Part of Hampton Court's appeal is the incongrous clash between the two styles of building - the red-brick Tudor charm of Wolsey/Henry VIII's front, (above) and the grandiose pomposity of Christopher Wren's 'little Versailles' rear (below). Thankfully William and Mary of Orange ran out of cash (and health) before they managed to demolish all the earlier parts of the palace and completely rebuild in baroque opulence.
It's a fantastic place, well worth a visit of you're in the London area. But if like me you think that family admission (including parking, gardens, maze and palace) at well more than fifty quid, is quite beyond the means of most families; you'll do what we did - settle for a walk in the grounds. While maintenance of the place must be vastly expensive, surely the nation's historical sites need to be a bit more accessible to everyone - than this?