You Can Now Spend the Night at One of Henry VIII's Favorite Palaces
Whether you're into macabre history or just want to live the dream of spending the night in an honest-to-goodness royal palace, a new overnight event at Hampton Court Palace could be all the inspiration you need to buy a ticket across the pond.
Beginning on the evening of November 3, the palace will be holding a special evening event called Dusk 'til Dawn that will allow a select number of guests to stay overnight in the palace's centuries-old halls. Spanning the whole night, the proceedings will commence with a a hearty meal worthy of a royal, followed by entertainment (and yes, period dress is acceptable).
As the witching hour approaches, guests will take a nighttime tour of the palace and learn about 16th century witch hunts and the fear that gripped Tudor England and the prospect of the dark mystical powers working among them. If the tales of 16th century "witches" don't keep you up at night, you can retire to one of the King's State Apartments, originally built for Henry VII and his court.
The next morning will bring a kingly breakfast and full access to the palace's daytime sights and activities. Unfortunately the event is only open to guests 18 and up, but the palace hosts a number of all-ages activities throughout the day for younger royal enthusiasts.
Queen Elizabeth is greeted in front of the astronomical clock designed by Herny VIII at Hampton Cout Palace.
Hampton Court Palace has a long and storied history with the royal family. It started life a country house before Cardinal Thomas Wolsey began renovating it into a grand building where he could host the king and court in the early 1500s. The lavish apartments and halls quickly became a favorite of Henry VIII and he ultimately took over ownership of the palace himself.
The King spent a significant amount of time at the palace and brought all of his wives to stay at some point—indeed, his third wife, Jane Seymour, gave birth to Henry's only surviving son, Edward VI, at the palace and ultimately died on the grounds following childbirth. Legend has it that her ghost still appears in the Hampton Court halls on the anniversary of her death each October.
The royal residence was also the sight of the premieres of several of Shakespearean classics, including Hamlet and Macbeth, and still houses the massive Hampton Court Gardens that were commissioned by William III and Mary II as well as a famous hedge maze that became the palace's top attraction when it was opened to the public by Queen Victoria in 1838.
The Hampton Court Maze
Though there's plenty to do and see during the daytime hours, from seeing Henry VIII's crown to visiting the kitchens which were the pride of the Tudor culinary scene, the Dusk til Dawn tour is the only overnight even currently on the palace's roster, so if you really want to know what it's like to sleep like a king, we suggest you get your tickets fast.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors