Hampton Court Palace and the Arena Ice Rink is the star of the show with a special one-off programme airing on Channel 5 on Tuesday 15 December 2020 allowing visitors to go behind the scenes of preparations for Christmas at the palace, from the comfort of their own homes.
Christmas at Hampton Court will show what it takes to bring the magnificent palace to life over the festive season, from cooking traditional Tudor recipes to harvesting mistletoe from the gardens. Joint Chief Curator Tracy Borman will also explore the royal Christmas traditions through the ages, including gifts from the past.
As the year draws to a close, visitors are invited to walk in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest kings and queens and experience a fun-filled festive day out at Hampton Court Palace as it reopens its doors on Saturday 5 December. From a seasonal gardens trail fit for all the family to taking a spin on the palace’s largest ever ice rink, there’s something for everyone on a visit this Christmastime.
With Hampton Court’s famous courtyards and cloisters dressed for the holiday season, a new Christmas Fairy Trail will take visitors on a magical journey through the palace’s gardens, with 10 lamp-lit fairy installations to discover. Pick up a self-guided trail map to be immersed in the story of the palace’s Christmases past; peer into the King’s Private Dining Room to see the table set for King William III’s festive feast, and find out what the pesky fairies have been up to in the Pond Garden! From 19 December, there’ll even be the chance to see Hampton Court’s Tudor cooks whipping up a storm in their outdoor field kitchen, demonstrating how to roast beef fit for a queen, and sharing the Tudor court’s traditions and rituals for celebrating Christmas, New Year and Twelfth Night.
If all that thought of food has you salivating, then a visit to the popular Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre is definitely in order! Taking place 11 – 13 December, it offers a unique opportunity for visitors to shop for gifts for loved ones and soak up the atmosphere of this iconic landmark, mulled wine in hand. Spread across the palace’s historic cobbled courtyards and the sprawling East Front formal gardens, the Fayre has been configured with social distancing in mind, and promises a food lover’s wonderland, with an array of stalls boasting artisan produce, delicious street food and unique gifts guaranteed to ensure a memorable day out. Selling everything from churros and fudge to craft cider and hot chocolate, taste buds are guaranteed to be tingling after a stroll around the buzzing market stalls! As well as the food, there’ll be a host of vintage themed and beautifully unique home and kitchenware exhibitors, while the return of the traditional Bandstand will fill the air with the sound of Christmas classics, offering entertainment and live music for all to enjoy.
Visitors can also skate back in time this winter, with a spin on the much-loved Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink. Skaters can take in the breath-taking Tudor façade as their backdrop, enjoying the rink by day or atmospherically illuminated by night for an even more dramatic experience. This year, the rink will be larger than ever before, allowing plenty of space to appreciate the spectacular views of the enchanting riverside palace. New measures have been introduced to make sure that everybody can enjoy the rink safely, with hygiene standards fit for a king or queen and staggered skate sessions to ensure fewer people on the ice at one time. Revelers can then satisfy their cravings at the Ice Rink Café and Bar, provided by Miss Polly’s, tucking into a host of winter warming dishes, indulgent treats and a wide range of beverages.
Pre-booking in advance is essential for all attractions at Hampton Court Palace, visit: www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/whats-on
Christmas Fairy Trail
5 December – 3 January 2021.
(with Tudor cooking 19 December – 3 January 2021)
Trail and map are included in standard palace admission.
Historic Royal Palaces members go free.
Please note: from 5-13 December, the palace is open Wednesday-Sunday (10.00-16.30). From 16 December – 3 January the palace is open daily (10.00-16.30) excluding 24-26 December.
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
5 December – 17 January 2021 (excl. Christmas Day)
Open daily from 10.00 to 21.00
Tickets: adult from £16, child (aged 3 – 12) from £11.50, family ticket from £46 (two adults & two children, or one adult & three children).
Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre
11 – 13 December
Entry is included in standard palace admission.
Historic Royal Palaces members go free.