Wandering Wednesday – Hever Castle, UK

On our first major excursion, we spent 2 weeks in the UK, visiting family in the southeast area of England.  Being complete noobs, we spent the whole trip in complete awe of everything we saw.  The people we were visiting took us to Hever Castle one day as a quiet day.  We had a pretty hectic schedule, but that in itself is another tale.

Hever Castle

The castle itself is more of a living quarters.  Historically speaking, it has major significance.  It was home to the Boleyn family, notably that of Anne Boleyn.  She was living here when she became Henry the VIII‘s mistress, then wife.

Portrait of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second queen;...
Anne Boleyn

She was one of the wives who literally lost her head over Henry.  The castle is a major museum, with exhibits throughout the structure.  Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside the building.  The picture below is of the entrance to the building.

Going In

Once we were done, we moved onto the grounds, which are beautiful.  This picture is the landing area where a boat from Henry’s navy would land to either pick up Anne and take her to Hampton, or would bring Henry here for a visit.

The grounds are dotted with gardens and mazes. There are also fountains everywhere.  The entire complex is very well kept.

Yew Tree Chess Pieces

These trees date back centuries and have been sculpted to be the pieces of a chess set.  Yew trees are very slow-growing and lend themselves well to such projects.

One of the Garden Areas

This is an example of one of the garden areas.  There is a main area and many smaller ones dotting the grounds.

We left this area and headed off to the Tournament.  For the benefit of tourists, there are regular mock battles conducted on the grounds.  It was quite entertaining to see some jousting and mock hand to hand combat.

My overall impression of Hever Castle is quite positive.  If you are in the SE of England, it is well worth the time to spend a relaxing day at this attraction.

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