Back in time not only because of the castle, but because this visit was last Sunday before I went to Dublin. Actually it’s been a really busy week with a lot going on, so a few posts on the way in order to catch up with it all.Last Sunday we hired a car and decided to go for a drive. We were heading to Rye but under-estimated how far it was and also how slow it would be driving the scenic route we took staying off the motorways! Lots of lovely windy village roads with poor signage, I’ve actually lost count of how many times we got lost.Anyway, eventually we had to give up on Rye and instead decided to go visit Hever Castler which we had seen sign posted several times. After more windy roads and more getting lost, we found it and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
Hever castle was the childhood home of Ann Boleyn (one of Henry VIII’s wives) and was also visited by Henry on several occasions, so it has a bit of history. It was then fully restored by one of the Waldorfs from America (of Waldorf-Astoria hotel fame) for a ridiculous amount of money even by todays standards. It’s really a large manor house with an old castle keep at the centre.Although much of the furniture inside is not original to the castle, it IS old — lots of tables from the 16C and even earlier. Suits of armour, torture equipment, it was all suitably castle like and we really enjoyed it.The gardens are stunning, all put in around 1900 by Mr. Waldorf, and include his collection of ancient statues from Italy that he’d purchased. He also had 1000 men dig out a lake for boating and put in a rather ornate boat house.
Boat house at Hever castle.
Karina and Ella at Hever castle.Over all we had a lot of fun, even if Ella did get car sick three times while driving around, the rest of us had a great time. Hever castle is also great for kids with three different mazes on the grounds too, so well worth a visit if you come over.
Tim in the grounds of Hever castle.