Having spent the last few weekends lurking around central
I bought a coffee at the station in an effort to wake myself up but thanks to a rather ill-fitting lid, I slopped a sizeable amount of the liquid gold straight down the front of me. By then I was wide awake and fortunately wearing a black tshirt so the evidence of my clumsiness was not immediately obvious. Unfortunately I started wondering how long it would be before I started to smell like sour milk. Fabulous. On the upside though, I caught the right train and at this point in my tourist experience, that counts for a lot.
At the risk of sounding like a guide book, it probably helps to give a bit of background commentary on the Palace at this point, so here we go. The grounds of
The first area that modern visitors see when they get to the Palace is called
The good thing about
- Henry VIII’s Apartments;
- Henry VIII’s Kitchens;
- Young Henry VIII’s Story;
- Mantegna’s Triumphs of Caesar;
- William III’s Apartments;
- Mary II’s Apartments; and
- The Georgian Private Apartments.
In addition to the audio guide, on weekends there are actors at the Palace who recreate the wedding of King Henry VIII and his sixth and final wife, Kateryn Parr. From 11am to 4.30pm, tourists can basically stalk the actors as they move through the Palace providing commentary on key activities during the celebration day. This sort of entertainment is usually provided for the benefit of children of course, so I wasn’t too eager to follow the troupe. That said, my audio guide commentary was interrupted on a number of occasions by actors and stalkers bursting into the room I was occupying and launching into the next act of their pantomime. Needless to say, when that happened I took my cue and made a hasty exit, stage left.
The excellent audio guide comprehensively covers the interior of the Palace but it does not provide commentary on the 60 acres of exterior Palace grounds. This hardly matters because the grounds are very extensive, well sign-posted and are easy to navigate on your own. The map that the guides give you is easy enough for even a knucklehead like me to read!
By the time I got out to the Gardens, the weather was turning pretty rotten. In retrospect I probably should have toured the grounds first and then retreated indoors to tour the Palace. Oh well, hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?
During the summertime,
Having enjoyed the carriage ride, and noticing that the weather had somewhat improved, I set off on foot. I walked to The Great Vine, an amazing mass of grape vines, planted in 1768. The vines are still producing fruit and the vines are even in the Guinness Book of Records! Pretty amazing stuff. Staying outside, I skirted around the back of the Palace and to King Henry VIII’s indoor tennis court, which looks as you would expect. Even today members of the Royal Tennis Club are allowed to practice on the court (and two guys were there doing exactly that, but they were old, slow, and stopping to chat every 2 seconds so I couldn’t be bothered hanging around to watch them).
I was going to see the famous
Finishing my lunch, I became one of those silly tourists that I had earlier derided and made a mad dash for the souvenir shop, in the pouring rain, before legging it to the train station.
From the safety of my apartment, I looked back over the photos I took today, to relive the enormity of the
You can view some of my