Spectacular royal tours of the magnificent
Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle
Join me, Stephen Burstin, for an enchanting journey back in time as we visit England's most impressive palaces - Hampton Court Palace, home of the infamous King Henry VIII and his six unfortunate wives (see below for details of my May 9th public tour to Hampton Court Palace). There's also Windsor Castle, weekend home of today's Queen Elizabeth.
On both these tours I even reveal several intriguing Jewish connections and anecdotes including fascinating stories about members of the royal family and one king's mistress too!
On offer is a fine choice of conducted tours with a half day tour either one of these iconic attractions or a glorious full day taking in both. And we have a choice of travel too ...either riding in a comfortable minivan or we can take a train on the 40 minute rail journey to Hampton Court and/or Windsor.
Hampton Court Palace
This is my clients' favourite royal tour ...home of the notorious King Henry VIII and England’s most fascinating royal palace offering an insight into the excesses of noble life during the infamous Tudor period.
SPECIAL PUBLIC TOUR TO HAMPTON COURT PALACE: This amazing half day tour is on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 and costs just £38. See tour highlights below here and for further details about this May 9th public tour complete the form you will see by clicking below on Dates, Times & Contact Me.
Explore with me the incredible surviving Tudor kitchens as I describe the daunting task of preparing banquets of gastronomic extravagance for 800 guests of the royal court. We wil stroll through the gorgeous State Rooms as I relate tales of intrigue surrounding the life of King Henry and I reveal how his six unfortunate wives left their marks on the Palace (and met their deaths) including one who it is said haunts the corridors today!
You will be amazed as we enter the exquisite Chapel Royal and stand on the very spot where Henry regularly prayed (and learned of one wife's infidelity). Talking of being amazed, there is the spendour of the Palace gardens, internationally renowned as being among the most beautiful gardens in the world. And while gazing in awe at one particular garden setting I will tell you how it took three years to create and just seconds for the king to destroy ...before commanding gardeners to construct it again!
Back inside the Palace you will hear of fascinating Jewish anecdotes including how King Henry turned to Jewish sages for help in securing one divorce; learn the story behind the famed Abraham Tapestries that adorn the walls; there's also the tragic tale of the famous painting of the Palace once owned by a Holocaust victim.
Other entertaining sights and stories at the Palace feature one royal resident's insatiable love for a newly discovered beverage ...hot drinking chocolate; the water fountain that once dispensed wine; the controversial and visible origin of the word evesdropping that led to the execution of one of Henry's wives; and other interesting yarns too.
It's our present Queen's weekend retreat and home to the royal family for almost 1,000 years. Windsor is the largest inhabited castle in the world ...indeed, it is more like a fortified town than a fortified castle.
We stroll through the glorious State Apartments, still used for Royal receptions and state occasions (photo bottom right). Be amazed by countless art treasures, paintings and odd curios, all collected by kings and queens over the centuries. Be enthralled too by one exciting tale after another, several of them not generally revealed to the public.
Also on this tour, we tread the castle grounds to see the intriguing Medieval battlements that kept many a foe at bay ...but watch out for the Queen's Guards who will be marching past on patrol. Within the castle confines is the magnificent St George’s Chapel, burial place of countless kings and queens and as we stroll through this imposing vaulted chapel I reveal several fascinating and little-known anecdotes.
Other interesting sites
You will see from the Windsor Castle battlements the famous Eton College boys' school that educated Princes William and Harry, as well as 19 British Prime Ministers and generations of aristocracy.
On the full day tour to both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace there's a midday break in Windsor with a fine choice of things to do. Then, on the way to Hampton Court we pass through Runnymede and see the monument where King John in 1215 sealed the Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in the history of democracy.