Great History, great visit
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Symbol Cane, Walking Aid
Having been to Hampton Court before, this was a new way for us to experience one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in England. The difference for us was our respective disabilities which enabled us to experience, be informed and to gain excellent description of the Palace and its contents. The myriad of description and information mediums covered as many abilities as possible, the audio description particularly so. There is only so much you can do in modifying an historic building, a visitor attraction and home to those in grace and favour, though that should not deter anyone with other requirements visiting. There are stepped areas, lots of bumpy cobbles but there are lifts and ramps put in place to be as inclusive as possible. The cafe / restaurant is designed to demonstrate simple eating place, simple food, it’s more than sufficient and suits meat and non meat provision, there are two small steps at the entrance and exit with staff willing to assist.
Transport & Parking
The only issues we encountered were some unavoidable steps on sections of the underground, a train strike that meant a much reduced service, a packed and crushed train service which ended up only going half way then a bus. This was the same in return. At Hampton Court no Access issues. Normally the train station at Hampton Court is 450m, but the bus a 261 stopped right outside the gate.
One must remember where your visiting, what compensates over signing in an historic environment are adequate staff who have been trained and recognise those not able bodied or sighted and are able to assist, there were volunteer staff who also supported visitors in BSL and those with hidden needs. Both sets of staff could have not been more helpful and knowledgeable throughout the whole experience.
More than adequate size, fully equipped.
As with most Historic, Ancient building, monuments and Gardens in the UK, there is a lot to be said for good training, good observational skills, being warm, friendly informative and having the patience and abilities to deliver an experience to visitors. I asked to speak to the Head of their Guiding staff to share some ideas and compliment them on the excellent delivery of the Volunteer and professional Guides.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Despite the inconveniences, don’t let this put you off a visit to Hampton Court. I would strongly recommend you look into purchasing a London Pass, which is a pre paid card that allows direct access, no queues, a saving if your visiting more than 2 or 3 venues, discount on many shop and food outlets that was a saving intiself.