Home Park covers an area of about 750 acres (303.5 ha). It is bordered by the formal gardens of Hampton Court Palace, a walled road between Hampton Court and Kingston Bridge, and Barge Walk running alongside a bend of the River Thames.
Home Park is a deer park with a herd of around 300 Fallow deer, descended from the original herd of Henry VIII. These graze on the grasslands and ensure biodiversity by avoiding damage to the ancient anthills.
Today the outstanding features of the Park are space and unspoilt nature, together with the great avenues of lime trees radiating out from the Palace for around three quarters of a mile towards the east. In the centre of these runs the Long Water, which at its eastern end now contains the Jubilee Fountain. There is also a Cross Avenue perpendicular to, and at the eastern end of, the Long Water. The avenues and Long Water form a coherent geometry with the formal Palace gardens.
Apart from the formal Long Water, there are various other areas of water, most notable the Hampton Wick Pond, Oak and Rick ponds, the latter used for model boats.
The three main buildings of historic interest in the Park are Stud House and The Pavilion, which are private residences, and the Ice House near Hampton Wick gate, which is also not open to the public.
Large areas of land on the eastern side of the Park, some prone to flooding, and mainly used for grazing and paddocks, are also inaccessible to the public.
A golf course occupies a large area in the south of the Park but is not physically enclosed and merges with the Park.
There are avenues of trees across the park which lead to formal gardens laid out at the Eastern front of Hampton Court Palace.
Birds in the park include swan, kingfisher, tawny owl, kestrel, and sand martin. There is an artificial sand martin bank which provides a safe nesting site for the birds.
Many species of bat are found in the park. Other mammals include vole and shrew.
Butterflies, moths and many other insect species are seen in the park during the summer. Around the watercourses damsel flies and dragonflies can be seen.
Eels are found in the watercourses and grass snakes are also resident.
In the rutting season (Autumn) and when their young are born (early Summer) the deer are especially sensitive and aggressive.
You must not feed the deer – it is injurious to their health.
You should not get within 50 metres of them as they can be unpredictable.
You should not allow dogs off leads near them, as they can get attacked.
The Long Water is almost at the end of the 12-mile Longford River. The river was commissioned by King Charles I to bring fresh water to the palace. Oliver Cromwell extended and improved the river flow. Charles II had the Longford River diverted to fill the Long Water.
The Long Water adds biodiversity to Home Park, with many species of fish, waterfowl, and other creatures enjoying the ecosystem it supports.
It is not crossed by any bridge so visitors in the park must go from one side of it to the other at the eastern end.
At the eastern end of the Long water is the Jubilee Fountain. This comprises a spectacular set of five 30 metre plumes of water which jet upwards on a timed system. The fountain was inaugurated in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.