Hever Castle.

 

Living and working in London = going on A LOT of weekend/day trips.

I’ve been on quite a few lately, and haven’t documented any. I’m terrible, I’m sorry!

I’ll start off with my wonderful day trip to Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn’s childhood home.

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I went about a month ago with my new friends I met through my cousin Brooke. I met them on the same weekend I arrived in London last September, tired and overwhelmed, but thankfully I was taken under their lovely wings. I really am so grateful for my cousin and her amazing group of friends making me feel so welcome. Where would I have been without them?

My cousin has since returned back to New Zealand, but I still catch up with her friends when I can.

Hever Castle is in Hever, Kent, and four of us took a train from London Bridge there one (very cold and wet) Saturday. Hever Castle was built in 1276 as a medieval defensive castle (with its moat and draw gate). In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was home to one of the most powerful families in that period, the Boleyn’s. It was in this very castle where Anne Boleyn grew up, and Henry VIII visited the castle many times (you can even visit his bedroom where he would have stayed on his visits).

It is very well maintained, with its original rooms decorated like it would have in the day. My favourite parts of the castle were Anne’s room, and the dining room. The dining room has an old painting on the wall in the doorway – one that was completed in the 1500s, showing diners in the room, chatting merrily, with servants tending to them. It was amazing comparing the two, seeing how little has changed since then.

It’s an eerie feeling, isn’t it, knowing how much history is right in front of you? It always makes me feel really strange, wondering who has stood right where you have stood, what they were thinking, doing, what lives they were living.

We strolled the gardens and the lake, and listened to Pippa tell us all about Henry VIII’s wives. It was hilarious actually – she told it in such a way that it felt like she was just gossiping about friends. “So then he met Anne, and he was all like…woah. I like the look of YOU!” It was extremely muddy, too, so unfortunately our shoes got completely embedded with mud. But all part of the fun, right? 🙂

We ended the day with a beer and the most delicious cheeseboard at the Henry VIII pub around the corner.

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