CharityCorporateEntertainmentFeaturedhampton court palaceHistoryLatest NewsPoliticsTeddingtonUncategorised


Jonathan Hulley, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for the Twickenham constituency, plans to launch a petition calling for entry to Hampton Court Palace Gardens to be made FREE again.


Here, he make his case:

In 1828, Queen Victoria gave the magnificent gardens at Hampton Court to the nations so that everyone could enjoy them free of charge.

This made Hampton Court one of the most popular visitor destinations in the Victorian era and is still one of the most popular today.

When the late Toby Jessel was the Conservative MP for Twickenham, he successfully campaigned to keep Hampton Court Palace Gardens free for everyone to visit and enjoy—fending off numerous attempts by Palace authorities to introduce charges.

Unfortunately, in 2013, the Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) started to charge for entry into the formal gardens during the summer only.

Since then, the remaining free access arrangements have been gradually whittled down, and charges have increased.

This culminated in the remaining garden-only access being withdrawn completely during the pandemic.

Thousands of residents who used to enjoy the walks in the garden and visit the Tiltyard Café are now regularly excluded unless they purchase a full palace ticket, which can cost up to £30 in the summer, or take out membership at £65.

The changes also mean the famous Lion Gate is locked shut, severing the historic link between the Palace and Bushy Park.

HPR agreed to a limited number of garden open days and a review when visitor numbers increased due to complaints made at the time.

The pandemic is now behind us, and HRP is in surplus again, so access arrangements should now be reviewed.

Indeed, there are strong grounds that free access needs to be improved upon what was in place before the pandemic.

With my solicitor’s hat on, the previous legal advice given by the Attorney General to the Government was partially disclosed during a parliamentary debate in 2003 and is extremely useful.

It stated that charges could only be made for visiting the formal gardens, admission had to be set at a reasonable level that does not deny people access due to cost, and the revenue was only used to maintain the gardens.

These points indicate they believed the site needed to be managed as a public open space.

Therefore, there are strong legal grounds to challenge the current arrangements as these three tests are not being met.

I am seeking a meeting with the Palace authorities to discuss how they can restore access so that Queen Victoria’s legacy is respected.

In the meantime, please do write to me at and with your views.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *