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Adventures by Disney - Emerald Isle - Pre-Adventure Day 3

London - Day Three

One more day of kings, queens and England before we work our way to the Emerald Isle. We started the day with a few items from the continental breakfast bar and yes, Starbucks coffee dispensers with to-go cups waiting by the door. Our guide arrived in his nicely decked out Land Rover made for touring and we set off for the 45 minute drive to Hampton Court.

Hampton Court Palace

In case you haven't been watching the Tudors, here is a little history for you. Originally a monastery, Hampton Court was purchased by Cardinal Wolsey and turned into one of his many palaces. It was later taken over by Henry VIII and expanded to be one of his favorite palaces (he owned more than 50). It was here that he went on his honeymoon (six times).

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The complex is huge and would take a couple of days to touch more then just the surface and explore each public area. We were able to take in many of the greatest hits including the Tudor kitchens, the great hall where the King held court, Wolseys quarters, and the gallery hall where it's said after Queen Catherine heard of her upcoming date with the executioner, she broke away from the guards and ran down the hall to the closed door of the Kings private chapel. She banged on the door, pleading for her life but the guards took her to the tower anyway. Many believe they have seen her ghost in that hallway, begging for her life. Bummer! I didn't see her. That would have made for a great blog!

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One of the exhibits for the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII at Hampton Court, shows a set of 10 tapestries that Henry commissioned displaying the story of Abraham. These are considered by many to be the most valuable set of tapestries in the world, and one of them has been moved to a separate room where a special projector is used to display the original colors of the tapestry onto the now very faded fabric. The difference is amazing. Once you see what the original colors were you can understand why people paid huge sums to have these works of art created for their halls. The threads were wrapped with fine gold and silver wire that would have reflected the light, and all the dies would have been vibrant originally. Now they appear, like most tapestries, to be maroon, rust brown, and grey.

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Windsor Castle

It was approaching lunch time so we decided to begin our trek for Windsor. We had lunch in the former home of the great architect Christopher Wren before embarking on our private walking tour of Windsor Castle.

The quaint town full of shops and pubs sits right outside the gates of the castle complex. We found it interesting to find an American embassy, errr strike, a McDonalds within a few yard of the main gate, but I guess eve a queen might have a craving for fries every now and then. We did find this cute little crooked house that I couldn't resist taking a photo of.

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Inside we were able to tour several rooms and see incredible art as well as view St George's Chapel that houses the final resting places of several kings and queens including Queen Mary 1 , King Henry VIII and his most beloved wife of the 6 - Queen Jane Seymour.

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Tip: Check a few days ahead to confirm you visit to Windsor Castle as it is a working residence for the queen and special events or state visits may cause you to change your plans. It's good to have a plan B ready just in case.

Tomorrow: It's a flight to Dublin and meeting up with our fellow adventurers!

Missed an entry? Here's the link to the entire Emerald Isle Blog to date!

MouseFanTravel President Beci Mahnken is a veteran of 4 Adventures By Disney trips, more then 50 cruises including 18 with Disney and countless Walt Disney World and Disneyland adventures. Read her blog on the London and Paris Adventure by Disney. Here is her blog on the Backstage Magic Adventure!

The previous post in this blog was Adventures by Disney - Emerald Isle - Pre-Adventure Day 2 .

The next post in this blog is Adventures by Disney - Emerald Isle - Part 1.

Comments (1)

W Hayes:

Thanks for sharing! I love the UK. We had tea in that little crooked house on our trip last September.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 22, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Adventures by Disney - Emerald Isle - Pre-Adventure Day 2 .

The next post in this blog is Adventures by Disney - Emerald Isle - Part 1.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.