What’s happening at Historic Royal Palaces


What’s happening at Historic Royal Palaces, April-June 2018?

From historic cookery to Easter egg hunting and pub quizzing, there’s a whole range of activities visitors can enjoy at Historic Royal Palaces this spring.

In May, the Tower of London launches an exciting summer season of live performances exploring Anne Boleyn’s last seventeen days in the Tower from her imprisonment, through to her trial and execution. Follow Anne’s story from hope to hopelessness as events dramatically unfold within the walls of the famous fortress. The Tower also welcomes the award winning writer, artist and performer, Innua Ellams as its Poet in Residence for 2018. In collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces, Ellams will be curating a series of poetry, spoken word and performance events called Confessions at the Tower; mixing re-imagined historic records with real confessions from some of the country’s most exciting contemporary poets.

The famous Tudor Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace – the most extensive surviving royal Tudor kitchen range in the world – will undergo an exciting transformation ahead of its reopening in time for May bank holiday. With new interactive technology and sensory experiences, the kitchens will be bought to life like never before. Meanwhile, the Lindt Gold Bunny Easter Trail returns for another year, with a fun-filled family adventure winding through the palace and its spectacular gardens.


Arrest and Last Days of Anne Boleyn
6 May – 27 August
Tower of London

Follow the dramatic story of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, through her arrest, imprisonment, trial and execution at the Tower of London. From hope to hopelessness, watch Anne’s journey unfold in this 40 minute live performance which will be staged twice per day.
Included in palace admission.

Horrible Histories live on stage with Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians
26 May – 2 June
Hampton Court Palace

Dive into the world of Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians this May with Horrible Histories live on stage, with a chance to see the horrible history of Britain…with the nasty bits left in! Encounter some of your favourite historical characters, from King George III to the Lady of the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, in this open-air hour-long performance during the May half term.
Tickets: Adult £12 / Child £7 / Under 5’s Free – Tickets go on sale at the end of March. Please note these scenes have appeared in productions of Barmy Britain.

Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt
26 March – 15 April
Hampton Court Palace

The Lindt Gold Bunnies will return to Hampton Court Palace this Easter, hiding in the palace and gardens, awaiting discovery. With new stories exploring Hampton Court’s chocolate-related history to be discovered with every bunny found, there’ll even be the chance to claim a delicious chocolate prize!
Included in palace admission.

Tudor Kitchens re-opening
Open daily from 5 May
Hampton Court Palace

May will see a complete re-imagining of the famous Tudor kitchens, transporting visitors back to a time when they were the beating heart of life at Hampton Court Palace, and overseen by the tenacious Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister. New displays in the kitchens will feature interactive technology and sensory experiences, so for the first time ever visitors will be able to see, smell and touch their way through the process of preparing a meal fit for a king.
Included in palace admission.


Easter family activities
30 March – 6 April
Kensington Palace

Meet Queen Mary II at Kensington Palace this Easter, with drop-in sessions and family activities exploring her story and offering visitors the opportunity to create paper Chinese vases to add to her precious collection.
Included in palace admission.

Here Be Dragons exhibition and trail
From 1 April
Kew Palace

To mark the re-opening of the Great Pagoda at Kew this summer, little ones will be able to enter the world of dragons and dragonologists at the Here Be Dragons exhibition. Once they’ve learned what it takes, it’s time to go on a dragon discovery adventure and find the five fearsome dragons located around the gardens.  The adventure begins at the Welcome Centre next to Kew Palace.
Included in admission to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Confessions at the Tower of London
19 April, 24 May and 28 June, 19:00-20:45
Tower of London

The Tower’s Poet in Residence for 2018, Innua Ellams, curates a series of poetry, spoken word and performance events with Confessions at the Tower. Hear live performances from award-winning poets, beatboxers, essayists and storytellers as they explore stories inspired by the Tower’s 1000 year history. Themes range from power (19 April) through to condemnation (24 May) and slander (28 June), with performances taking place within the atmospheric chapel of St Peter’s ad Vincula.
Tickets: £20.00 / £18.00 HRP members, suitable for ages 18+.

New perspectives on the Tower and the Medieval Jewish community
24 April 2018, 20:00
Tower of London

Dr Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces, chairs a debate on the fascinating relationship between the Jewish community and the Tower of London. Inspired by brand new curatorial research, discover the history of the medieval Jewish community in this compelling talk.
Tickets: £15 / £13.50 HRP members.

Palace Pub Quiz
Friday 8 June, 19:00-21:30
Banqueting House

Returning for a third year, Banqueting House will host a special pub quiz with a difference. Be inspired by the beautiful ceiling painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens as you put your knowledge to the test on current affairs, music, culture and royalty. There will be a few rounds for the history lovers but plenty of other subjects as well, so pick your team wisely for this fun, fast-paced quiz, with prizes, drinks and some surprises!
Tickets: £15.

Tiny Explorers
17, 19, 24 & 26 May, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & 30 June
Hampton Court Palace

These multi-sensory storytelling sessions for under 4’s will transport little ones into a magical world of stories. Each session involves music, movement, messy play and more, and separate sessions specially-designed for different development levels are also offered to suit babies not yet walking and walkers under 4.
Tickets: £6 per child.

Tiny Explorers
16, 19, 23 & 26 May, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 & 30 June
Kensington Palace

These multi-sensory storytelling sessions for under 4’s will transport little ones into a magical world of stories. Each session involves music, movement, messy play and more, and separate sessions specially-designed for different development levels are also offered to suit babies not yet walking and walkers under 4.
Tickets: £6 per child.

May half term
27 May – 1 June
Kensington Palace

Come and discover what growing up in a palace is really like and enter Princess Victoria’s magical world of stories. Born at Kensington Palace in 1819, Princess Victoria’s childhood experiences will be brought to life during May half term with drop-in sessions including illustration workshops and storytelling.
Included in palace admission.

Story Scramble – Anne Boleyn
29 May – 1 June 11.00 – 15.30
Tower of London

Explore all about Anne Boleyn in this interactive trail and game for families over May half term. Meet characters from the past, handle objects, look for clues and see if you can reassemble the scrambled pieces of the story as you explore Anne Boleyn’s last days in the Tower.
Included in palace admission.

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