The Girl in the Red Coat

Hever Castle

Posted on: July 20, 2010

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I spent a blissful day on Sunday wandering around the gorgeous Hever Castle in Kent – the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. After a chilly start,  the sun shone gloriously all day. There was an extra special reason for this trip – one of my best friends will be getting married at Hever this time next year and she wanted to show me the place in (hopefully) similar weather.

The castle itself is quite small and almost a mix of Tudor-style interspersed with 1920s-style rooms, from when Hever was bought and lived in by the Astor family. I loved it though and pictured myself in Tudor dress sitting in one of the window seats with a book or some embroidery, gazing out onto the moat and lawns below. In fact, I only recently read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ so had no problem at all revisiting the scenes set at Hever and picturing them through Anne’s eyes…not in too much detail though, that’s one historical figure I would rather not be!

The gardens are stunning – the usual elaborately-kept lawns and shaped trees and hedges, along with little ‘secret’ gardens filled with beautifully-scented roses, statues of mythical figures and fish-filled ponds. There were also two mazes – one traditional maze and the other a water maze. The water maze was particularly fun because, while you were trying to get to the fort in the centre, some of the paths you crossed were booby-trapped and fired water up at you if you stepped on them. I was going round with my friends, a little ahead of them, when a young boy stepped out into my path. I knew that the step ahead was rigged in a certain place and was hoping not to get caught by it but, having a younger brother and a whole horde of younger male cousins, I knew exactly what this kid was planning to do and he knew I knew too. He grinned, I leapt, he stamped down on the square and yep, water flew all the way up my back. Little boys eh! Well, we both had a good laugh about it and the sunny weather dried me off quickly so no harm done!

I’ll stop talking now and show you some more pictures. There was some kind of event going on that day as well so there were people dressed in Tudor outfits wandering around, dancing, jousting and practising archery in the grounds. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever this side of the world!

Okies, I think I’m going to make some coffee now to ward off the mid-morning sleepiness – we were evacuated from our house late last night because of a suspicious vehicle in the adjoining street. Thankfully it was a false alarm (or at least the problem was solved quite speedily – they didn’t tell us either way), the night was warm and we didn’t have to wait around for too long. It certainly brought the neighbours together though, the good-old ‘Blitz Spirit’ is still alive and well in London town!

8 Responses to "Hever Castle"

You should have drop-kicked that kid into the pond! :p

Looks like a really nice place, Hever castle. I have the feeling I haven’t been there although it sounds so familiar! It’s probably sign posted on the way to Dover.

Have you been to Leeds castle (also in Kent)? I love that one, it’s beautiful (too).

You really must go if you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit!

No I haven’t been to Leeds Castle but have heard it’s beautiful – I really must go!

Our next house MUST include a yard with a water maze. 🙂 Your pictures are lovely. Tell your friend I think her wedding is going to be GORGEOUS!!!!

It would be the perfect addition to any home 🙂 Thanks Holly, I’ll let her know!

Freaking amazing!

How gorgeous! Well, anything in England gets my stamp of approval, but really… your photos are beautiful. I visited Hampton Court Palace last year and fell in love, so I’m sure this would be much the same! The traditional English gardens get me every time!

I’m a proud American, truly, but everything about the U.K. entrances me. 🙂

Wow you have traveled to places I dream of going to one day! The water maze at the castle sounds like so. much. fun. What a good idea!

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