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No event at Hampton Court Palace is in danger of being dull; from its cobbled courtyards and peaceful gardens to the soaring state rooms, the palace is guaranteed to impress at every turn. Once home to some of England’s most powerful monarchs, the palace has played host to all manner of celebrations over the past five centuries, from intimate meetings to large-scale festivities.
One of six palaces cared for by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, Hampton Court Palace boasts a variety of spectacular spaces and imaginative concepts to make any meeting, conference or event stand out from the norm.
Surrounding the Baroque palace are acres of immaculate gardens and parkland, offering a unique opportunity for event organisers to combine their meeting agenda with time spent enjoying the great outdoors. A one-of-a-kind experiential session offered at the palace is Operation Centaur, a ‘real horse power workshop’ offering teams the chance to explore hidden areas of the palace such as the paddocks within Home Park, while working alongside the palace’s most regal residents; the Shire horses. These majestic creatures are part of the palace’s heritage, descending from Henry VIII’s own Great War Horses and are still the largest horses in the world – as well as being rarer than the Giant Panda!
Rather than a traditional teambuilding exercise experienced time and time again – bowling, the pub, a good old trust fall – a session with the palace’s Shire horses brings in that extra bit of insight while enabling teams to get outside in the fresh air, all through working closely with the horses for that extra special, calming experience.
A range of skill developments also benefit teams through a variety of activities, from confidence building and stress management, to problem solving and creativity. Time spent in an outdoor environment is also proven to have real benefits to employee wellbeing, through reducing stress and releasing endorphins for a happier team, plus the calming presence of the majestic horses makes for an all-round healthier approach to a company away day.
With a leisurely lunch included, event organisers have the opportunity to craft bespoke menus, providing healthy and refreshing options to complement their activities.
Operation Centaur works well as part of a wider agenda, bolted on to a team meeting or conference in the palace beforehand. The range of unique spaces on offer can accommodate all manner of event goals, whether looking for an intimate business catch up or a larger conference.
At the heart of the palace is the Albemarle Suite, available to hire for a range of daytime events. Named after the favourite courtier of William III who resided there, the space can accommodate 16 boardroom style or up to 24 for a banquet, offering the ideal location for meetings, private events and away days.
The suite was originally designed at the turn of the 18th Century and boasts views over the palace’s stunning formal gardens. Being positioned at the heart of the palace, the Albemarle Suite is also the perfect starting point to explore this iconic venue.
From a private morning carriage ride around the gardens to a guided tour of the State Apartments and even exclusive rooftop tours, there are plenty of options to enhance events and really treat teams to a once in a lifetime experience.
For larger conferences, the Garden Room can seat up to 180 guests and offers wireless microphones and a lectern, along with a projector and screen with ceiling-mounted speakers throughout the room.
Set in a beautiful secluded walled garden, hire of this versatile venue includes exclusive access to the paved terraces and a private walled garden, making the perfect setting to incorporate outdoor celebrations in the summer months.
Contact a member of our team to start planning your next event today.
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