, but also put on special events in Children’s holidays like half term  or Easter. Many of the activities are included in the admission charge and offer a fun and exciting way of learning history.  The following is just a selection of some of the attractions at the Historical Royal Palaces.

Highlights

The Palace Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt

Saturday 1 – Monday 17 April, 11.00 – 16.00

Hampton Court Palace

Kensington Palace

Find the Lindt Gold Bunny’s hiding places as you explore the spring garden at Kensington Palace and take a peek into royal life inside the palace. Once you have found all the Lindt Gold Bunny’s hiding places, receive your delicious Lindt chocolate treat, lovingly created by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers.

Included in palace admission.

The Magic Garden

Reopens Saturday 1 April, open daily 10.00 – 17.30

Hampton Court Palace

The Magic Garden once again welcomes visitors to experience the legendary world of the Tudor tournament in this imaginative play garden setting. Inspired by the palace’s past, the Magic Garden is located in Henry VIII’s former tiltyard where Tudor tournaments were once held. Discover something new around every twist and turn in an immersive world populated by mythical beasts, including a 25m dragon! Take the family to become Tudor Knights, besiege the battlements, storm the Tiltyard Towers and explore a mysterious secret grotto!

Included in palace admission.

Magic Garden & Maze only ticket: £7.70 adult / £5.50 child / £22 family

Go Medieval at the Tower of London

Saturday 29 April – Monday 1 May, 10.00 – 17.00

Tower of London

It’s 1445 and England is celebrating the arrival of a new Queen, Margret of Anjou. Immerse yourself in the medieval world and join in the festivities with plenty of fun for the whole family. Take your chance to meet the new queen and don’t miss seeing her magnificent knights in full sword fighting action!

Included in palace admission.

Horrible Histories – The Best of Barmy Britain at Hampton Court Palace

Saturday 27 May – Saturday 3 June

Hampton Court Palace

From battling Boudicca to horrible Henry and the putrid plague, plunge into the history of Britain… with the nasty bits left in. Find out whether Parliament survived gunpowder Guy, and what made Dick Turpin so dastardly, as the popular Horrible Histories show comes to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace.

Tickets: £12 adult /£7 child. Under 5s free but require ticket.

Armoury in Action

Now Open

Tower of London

Hands-on exhibition Armoury in Action reveals the fascinating story of arms and armoury at the Tower of London. From shooting arrows to assembling firearms and brandishing swords, a thousand years of history is brought to life through a mix of historic objects, audio visual and interactive displays. Created in partnership with Royal Armouries – the national museum of arms and armour – Armoury in Action offers families the chance to discover the weapons, battle skills and royal armourers from the Normans to the Victorian era.

Included in palace admission.

Encounters with the Tudors

Daily from Friday 7 April

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII’s magnificent palace will be brought to life every day, and you are invited to join members of the court to explore the perils and intrigues of life as a Tudor.  The cooks in Hampton Court’s historic kitchens will also be roasting meat for the king’s table.

Included in palace admission.

Digital Missions

Daily

Go on an interactive adventure. Meet characters from history, explore all around you, do challenges and win badges! Download the free Time Explorers app and try our Digital Missions for children and their families..

Included in palace admission.

Events

Make History workshops

Saturdays: 29 April, 27 May, 24 June; 11.30, 12.45 and 14.30 (duration: 45 minutes)

Kensington Palace

Get hands on with the palace’s creative workshops for families. Be inspired by a new palace story each month, and make a piece of the past by taking part in a range of exciting activities, from gardening and painting to chocolate making.

Included in palace admission.

Time Explorers Station

Saturdays: 29 April, 27 May, 24 June, 11.00 – 16.00

Kensington Palace

Explore the palace and discover its stories using the palace’s themed activity bags, games, trails and ‘make and take’ activities aimed at babies to children aged 13, all available to collect from the palace’s Time Explorer Station.

Included in palace admission.

