Hampton Court Palace%2C The Chapel Court Garden

The Historic Royal Palaces, which include the Tower of London and Banqueting House, have confirmed some of the new features visitors can experience in 2018.

At the Tower of London, a new interpretation called Imprisonment at the Tower will open in the spring to explore its history as one of the country’s most infamous prisons. Various towers will tell different stories; an introductory exhibition at the Beauchamp Tower, for example, will reflect on the emotional responses to imprisonment conveyed through the Tower’s preserved prisoner graffiti.

Hampton Court Palace will continue to welcome visitors by revealing the surprising stories of the people who lived in the building and the role it has played in the life of the nation. 2018 will see the return of Florimania from 9th - 11th March when the palace interior will be brought to life with a rich tapestry of colourful floral displays with so many different sights and scents to take in.

And from May, Hampton Court Palace’s Tudor Kitchens will be reanimated, recreating the well-oiled machine that powered Henry VIII’s magnificent court. This will include grand displays of food, authentic smells, the heat of the fireplaces, and the sounds of the busy kitchen staff.

In 2018, groups visiting Banqueting House, the only surviving part of Whitehall Palace in London, can discover the beautifully lit ceiling paintings of Peter Paul Rubens and the architecture and history through projections and performances. The building has recently launched a daytime venue hire offer too, making it available for private lunches.

Meanwhile, Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens will re-open on 29th March 2018 for the summer season. Following a multi-million pound restoration project, the Great Pagoda at Kew will be finally unveiled and opened to visitors in the spring, complete with 80 specially designed rooftop dragons.

And looking further afield, the Hillsborough Castle project is now well underway in Northern Ireland. Once the project is complete, alongside the beautifully renovated castle and gardens, group visitors can expect increased coach capacity in the new car park and a new group reception area.

The representation of the castle will be completed in time for next year’s summer opening in July, with the new visitor facilities to be in place by the following summer.

Group rates at the Historic Royal Palaces

Group admission rates for the palaces are available for 15 or more people.

Call 020-3166 6311 or email groupsandtraveltrade@hrp.org.uk to make a booking. For further information visit www.hrp.org.uk.

Pictured: Hampton Court Palace, The Chapel Court Garden. (Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces and James Linsell-Clark).