While I won’t be able to travel to the court of Henry VIII in the near future (though with all the executions that went on I’m in two minds as to whether that’s really such a bad thing…) I most definitely can get that ‘Wolfhall’ experience by visiting his palaces, which- jolly good!- doesn’t involve feasting on multiple-animal stuffed pies. If you like that sort of thing though, I’m sorry 😦 The palaces don’t offer that any more- that’s when a time machine becomes really useful.
While in many cases the Palaces and gardens have been altered by succeeding monarchs, many of the original rooms, furnitures and glass windows still survive today.
As I make my way towards the palace, I half expect to see heads on pikes when I finally get there (I know, despite reading History at school and uni, I still have a tendency to think more ‘movie’ less ‘reality’ 😂)
Luckily, I don’t. Instead, as soon as I walk through the gates, I’m mesmerised by the beautiful palace before me. A blue sky forms the perfect background for a fairytale-esque palace scene. The wind drifts peacefully through the green leaves, and the blades of the grass that frame the palace flutter gently with the breeze. As I step closer towards the magical building, it’s as if I’m getting transported deeper and deeper into a world I haven’t visited before.
Welcome to Hampton Court Palace.
I step through the archway to another archway, and in my mind I picture people from hundreds of years ago walking through this very same path. As I hear my feet echo softly on the stone bricked floors, I’m reminded of how old this beautiful place really is; time doesn’t really count here.
There’s a quiet extravagence to this place that really takes your breath away, the lush grass, splendid maze and gardens, the intricate art on the walls and pretty furniture.
Vibrant colours lull you deeper into the palace, where hidden rooms exude mystery. I love how so many of the furniture found inside has it’s own story, from the beds to the books and paintings. Everything has meaning, it’s only left to you to discover what that is.
Perhaps my favourite feature of the palace is the painted walls. Many moments went by before I finally stepped back from admiring them to explore the next room. There are so many details, so many figures, allegories, colours and little mysteries to be found in every one. Each is as beautiful as the next; when you think you’ve seen the most beautiful one, the next room holds a special surprise.
When my time to leave has come, and all the staff now recognise me from a mile away (probably by the fact that I spend forever admiring all the artwork 🙈), I walk back through the main doors to the outside gardens. As I leave, I snatch one last look at the incredible palace. It is a scene I will remember forever.