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The Magic Garden, Hampton Court Palace

One of the tilt towers, looking across to the mount

“… since the Garden opened we have welcomed an unprecedented number of visitors of all ages, many who revisit, which is testament to its huge success.”

John Barnes, Chief Executive, HRP

01 Our Vision

The Magic Garden has been inspired by the rich history of the Palace and the site itself, which was Henry VIII’s former Tiltyard. We always wanted to create a garden, not just a playground – a relaxing as well as a stimulating environment, with places to pause and rest as well as places that are truly active and adventurous. 

02 Our Process

As lead designer, working with a passionate and focused client, we selected a team of play consultants and engineers to deliver our competition-winning masterplan. We also worked with a number of artists and craftsmen who created various mythical and heraldic beasts associated with the Palace, including a steam-emitting, 30 metre-long dragon, and a giant dragon’s nest in woven willow.

03 The Outcome

Our design for The Magic Garden has created a contemporary space which embraces the rich historical, cultural and mythical legacy of the Palace to deliver a ‘playable landscape’ that is unlike any other, and a landmark destination within the grounds. According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (AVLA), in 2016 Hampton Court Palace saw an increase of 34% in visitor numbers – “largely due to the opening of The Magic Garden that attracted many families”. The Magic Garden won a 2017 Landscape Institute Award and two from the Society of Garden Designers (SGD), including the Grand Award.