One of the must see places in the county of Surrey has to be Hampton Court, a 35-minute train ride from London's Waterloo station.

The deer park is entrancing in itself, miles of this lush green parkland to drive through without charge, and then to come across its residents, herds of deer roaming all areas of the park, quite oblivious to the cars near them.

Directly across from the park, is one of the entrances to the Palace but it is a longer walk to the ticket center than from the main entrance. However, timing is most important when visiting any of these tourist sites in August, as the ticket lines are very long. So, over the bridge, into the town and there are some wonderful cafes serving very tasty delicacies, and then a walk long the river to digest what was eaten. By that time, the ticket line is much shorter, and for the really bargain price of  £12.50 pounds, you get access to the Palace and the grounds. In addition to the leaflets provided, it is recommended to buy the Official Guidebook, only £3.50 pounds. It is not only a lovely souvenir but packed with information and pictures. There are a few gift shops within the Palace, and one enterprising seller outside of the grounds.

The first order of business is to acquire an audio guide that comes free of charge with your admission ticket, and this turned out to be really value for money, because it was very easy to use and quite a store of information. The leaflet provided by the Palace gives you the times of various tours by Palace personnel, but if you want to go off by yourself, all you need are sturdy legs and the audio guide.

The tours on the audio are quite easy to follow as they go from 100-500 and it actually tells you when to press what button and it is timed perfectly, so as you walk, you actually see what is being said to you. This way, you do not have to wait in line to get from one area to the next, you go at your own speed. Using the audio guide and your guidebook, you need nothing else to complete the various tours of the Palace.

The first tour begins with the kitchen, and everything has been modified to show what kitchen were like in the time of Henry V111, from the deer carcass to the smells of the cauldron, to the bakery to the fish alley, not to mention the huge fire for roasting meats. There is no hurry to move to one place to the other and no big crowds as the Palace is big enough for hundreds of people to exist without bumping in to one another.

Then on to the Queen's chambers, the Wolsey rooms and of course the King's chambers.

One site that is a must see is the oldest grape vine in the world.

On the other side of the ground one can see a tennis match of long ago in progress, and then it is to the maze. The admission gives you entrance to the maze where you can get lost over and over and over and you either give up, or get to the middle where you can have a nice cool drink after all that walking.

If you are hungry after all that walking and absorption of history, cross the road from the main entrance of the palace, and you will find two restaurants. One is located on the riverbank itself and if you reach there at a certain time, you get 33 1/3% off the price of your meal, which is quite tasty, and an ice cream dessert, which is just decadent to say the least.

Take a walk along the banks of the river to walk off those calories, where you can talk a lovely stroll along the lochs, look at the bridge from this side of the river and then walk along the blackberry trails.