We couldn't have picked better weather for our full day at Hever Castle! Blue skies and sunshine were perfect for appreciating the beauty of the castles and its stunning gardens.
We started our day with a lovely breakfast in the private Astor Wing before heading over to St Peter's Church, just outside the castle grounds, to see the tomb and brass memorial of Thomas Boleyn and the little brass cross of Henry Boleyn. Then it was time to enjoy everything the castle has to offer - the castle interior with its large portrait collection, exhibition celebrating Hever Castle's use in films and on TV (including two beautiful dresses worn by Genevieve Bujold in "Anne of the Thousand Days"), the gardens the gift shop and Hever ducks and swans.
After leisurely lunch, a browse through the gardens, nap and skype call to Tim, it was time to dress up in a posh outfit and then meet up in the music room to be taken over to the castle for our private tour. This tour was amazing, more than we could have wished for. Our dear friend, historian Owen Emmerson, who works as a supervisor at the castle, took our group around and gave us the "Hidden Hever" tour - https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/visit/hever-castle/tours-and-trails/ - which was a tailor-made tour for us Tudor history lovers and Anne Boleyn fans, plus sneak peeks of rooms and things that don't get shown to the average visitor- like Lord Astor's bathrooms and toilets, the evidence of an oriel window in Anne Boleyn's bedroom, and Lady Astor's very pink bathroom.
It was a wonderful tour. I've been coming to Hever for years, and I learned quite a few new things tonight.
And what better way to end the day than a three course meal in the castle dining room, the room that is normally roped off. We sat, surrounded by tapestries, portraits and armour, with a roaring fire, and enjoyed a delicious meal. Although whose idea it was to give me a Jane Seymour chocolate with my coffee, I'll never know!!
After being thoroughly wined and dined, Philippa and I ended the evening chatting with a few tour participants in the music room. You know me, any chance t talk Tudor and I'm there like a shot!
I'll be sharing lots of photos when I get back- I took so many today during the day ad of our evening tour - but here are just a few of the bits that you don't usually see, plus Philippa and I excited for our tour and a photo of our table for dinner. Don't tell Tim about my plans for a padded pink toilet now!
Fancy enjoying youself with us at Hever next year? Well, you can! Find out more at https://www.britishhistorytours.com/history-tours/anne-boleyn-2020