This half term we were thrilled to be invited to trial the new Beast Quest family trail, based on the books and specially created for this half term at Hampton Court Palace. We enjoy going to the palace and it never fails us for a great day out! Sadly last minute illness left us enable to go so we deployed our friends to try out the trail for us:
I’ve never ventured to Hampton Court Palace with children before, I’ve always thought of it as a lovely day out for adults, but maybe not so appealing for kids. This half term however, an evil wizard called Malvel has unleashed a host of beasts loose around the palace, and some brave beast questers are needed to save the day. I know just the people for the job!
The price of the quest is included in the general admission ticket, and will take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete. Once you pass through the main entrance and enter the base court, you will spot an interesting character in a bright blue robe enlisting new questers. The children were given a codex each, showing where we will go on a map, and lift up flaps to open when charms were uncovered, plus a magic spell to uncode to defeat the evil wizard. The Beast Quest is led by energetic and enthusiastic role players, and imagination is the key here. The actors are aided by nothing more than a few screen projections and the odd prop, and I am sure my children felt like they had encountered a host of beats within the palace.
The quest is aimed at 7-12 year olds, but all are welcome. We had a four year old with us who was engaged throughout the whole experience. Things got a little bit hairy in the Tudor wine cellar where we encountered the dragon, as it was a little bit dark and noisy, but a quick retreat to the doorway was all that was needed.
I found the whole experience charming. The children were engaged and involved for the whole duration of the quest, while the adults got to see a lot of the palace without any complaints from little ones.
Also included in the general admission price is admission to the magic garden. This is a high quality play area including climbing equipment, slides, water fountains, a sand play area, plus an outdoor coffee shop. We saved this bit for last which worked well as the kids didn’t want to leave. Busy periods will limit time spent here to 90 minutes.
Beast Quest is running throughout the day until 28th October 2018 and can be completed at your own pace you can find out more here.
Disclosure: We were given free tickets in exchange for this review, it has not influenced the review in any way!