Tiny Explorers

10 May – 24 June, every Wednesday and Saturday excluding half term week (Wednesday 30 and Saturday 3 June); 10.30 (babies), 13.00 and 14.30 (walkers)

Kensington Palace

Explore and play in the palace together in one of these special multi-sensory sessions for under-4s! Discover the stories of Kensington Palace through music, movement, messy play and more.

Tickets: £6 per child (price includes up to two adults) / £5 per child for members

Tiny Explorers

11 May – 24 June, every Thursday and Saturday excluding half term week (Thursday 31 May and Saturday 3 June); 10.30 (babies), 13.00 and 14.30 (walkers)

Hampton Court Palace

Explore and play in the palace together in one of these special multi-sensory sessions for under-4s! Discover the stories of Hampton Court Palace through music, movement, messy play and more.

Tickets: £6 per child (price includes up to two adults) / £5 per child for members

Story Scramble – The Tower at War

17-21 April, 11.00 – 15.30

Tower of London

The Tower of London has lots of stories to tell. In this interactive trail and game for families, some of those stories have been scrambled up and must be put back together again. Meet characters from the past, handle objects, look for clues and see if you can connect the pieces as you explore 1000 years of history in a day.

Included in palace admission.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the HRP website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Tours and Talks at Historic Royal Palaces – January to March 2017

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Historic Royal Palaces offer a series of events between January and March, including The People’s Revolt, Ghost Tours and Twilight Tours.

The People’s Revolt

Selected dates in March

18.00, 18.30, 19.00, 19.25, 19.50

Tower of London

Infiltrate the Tower of London after hours – The People’s Revolt is an immersive, interactive experience from ground-breaking theatre company differencEngine in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces. Experience what it’s like to be at the centre of a present day ‘Peasants’ Revolt’.  Live the build-up through digital storytelling then blur the lines between history and reality as you storm the Tower and decide the fate of the nation.

Tickets: £22.50/ £20.50

  

Ghost Tours

Saturdays and Sundays to 26 February, 18:30 and 19:15

Hampton Court Palace

Visit the spot where two bodies were discovered in shallow graves in the 1870s, hear the tale of the Tudor royal nurse whose spirit is said to stalk her former apartments, and decide for yourself the origin of the mysterious figure caught on CCTV in the palace in the dead of night as you experience the unique atmosphere of Hampton Court after dark…if you dare.

Tickets: £27.50

 

Twilight Tours

Selected Sundays to 2 April

Tower of London

The Tower’s Yeoman Warders give an exclusive twilight tour of the Tower. Take in world famous sights such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents.

Tickets: £27.50 / £25 Historic Royal Palaces members

 

Eerie Evening Tours

6, 13, 20 and 27 January and 3, 10, 17 and 24 February, 18.45

Kensington Palace

When all the gates are locked and the lights are out, is the palace truly asleep? Explore the weird and wonderful world of Victorian spiritualism and the 19th century obsession with life after death. Be guided through the shadowy state apartments to relive the sorrow of heartbroken Kings and frustrated future Queens.

Tickets: £27.50/ £24.75 HRP members, unsuitable for persons aged under the age of 16.

 

Brunchtime Lecture: Panto and performance

Saturday 14 January, 11:00 – 12:30

Kensington Palace

He’s behind you! This lecture gives an insight into the world of Victorian pantomime, music hall, theatre and performance. Find out more about cross-dressing actors and backstage shenanigans in an era that brought entertainment to the masses. Hear from Kate Howard, historian and Creative Director for the UK’s oldest professional costumed historical interpretation company, Past Pleasures Ltd. 

Tickets: £15 / £12 members and concessions (includes glass of Bucks Fizz)

 

Curious Connections… Jewish History of the Tower

Tuesday 24 January, 19:00-20:30

Tower of London

The Jewish community has played an important part in the City of London ever since their arrival with William the Conqueror in 1066, but it has not always been easy or straightforward. The tumultuous relationship with the crown has ranged from Jews being valued as advisors to vilified as criminals. Listen in on the panel as they explore the part the Tower played in Jewish history and the important role the Jewish community continues to play in London today.

