Know Before You Go: Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at Hampton Court Palace, 1-18 April 2021

We have just got back from the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at Hampton Court Palace. It was a very enjoyable few hours and the kids were thrilled with their prize! The hunt (and the Magic Garden) are included in the ticket price (Adults £15 and children £7.50) and members go free. The palace is still closed due to Covid restrictions and the hunt takes place in the gardens.

Remember to pick up your trail map at the main entrance and use it to find the 12 gold rabbits that are named after Hampton Court’s famous historical characters. It’s a very easy trail and suitable for all the family. Once you tick off all twelve bunnies, hand in your trail map and receive a 10g Lindt Gold Bunny and a pair of rabbit ears – it’s a decent prize and costs nothing extra to take part.

The Magic Garden

Although you book a time for the Magic Garden, don’t expect to be able to access the play space at that time. You enter HCP at that time but you’ll still have to queue to get in. The queues are pretty lengthy – we passed the queue twice during the day and the wait was 25 minutes and 45 minutes at those times. Once in, you have a 90-minute play session (they have reduced capacity and time due to numbers and social distancing) but be prepared to wait.

My advice is to book and arrive at 10am if you want to park in the car park and get into the Magic Garden without queuing with impatient kids for [what seems like] forever!

Food & Drink

Currently, only the Tiltyard Cafe is open – they have a limited range of sandwiches, crisps, cakes and drinks. They have a couple of vegan options – a vegan sausage roll and a vegan cake choice. There are no gluten free options – only a vastly overpriced packet of walkers crisps!

My advice- bring a picnic! There are lots of areas to sit – and covered areas to perch if it rains – so make a picnic and a flask of coffee and save the cash and the queues. At midday, the queue to get into the Tiltyard Cafe was ridiculous…and it is the only place to buy coffee currently, so, coffee deprived but having checked off 12,000 steps, we resorted to ice cream! At £2.70 per scoop 😉

Tram Rides

You have the option to buy a ride in a carriage pulled by shire horses – Henry and Joey or Tom and Murdock. They have two trams running and you pre-book. It costs £10 for 1-3 people or £20 for up to six people for a 15-minute ride. The rides are Covid compliant as you sit in family groups. We didn’t do this as there were 6 of us and £20 for a 15-minute ride around the gardens felt a bit steep.

Car Parking

There is a car park on site but it isn’t huge. HCP opens at 10am, we arrived at 10:40 today and the carpark was full. There are quite a few disabled bays and Blue Badge holders park for free. Hampton Court Station is a few minutes walk and has a direct train from Clapham Junction and Waterloo – takes 36 minutes. Hampton Court is outside of the Oyster Zone.

I enjoyed finding the bunnies and reading out the facts about the people who used to live at Hampton Court. I also enjoyed using the map and getting clues along the way. I love the bunny ears too!

Arabella, age 8

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