Visit to Hever Castle

Hever Travel Blog

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LOL, I really had to take a pic of this sign!

I think this is the first time I'm taking this long to finish off my blog! It's close to the first weekend of November and I still haven't finished writing my blog of a trip that ended nearly 2 months ago!

Anyway, after my quick walk around Oxford Street, I went to Victoria, grabbed some stuff to eat and got on the train to Hever. Everything really seems so different in the UK compared to continental Europe. I just felt at home sitting on a British train, can't describe it but it just felt like home! The train ride was quite non dismal although the weather was really nice - thin layer of clouds but ample sunshine and a nice early autumn breeze. I reached the Hever station after about 1 hr and...well what the books say is true - the place is deserted. God, one would almost think it's not even a railway station but just some abandoned old house.

Hever's landmark church
It does look very beautiful though!

The walk to the Castle isn't clearly marked, but I followed a couple who were using their iTouch to find directions. I quite enjoyed the walk. it was proper English-town-in-the-countryside experience, lots of houses with big fields, lots of horses, greenery, the works.

Reached Hever Castle and I have to say, this isn't the most elegant of Castles, but I certainly had a great time nonetheless. Well, because the beauty to visiting this place isn't what's inside, but what's outside. The inside of the Castle isn't the most spectacular thing, but great for a Tudor fan, or for anyone wishing to learn about the Tudors. The Boleyn family moved in, and Anne Boleyn (and her siblings, Mary Boleyn and George Boleyn), although probably not born here, did grow up here for a time, before she was sent to the Netherlands and then to the French court for her education.

View of Hever Castle from afar. Lovely innit?
After Anne married King Henry VIII, she and her brother George were executed, her dad died and the property came into the possession of Henry VIII. The building subsequently passed through various owners and in the early 20th century was restored by an American millionaire who used it as a family residence.  The 1st floor is really impressive, you have cardboard cutouts of each of Henry 7th's wives, and really interesting stories behind them. I finally got the story behind the Tudor Rose as well so I was quite happy!

As I said earlier, there's not a whole lot to see inside the tiny Castle but so much to see outside. It's just gorgeous! Abs gorg! There are gardens done Italian style that stretch forever and ever. I am not kidding when i tell you that I felt like taking pictures every step of the way, and this was after a few days in the so-called picturesque Loire Valley! The flowers, the greenery, everything was fantastic.

The garden then leads up to a wonderfully architectured piazza that overlooks a very "raw" and unmaintaned lake. This then leads back to a rose garden - you could tell that we were getting over a bad summer as the roses had all wilted, but still it looked lovely. And I was standing there thinking how much more beautiful it would've been had I seen it during the spring!

It was about 4pm by now -  I grabbed an ice cream and wanted to take the pathway to Chiddingstone. I went about half way but kind of lost my way, and didn't want to risk it as I had a flight to catch the next day. So it was back to the deserted Hever Station, and back to London. I did like what I saw of Hever though, it's got that well manicured landscape that Kent is known for, and do hope I can visit again someday.

 

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LOL, I really had to take a pic of…
LOL, I really had to take a pic o…
Hevers landmark church
Hever's landmark church
View of Hever Castle from afar. Lo…
View of Hever Castle from afar. L…
Inside the castle quadrangle
Inside the castle quadrangle
The fountain
The fountain
One of the mazes (I think?)
One of the mazes (I think?)
Part of the Italian Gardens near t…
Part of the Italian Gardens near …
Part of the Italian Gardens near t…
Part of the Italian Gardens near …
Part of the Italian Gardens near t…
Part of the Italian Gardens near …
The piazza overlooking the lake
The piazza overlooking the lake
The piazza
The piazza
The gardens - I just love this pic…
The gardens - I just love this pi…
The Rose Gardens
The Rose Gardens
Another of my favourite shots!
Another of my favourite shots!
The Rose Gardens
The Rose Gardens
En route to Chiddingstone in this …
En route to Chiddingstone in this…
Yep, Hever... wide open green Heve…
Yep, Hever... wide open green Hev…
The picture postcard railway stati…
The picture postcard railway stat…
Hever
photo by: Vikram