Big Picnic comes to Hampton Court Palace

With the Spring Bank Holiday just around the corner, many Britons will be checking into London hotels this weekend – here to take in some of the capital's biggest cultural attractions and hopefully enjoy some pleasant weather into the bargain.

London's Historic Royal Palaces are giving tourists an opportunity to combine the two by attending Hampton Court Palace's Big Picnic, which will offer three days' worth of live entertainment, activities and food on the building's picturesque East Front Gardens.

Organisers will provide tables and chairs for 150 people, but guests are equally welcome to come equipped with their own hampers, blankets and folding furniture to enjoy an afternoon of sunshine and family fun.

The East Front Gardens' stage will host live music alongside entertaining alchemy demonstrations by Dr Zbigniew Szydlo, who will make two presentations on the fascinating medieval science at 12:30pm and 3pm.

Furthermore, graduates of RADA will be bringing one of English literature's most important works to life in the Canterbury Tales, a series of participatory performances adapted from the work of Geoffrey Chaucer. These will be held at 11am, 1:30pm and 4pm.

Other activities include a chance for youngsters to become surgeons' apprentices, coming face to face with bloodsucking leeches and even trying their hands at the grisly art of amputation – though those looking for something a little more wholesome can enjoy a range of traditional sports day events instead, including an egg and spoon race and a tug of war.

While many guests will want to bring their own food, the palace will provide a range of refreshments including ice creams, cupcakes and even a champagne bar.

Hampton Court Palace is one of London's most impressive buildings. Originally built in the Tudor period, the palace was called home by a succession of monarchs and members of the royal family until the 18th century and is now a major tourist destination. 

Participation in the Big Picnic is included in the general admission price of the palace and gardens and the event takes place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (May 25th to May 27th).

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