Sunday, September 28, 2014

Goodbye to the Isle of Man, and a visit to Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn

An early start, and the first plane out of Ronaldsway Airport, IOM. 
I will miss the beautiful island and the lovely people!  I particularly appreciated meeting Viv and Ian's family, what superb people!  I loved seeing the island and being included in their family get-togethers!  What a wonderful time I've had on the Isle of Man!
 My papers said I needed to be checked in by 5am at the latest - !!! What was I thinking when I booked that!  However as the airport doesn't open until 6am, we had a bit of a reprieve  and a tail wind meant I was back in London by 8am.  Probably the most interesting and least palatable in flight meal -  a cooked and kept breakfast of egg, bacon, sausage, mushroom and hash brown - but my second flight on British Airways and I do like their flight crews' easy sense of humour.

And this morning my expert London tour guides took me on a wonderful excursion south to Kent.  We went through beautiful countryside, dotted with oasthouses, timbered inns and Tudor houses with mullioned windows and arrived at Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. 
 What a gorgeous castle!  I've decided I like castles, so much history and romance, so much death and plotting!
The oldest part of Hever was the gatehouse built in 1270, 
and the castle was converted into a manor house in 1462.  Anne lived there in the early 1500s, while King Henry VIII pursued her, despite being married to Catherine of Aragon and having Anne's sister Mary as his mistress.  

With Grace alongside the outer moat

Ella with the inner moat in the background

We went through the double-moated castle, up the winding spiral staircases, and into the rooms mostly decorated in the restored fashion of around 1900, but some in the manner they may have been in Anne Boleyn's time.

Part of the gardens

What a lovely day we had! 
In the early 1900s it was bought by the Astor family who have restored it and planted the yew maze and the beautiful Italian gardens.

Anyone who doubts I could find my way into the centre of a maze and out again - here is photographic proof of me and Ella in the centre!  

Okay, I couldn't do it, and after becoming hideously lost for the umpteenth time, I followed Neil who knew the way...


  1. Castles! Kent! Rennaissance gardens! Ann Boleyn! It's all so romantic and amazing. Loving your photos and travel tales.

    1. Haven't I been blessed by having such wonderful tour guides! I've seen more wonders than I ever expected to in my entire lifetime!

  2. ohh I'd love to see Anne's castle! Fabulous!


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