Hampton Court Palace
This enormous and lavish complex was built for the decadent Henry VIII, and it very much retains a sense of regal grandeur (though no royal has lived here since the 18th century). It features 60 acres of gardens, six acres of Tudor and Baroque buildings, and 750 acres of parkland.
You can easily spend a day exploring the site and the costumed guides add to the period touch. If time is of the essence, the highlights include Henry VIII’s State Apartments, the Tudor Kitchens and the Chapel Royal.