The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace is one of the country's most beautiful rooms. It's right in the heart of the palace, and has a stunning ceiling of deep blues and golds -- it's easily one of the most beautiful ceilings in Britain. Henry VIII's private balcony can be seen at the back, where he sat with Anne Boleyn.
Regular Sunday services are held throughout the year, and we recommend the Choral Matin/Sung Eucharist at 11 AM.
Important note: Whilst it's free to attend the service (but just the service, and nothing else), you will need to buy a ticket if you intend to see the rest of the palace. Free entry into the Chapel is not through the main gatehouse. What you need to do is walk down the long drive, past the ticket shop on the left, and then turn left in front of the palace. Go through the arch and then turn right. You will find a reception room by the car barrier (there will be probably be a policeman standing by the barrier). If you tell the reception staff that you are there to attend the service (and only the service) then you will be shown to a side entrance. It is important that you arrive shortly before the service is due to start, though, because they will not let you in for free if the service is still an hour away!
Craig has attended this service himself, and thinks you have to be quite brave to blag free entry. It's perfectly within the rules to do so, but you still feel a bit guilty entering the palace for nothing. But if you're holidaying on a budget then it's a great way to see inside the Chapel Royal. Have a read of his review on his blog first, so you can get an idea of what it's like. Fee free to ask him a question about the service if you're worried.You might like to read his review of Hampton Court Palace as well, in case you decide to buy a full ticket.
There are plenty more religious events in London worth attending. The best of the bunch is an Evensong service at Westminster Abbey, closely followed by an Evensong service at St. Paul's. You might also like to try the Sunday service at the Tower of London.
Craig’s review – “So once again I find myself in church. I think I go to more masses than religious people do. But this one's well worth a visit -- the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace. That's the place where Henry VIII used to pray with Anne Boleyn, when he still thought her worth having. It's his own private chapel in the heart of the palace, and opens up to the public every Sund… continued”
Ghost Tour of Hampton Court Palace – 31 Oct 2018 to 17 Feb 2019 – Spend a spooky night at Hampton Court being led around the courtyards, whilst listening to some spine-tingling ghost stories.
Outdoor ice rink at Hampton Court Palace – 23 Nov 2018 to 6 Jan 2019 – The outdoor ice-rink at Hampton Court has a spectacular backdrop in front of Henry VIII's 500-year-old Tudor Palace.
Guided tour of Wren’s best churches – Every Tue and Thu – This guided walk will look at the outside of St Pauls Cathedral and at a selection of Christopher Wren's finest City churches
Evensong Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral – Every day – If you attend a choral Evensong service at St Paul's Cathedral then you can see a small part of the Cathedral for free.
Evensong Mass at Westminster Abbey – Every day (except Wed) – You can enjoy a choral Evensong service at Westminster Abbey, which combines a traditional mass with a choir.
Sunday service at the Tower of London – Every Sun (except during Aug) – You can attend a Sunday service at the Chapel Royal in the Tower of London -- one of the most historic churches in the City.
Monthly vigil at Crossbones Graveyard – 23 of every month – On the 23rd of every month people gather at Crossbones Graveyard to pay their respects to society's outcasts
Look for more religious events taking place in December
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans