PetDoc, Noise, and I went to Hever today, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and an important site in Tudor history. One of the things that appealed to us about Hever was that the castle is about a mile from the train station, and it's a lovely walk through the village and along the public footpaths across the fields. For a fair chunk of the way you can choose the footpaths or the roads. Obviously the major difference is that the roads are paved and the footpaths are,well, not. Upon leaving the station we were soon confronted with the first choice between paved and not, and PetDoc uttered the fateful words above. So we set off across the fields, baa-ing cheerfully at the sheep who came racing over the hill to greet us.
But pretty soon the scene looked like this:
Although today was a beautiful day with bright sunshine, the spring rains had taken their toll. At times we were ankle deep in mud -- I though I had lost a shoe at one point. However, we pushed on (after a certain point it made more sense to keep going than try to go back) and eventually came out on a blessed, blessed road. After a quick stop at the local pub (not surprisingly called the Henry the VIII) to wash our shoes in the bathroom and enjoy a much-deserved pint of Strongbow, we arrived at the castle.
Castle is a bit of a misnomer, as Hever is really a country house (albeit a large and luxurious one!). We very much enjoyed our visit, trooping through the Tudor era rooms and imaging the events that much have transpired in those very rooms. This, to me, is the fascinating thing about England ... that you can go to these places where important events happened and interesting people lived hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and the places are still there! And in many cases, they haven't changed at all. For a history buff like me, there's nothing like it.
We followed up our castle visit with a walk around a section of the beautiful gardens. Then we headed back to the train station ... via the roads this time!
A few more pictures of a lovely day, spent with my favourite sister and her favourite husband: