Did you know there is a Hampton Court Castle as well as a Hampton Court Palace! Everyone has heard of Hampton Court Palace, but not many people know about Hampton Court Castle! Hidden in the depth of North Herefordshire is this gem of a place. It is around 100 years older than the London one. We went there recently for a great day out.
First off, we had a coffee sitting outside the Orangery Cafe. The setting is fabulous on a sunny day and from our seats we could see cows grazing in the field just beyond the lawns in front of the Castle.
We then took a walk alongside the river Lugg. It was the best kind of walk as it was flat and along a wide mown path. The whole loop is about 6,000 steps according to the fitbit David wears, so we felt it was long enough to earn us a decent lunch!
On the way back to the Castle we stopped at the zip wire and swings hidden in the woods. The kids on the swings seemed to be having a good time, but not as much fun as the Dad enjoying the zip wire!
Maze and Sunken Garden - great for kids
After a delicious lunch of local cheeses and salads, we went to the sunken garden. You walk around the pool to get to the waterfall. You can walk behind the waterfall and through a secret underground tunnel to the centre of the maze! Which we did!
In the middle of the maze is a tower which we climbed. We were rewarded with a brilliant view of the gardens from the top. Gazing out over the maze we tried to work out how we would get out.
Took us a while but we found the way out in the end (ok we admit it, we had to follow someone else!).
Hampton Court prides itself on its vegetable gardens, herbaceous borders and Dutch Gardens. We really enjoyed the displays of flowers in the borders. Mostly blues and whites the impact of them is stunning. We were too late for the tulips in the Dutch Garden, but the vegetables were coming up beautifully.
There is a display of sculptures dotted around too which were intriguing. The Wisteria Arch was fantastic. It probably doesn’t matter when you go, there will always be something that is at its peak.
After all that admiring, it was time for a cuppa and a slice of cake. Well it would have been rude not to! Wandering back to the Orangery Cafe we passed families picnicking on the grass and enjoying ice creams. It really was just the perfect day for it.
Amanda Ingham 24th July 2018