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Posted by on April 14, 2012

After a late start, we caught the Tube to Wimbledon (sadly we did not see any “wombles”) and then a National Rail service to Hampton Court Palace.

Approaching from the Thames, you get a feeling of how huge this palace complex is

Originally a playground for the likes of King Henry VIII and his many wives, today the palace and gardens are open to the public. Given we had the fixings, we headed to the gardens and had a picnic amongst the daffodils, bluebells, snowdrops and buttercups

After feasting on pork pie, cheeses, frittata and the most decadent Italian raspberry meringue, we decided Try our hand at the hedge maze

The replica of this maze in Tasmania beat us (well, in truth we changed our rule in frustration) but we chose a slightly different solution method this one – keep right. Every time the opportunity to turn right occurred we did. Interestingly this strategy led us out of dead ends and, eventually we made it to the middle with relative ease.

Once satisfied inthemaze, we headed out into the formal gardens to marvel at the spring blooms – Jo loves tulips and we were there when they were at their finest- mass plantings of every color combination you could imagine

We wended our way through thoroughly gorgeous garden rooms replete with statues, water features, walls, hedges and manicured lawns.

Around every corner there were new treasures, sadly we were a week or so early for the wisteria wall which was in in heavy bud and would be stunning when out.

Such a riot of spring blooms, and the scale of the plantings would mean you would need an army of gardeners to keep it looking good

After gentle strolls through the gardens, we trained back to our West Kensington home base for a cup of tea and some fruit. The local Indian restaurant got good reviews on Trip Advisor so we thought we would try some more traditional English fare and had takeout curry for dinner – very tasty indeed. Some Telly (I like channel “Dave”) and a early night for us I think. We are finally seasoned train travelers however, when we look back at the convoluted rout we took for a picnic lunch in some of the most beautiful gardens we have so far encountered – we take such trips I our stride now. We hope that travel ease will translate, at least in part, to our time in Paris in just under 2 days time.


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