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Hampton court and Kew Gardens

Is it practical to try to see Hampton Court and Kew Gardens on same day? We have an apartment near Shepherd's Bush Market underground. What is best transportation to each? What sights could I combine with Kew Gardens? What sights could I combine with Hampton Court?

Posted by
823 posts


I don't think so. Kew Gardens can occupy you for an entire day (if going during the growing season). There are wonderful gardens, the Kew Place, the TreeTop Walkway, and huge greenhouses. It really is a better-part-of-the-day visit. Besides, getting there in public transport is a little time consuming.

While I haven't been to Hampton Court Palace (yet), I would think it is also a visit worthy of a full day. And, from what I've researched, it also takes a fair bit of time to get to on public transport. While on the same "side" of the city, I'm not sure what the public transport connections are like...

Posted by
3048 posts

We've gone to both locations but on different days. I know from our transportation this summer that bus 65 runs right past the walls of both Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace and stops conviently at each. I too think that each location deserves the better part of a day. We enjoyed the town of Richmond next to Kew Gardens and took some walks along the Thames going from Richmond to Twickenham also.

BTW, what time of year are you going? Daylight hours will influence how much you can do at these outdoor/ indoor oriented sites.

Posted by
1835 posts

If you need another reason to justify getting the full coverage transit card, it can be used for the R68 bus from Richmond to Hampton Court -- the west end of the District Line underground, and it gives you a closer-to-the-ground view of the terrain than using the train from Waterloo. The bus passes by a number of interesting unbeaten-path sights, including some old school (literally and figuratively) buildings.

Also appealing for the chatty, because the people on the bus are a hoot and a half, many of them working staff at either the palace itself or the gardens (make sure you get off at the stop you want, which might differ from where staff are going).
And you don't have to go right from the underground to the bus stop -- as others mention, there is twee (in-a-good-way) architecture there in Richmond, especially in those common gardens. [may involve some minor trespassing or persuading]

Posted by
10344 posts

If you like a more relaxing pace for your sight-seeing, you probably won't find it enjoyable doing both on the same day. I did them on separate days and was glad I did.
If you and those in your travel group like a fast paced sight-seeing experience, both can be done on the same day, particularly if you take care to coordinate transportation--Rick's London book explains how to do both on the same day.

Posted by
119 posts

We are currently in London and are using an Oyster card. What is the best route to either using this card? Thank you for your assistance.

Posted by
27424 posts

Go to the official TfL, Transport for London, page at and put in your starting point, destination, time of day and transport modes, with any extra restrictions and you will get a pretty accurate answer back.

Hampton Court is pretty far out, in the far reaches of Zone 6, and the only reasonably fast way to reach there is by mainline train. Southwest Trains from Waterloo via Clapham Junction and sometimes with a change at Surbiton.

trivia alert - Surbiton was where The Good Life was set - called Good Neighbors in the USA. You may remember Tom Good (Richard Breirs), his wife Barbara (Felicity Kendall), and next door were Margo Leadbetter (Penelope Keith) and her henpecked husband Jerry (Paul Eddington).

Kew Gardens is much closer in, but still not close in both (on the borders of) Zone 3 and Zone 4. Easily reachable by District Line towards Richmond, and not a long long walk from Kew Bridge (Zone 3) on a different Southwest Trains line.

Buses serve Kew from several places.

Boats connect both with central London and with each other but are very slow and relatively infrequent.

Use the Journey Planner. You'll thank me.

Posted by
691 posts

We had also hoped to do both in one day. But there was a food fair and entertaining plays at Hampton court on the last day we were there. It was so much fun that we bagged any notion of Kew. Without extra activities at Hampton court, it might be entirely possible to get to Kew. Weather could also play a role in how the day goes.

Posted by
7124 posts

Sometimes I think that my posts from down under get scrambled into some incomprehensible code.
Either that, or they are not read, and hence a waste of my time.

Posted by
2899 posts

David, I enjoy your posts! It's not a waste of your time if you are helping travelers.

Posted by
1835 posts

David, you are the go-to commenter for info on transit instructions! Don't get discouraged.
And your lodging advice often serves as as a valuable second opinion to contrast with my lowbrow tendencies.