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How to get to Hampton Court Palace

I will be doing a day trip from London to Hampton Court Palace. My Rick Steves guide book says to go to Waterloo Station and take a South West train. I gather then that the train goes directly to the palace and then from there work across a bridge and go to the palace. So that means there are no connecting trains and you can go directly from the Waterloo station to the palace taking one train? What is the name of the stop to get off, is it Hampton Court palace? How long is the train ride to the palace?

Can you use your Oyster card or do you need to buy a ticket to take the train?

Going home, take the train going North ( North west train)? How to I get back to the Waterloo station?

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
8889 posts

You go direct from Waterloo to Hampton Court station. This is a commuter train with many stops, but Hampton Court is the terminus.
From the station you have to walk across the bridge (across the Thames) to the palace. There are two trains per hour off peak, and it takes ~35 minutes.

Oyster card is valid because it is within London.

This photo is a picture of part of the departure board at Waterloo station: https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/train-station-departures-board-cctv-cameras-waterloo-london-50007117.jpg
The train listed on the left is to Hampton Court, with lots of intermediate stops.

Going back, all trains from Hampton court are to Waterloo.
"South West trains" is the name of the rail company, not the direction :-)

Posted by
1176 posts

Thank you so much! Very helpful. I am either going on a Sunday or Monday so now I know how to get there.

Posted by
285 posts

It's a very short walk from the train station to the palace. It's right on the other side of the bridge and the train ride itself is quite short. Easy and fast.

Posted by
28107 posts

All the different train companies working in the UK have a trade name which is how the public refer to them. Most of the names are geographic, such as Southern which has trains to the south of London, Southeastern which runs trains to Kent and Sussex, Great Western which runs trains to the west of England. There is also South West Trains which run trains to the southwest. The train you need from Waterloo is run by the company South West Trains, having no relationship to the direction of the actual train you will be taking.

In your case because your destination and the final stop of the train are the same you just need to search the big display screen for trains to Hampton Court and go to that platform with your ticket or tap in with your Oyster. When you arrive you will need to put your ticket through the barrier (it will keep it) or tap out with your Oyster.

After you have seen Henry VIII and his ladies, gone round the maze, seen the Real Tennis and admired the world class gardens, cross over the bridge to the station and reverse the process. All trains from Hampton Court go to Waterloo so just board the first one and stay on until the end.

Enjoy Hampton Court Palace, one of my favourites.

Posted by
23 posts

It also important to remember to tap out if you are using the Oyster when leaving the station to visit the palace. When I went there wasn't any type of closed gate you needed to tap to open so I needed to find the Oyster reader.

Posted by
239 posts

An alternative way is to get a train to Kingston (4 trains an hour from Waterloo, journey 30 mins) then get the 285 or 411 bus. That way you get a nice ride over Kingston Bridge and then have Bushy Park on one side and Home Park on the other. The bus is only about 10 mins

Posted by
216 posts

Just did this on Wednesday. Use Oyster but know it will ding you the daily maximum. So have more than £10 on your card or have cash or a credit card which works. Not that this happened to us or anything . . .

Hampton Court station is a little stub off the main line. It is one of two stations on the stub. Get a train where the last stop is Hampton Court. Get out with everyone else (i.e. during the week look for seniors and school kids in uniforms). follow the crowd to the palace. They are not going anywhere else. If you don't have a palace ticket, the ticket office is 50 m inside the gate on the left. Look for the Shop.

The Kitchen Garden is free (cut through shop and then car park) as are a few park-like bits, restaurant and ice cream guy. The Maze and playground are located in this area and cost. I think you can pay at the Maze to enter that. The Versailles-like garden is accessed through the palace, so requires a ticket.

If you want a little adventure, get any train going to Sheppertin and then change at either Raynes Park or New Malden. That's only necessary if you get on a train stopping at Hampton or Hampton Wick, neither of which are Hampton Court or are on the stub. It has to say Hampton Court, no other Hampton will do! Not that we did this or anything . . .

Coming back options are any train from Hampton Court or for an extra £7 or £9 you could take a boat ride to Kingston or Richmond respectively with Turks. Look left just before crossing bridge to go bak to station. It was a lovely trip and if you go to Richmond, you go through Teddington Lock which is cool for the engineering geek types but also because Monty Python filmed the Fish Dance here - for Python geeks. It was a very picturesque trip.

Trains from Kingston go back to Waterloo and as from Richmond you could get back to Waterloo for Baker & City or Northern or Bakerloo or get out one stop early at Vauxhall for Victoria line.

Posted by
80 posts

Don't take a train going back to London, take a boat. We did the three hour boat ride that Rick writes about in his book. It was one of the highlights of our trip. It was very relaxing and you got to see a different side of England. It docks at Westminster Pier. You go thru two locks. There is a snack bar on the boat that also serves beer and wine. With all the rush rush rush of London and trying to fit in as much as possible in a day, it was nice to just sit and relax, be outside (you can also sit down below) and watch beautiful England go by.

Posted by
2051 posts

Agree with Joci...take the train one way and the boat the other. I seem to remember the boat trip being considerably longer when traveling against the tide so if this interests you and time is a concern, check that out and make your plans accordingly. As others have said, it's a relatively short walk to the Palace from either the dock or train station.