Originally laid out for King Henry VIII, The Home Park water meadows at Hampton Court are a haven for wildlife. While being located directly opposite the centre of Kingston, they are one of the most peaceful open spaces in the capital. Usually closed to the public, you are now offered the chance to join the guided walks through the meadows led by staff from Historic Royal Palaces and the Thames Landscape Strategy. The walk will pass some of Park's most iconic features associated with the Longford River, including the Long Water, before entering the secret world of the meadows. Dusk is one of the best times to see the wildlife and we may even be lucky enough to see up to six species of bats (an expert will be on hand), fallow deer, kingfishers, heron, eels, dragon flies and the elusive mink. Your guides will also show how the watercourse has been restored and maintained to allow such a wealth of wildlife to flourish.