Tickets: £10 / £9 members and concessions (includes glass of wine)   

 

Palace Pub Quiz

Friday 3 February, 18:00-21:30

Banqueting House

Back for the second year, Banqueting House will host a for a pub quiz with a difference. Sit under the beautiful ceiling painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and test your knowledge on current affairs, sport, art, food and film There will be a few rounds for the history lovers but plenty of other subjects as well, so pick your team wisely for this fun, fast-paced quiz, with prizes, drinks and some surprises!

Tickets: £15

 

Tower of Love: Romance is Dead

13 February, 18.30-21.00An anti-Valentines sketching special, dedicated to those who died at the Tower in the name of love. Enter the drama and tragedy of the Tudor court, and explore Henry VIII’s doomed love affair with Anne Boleyn.  Sketch our costumed models, posing as their ghosts at the site of her burial in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Plus create miniature love tokens with guest artist Lozzy Bones, in the Chapel’s crypt.

Tickets: £24/£20 concessions

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the HRP website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

A Short Guide to the Tower of London

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The Tower of London  is one of the most popular attractions in London, the  historic castle was built after the Norman Conquest of England . The White Tower, which is the core of the castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1078.  The Tower of London has had many uses over the centuries, it has been a Royal Palace, a prison, an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels.  Over the centuries the Tower  has developed into  a complex of  buildings protected  behind two rings of defensive walls and a moat.

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The Tower of London has been the centre of many important events in English history especially in the 16th and 17th centuries when it was used as a prison for many high ranking figures who had fallen from grace. Elizabeth I was held here before she became queen, however the Tower’s reputation as a place of execution was mostly due to the demise of  three queens of England: Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII,  Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife and Lady Jane Grey.

Execution inside the Tower was actually considered a privilege reserved for those of high rank, many more executions were carried out on the Tower Hill outside of the walls.

Executions in the Tower were not confined to the distant past, in the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was used as a prison and was the site of the executions of 12 men for spying.

One of the main attractions of the Tower is the Crown Jewels a collection of royal regalia which are still used by The Queen in important national ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament. Considering the age of the Tower, the Crown jewels are fairly modern, almost everything in the Jewel House was made after 1660 – the earlier Crown Jewels  were destroyed following the abolition of the monarchy in 1649.

Other highlights of  a visit to the Tower are the White Tower, the Royal Armouries Collections, an exhibition about torture at the Tower, the execution site where Anne Boleyn and others died, you can walk the Tower walls and visit the many towers.

You will also see the  resident ravens who are forbidden to leave the Tower, an old legend says that if the ravens leave, the kingdom and the Tower will fall. Therefore the ravens are looked after by their own Raven Master and live in protected lodgings  next to the Wakefield Tower.

For many visitors, the tours given by the Yeoman Warders commonly known as ‘Beefeaters’ are a highlight of the visit, all the Yeoman Warders are required to have served in the armed forces with an honourable record for at least 22 years. They will entertain you with tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution, torture and much more…

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The Tower of London isn’t just a historic fortress – it remains a working fortress today with a strong military presence. You will see soldiers guarding the Jewel House and Queen’s House as well as the famous Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) who have been guarding the Tower for 500 years. It is still under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower and is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site.

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Recently the highly successful ceramic poppies installation were planted in the moat and were seen by millions of people.

Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 9.00-16.30, Sunday – Monday 10.00-16.30. Last admission: 16.00

Tickets
1 March 2014 – 28 February 2015

Gate price

Adult  £22.00

Child (5-15 years)
Under 5s are free of charge.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

£11.00

Full-time student (16 years and over), disabled visitor, over 60 with ID

£18.70

Family
Up to 2 adults and 3 children

£59.00

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Tower of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here