A Royal Retreat; Part 1

Ruby the VW Campervan is parked up on the banks of the River Thames. We should have been in West Yorkshire, but Storm Dennis put a stop to that. So instead we enabled plan B, and have ended up down south, on the banks of the Thames at the Chertsey C&CC club site.

When we arrived we had a pleasant surprise in that we were allowed to park side on our pitch so our entire length has a view of the Thames and Chertsey Bridge.

We’d spent the morning clearing our garden of all traces of the storm so had a delayed start, and this along with a traffic jam filled journey meant we rolled up just before sun set, however we managed a cheese board and drink outside before the sun went down.

Our evening was spent immensely chilled. we used the Ramoska oven for breaded chicken and wedges and enjoyed a simple salad alongside, before settling in for the night.

Tuesday dawned sunny and bright and we enjoyed a fantastic sunrise through our window. After a quick cuppa and some breakfast Lydia had a chat live on air with BBC Radio Suffolk about why we love campervanning. You can listen here – 2 hrs 35 mins in


After our chat, we packed Ruby up and set off for nearby Hampton. Court Palace: (25 mins drive)

After some confusion with the parking – we weren’t allowed to park in the main car park as we have a small gas canister and they were worried we would explode and wreck the palace – despite being about half a mile away and they yet didn’t operate a single bag check in the whole property 😐 we got parked near the green. Before this Keefy got a cool video of me entering the normal car park through the main gates.

The courtyard is stunning and really takes your breath away.

The bell in the clock tower is the oldest part of the site as before anything was built the site was home to religious buildings. The bell was part of the original religious buildings and was left to remain here – so is over 500 years old! We heard it chime a number of times.

Our first stop was the Tudor kitchen. This is the largest and best preserved in the world. It’s magnificent!

We both love the Tudor architecture especially the chimneys and it was great to see the working fireplace complete with a couple of joints of beef roasting on the spit. It made our mouths water

Next up was the Henry VIII apartments and the magnificent Great Hall. Just look at that roof!

In here we witnessed evidence of Henry and Anne Boleyn – with their entwined initials on the wooden panelling.

The tapestries in this room are second in value to the crown Jewell’s and in their time, 1 was worth as much as Tudor warship. There were 10 in this room alone!

From here we moved into the Georgian part of the building- who tragically literally knocked down most of the Tudor parts. Those that remain, you can actually see where the Georgian architects sliced into the Tudor architecture. Unreal!

Old into New. Tudor into Georgian

We saw the Queen’s staircase – said to be one of the most haunted places in the entire estate- and the Kings staircase.

Queen’s staircase
Queen’s staircase
King’s Staircase

We also enjoyed our wander around King William’s apartments.

Can you see all the knives and guns on the wall!

We enjoyed seeing the chapel where Henry VIII married Catherine Parr but no pics allowed inside there. The roof was lovely. We walked down the long gallery, otherwise known as the haunted gallery where Catherine Howard’s ghost is apparently seen (and heard) on occasion.

One of the highlights of our visit was seeing the World’s largest grape vine! I know, I know – that says a lot about us…!

The outside Tudor gardens were stunning despite being in the middle of winter. We are contemplating signing up to a years membership so we can revisit in the summer and do the maze and see the tennis courts which we appear to have missed somehow.

After a really great visit it was time to drive back to our campsite at Chertsey for a late lunch of steak and baked Camembert. Obviously washed down by some red and accompanied by some Tudor music of course.

We had a wander to the two nearest pubs, enjoying a swift one in each before walking back and enjoying chilli which I made a couple of days ago, with nachos cheese and rice.

We’d had a a great day. Hampton Court Palace has been on our list for ages. We highly recommend a visit- just don’t take take dogs as they are not allowed even into the car park (Jazzy is having a staycation with his Granny!) and park at the Green if you’re in anything that may have gas in!

Tomorrow we’re heading to a different Royal retreat. One can’t wait! Read about Part 2 here :


Until next time