A Glance at Three of Hampton Court Palace’s World-Famous Gardens

Text & photos © Estrella Azul

I LIVE AND WORK IN Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The second time I traveled to Kingston Upon Thames for work, I got the chance for a longer stay. One of my colleagues said Hampton Court Palace is a must-see and offered to drop me off there after work one afternoon.

A different angle of Hampton Court Palace

Getting to the palace easily isn’t an issue. It’s a 10-minute bus ride, or a 20–40 minute walk from downtown Kingston, depending on whether you take the shorter way through town or the longer way along the River Thames.

One of the beautifully ornate gates

I found the Hampton Court Palace section of the Historic Royal Palaces website very helpful in planning my visit. There was even a downloadable map of the gardens.

Beauty everywhere you look

The palace’s world-famous garden, consisting of 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres of parkland, has many highlights. I spent most of my time in three of them.

The Kitchen Garden

I entered the palace grounds through the Kitchen Garden, which has been restored to how it most likely looked in the 18th century. Fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs grow and thrive there. The produce is available for sale from the garden stall.

Can you spot the lavender?

The color palettes of roses and other climbing/hanging plants against the old brickwork running alongside the palace was a photographer’s dream!

A photographer’s dream

I was mesmerized by all the beauty in the Rose Garden. Unfortunately it had rained earlier that day so, even though it was warm and mostly sunny at the time of my visit, many of the beautifully bloomed roses had suffered a bit of a shake-down—rose petals covered the ground throughout the garden. However, they still smelled heavenly!

Fallen rose petals

One can catch glimpses of the palace from the gardens as well and it is one of the best backdrops for the Rose Garden.

The Rose Garden with palace backdrop

The palace seems massive right from the entrance, even though one can’t even see how much it continues on behind that facade. I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and not visit inside the palace that time around.

Hampton Court Palace

There are many events held at the palace year-round, including the Hampton Court Palace Festival, tours focusing on various aspects of palace and courtyard living (for example, ghost tours and horse-drawn charabanc tours), fairs featuring handmade goods, lectures, concerts, book club, theater plays and carol singing. I’m positive it’s considered a perfect wedding venue for young people starting their lives together.

Statues in the Rose Garden at Hampton Court Palace

The Wilderness was my final meander before leaving the palace grounds.

Perfectly camouflaged

I strolled past The Tiltyard, by The Maze, and found myself getting enjoyably lost along intertwining paths, underneath the shade of many types of trees, trying to spot some of the National Plant Collection specimens in the bedding schemes around the palace gardens.

The Wilderness

I walked for a good two hours, right until closing time, and had a blast even though I was on my own! Hope I’ll be able to go back one day to visit the gardens again, and visit inside the palace as well.


Estrella in the Greek Amphitheatre ruins, Taormina, Sicily

Estrella Azul is a young emerging writer, passionate about reading, floral art and photography, with an artistic personality and a soulful outlook on life. She is a Hungarian girl living and writing from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the capital of historical region Transylvania. Estrella is our European correspondent, she currently serves as the photo editor here at Milliver’s Travels, and she dreams of embarking on a round-the-world trip. To read more of her creative writing, her thoughts and daily happenings, visit Life’s a stage – WebBlog©. Read more of her stories on Milliver’s Travels by visiting Estrella’s story index.

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