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Hampton Court

My college friends Tom and Katie and their daughter were staying in a holiday cottage in darkest Herefordshire for a long weekend over half term. Since the cottage was only about half an hour’s drive from where I live, I met them there for a leisurely Sunday lunch, followed by an excursion deeper into the countryside near Leominster to visit Hampton Court. Not, of course the famous Hampton Court on the Thames, but its much lesser known Herefordshire namesake.

The Pied Piper at Hampton Court

The Pied Piper at Hampton Court

The gardens there are lovely, and the maze, sunken garden and zip-wire in the woods definitely appealed to their 10 year old daughter. There was a “Halloween” theme in the castle itself – the cellars were transformed into a spooky “haunted cellar”, and there was an opportunity to handle “creepy crawlies” – spiders, lizards etc – as well as some very sleepy looking owls. Tom and I then pigged out on a rather good cream tea in the courtyard cafĂ©.

It’s been years and years since I last visited Hampton Court. Tom and Katie had never been there before at all, despite driving past it regularly on their way to visit Tom’s parents on the Welsh border. It was well worth a trip – and I think would be even better earlier in the season when the gardens are at their best.