The Tudor Society

Anne Boleyn Experience Day 1 – Arrival

It's 1.15am as I write this, that's how much fun I'm having. I'm buzzing! Let me tell you all about my day.

I travelled to London Victoria this morning and after having a Marks and Spencer's lunch, I met up with my fellow tour guide, Philippa, and tour participant, Jodee, before meeting the rest of the group near Victoria. We then had fun [sarcasm] fighting our way through London traffic on the coach before reaching the lovely tree-lined lanes of Kent, aptly named the Garden of England. I would not want to be a coach driver navigating my way down those lanes!

We arrived at Hever Castle [a squeal of excitement might have come out of my mouth at this point] and were shown to our beautiful rooms, each one uniquely furnished and decorated. They are lovely. You can just see the upper part of the castle through my leaded windows. We had time to freshen up before meeting for pre-dinner drinks. We then had a delicious barbecue. I'm a vegetarian and my quinoa burgers were to die for, so good! And the salad bar was great.

Then, it was time for our talk from historian Gareth Russell, author of A History of the English Monarchy and Young and Damned and Fair: The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII. The subject of Gareth's talk was "Anne Boleyn: A Profile in Brittle Brilliance" and it was excellent. Gareth was so engaging, so witty, so knowledgeable - just perfect for our first night. Most of the group then retired, being tired after their travels to get to London, but a few of us stayed up chatting in the music room. It's so good to talk Tudor without people's eyes glazing over!

We have a lovely group. Some are past tour participants, so it was wonderful to see them again and catch up, and others are new and it's great to meet them. I just know that this tour is going to be a magical experience for us all.

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There are 10 comments Go To Comment

  1. Melissa fearn /

    Hi Claire. Does this tour go every year? I am planning on being in the UK May next year and would absolutely love to so this with fellow Tudor enthusiasts ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Theresa Johnston /

      Me too. Do they happen every year, Claire. And how much. Looks so amazing!!!!

      1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

        Hi Theresa,
        We are planning on doing tours every year and you can register your interest in them at
        Thank you!

    2. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      Hi Melissa,
      We are in the midst of planning for next year, but you can register your interest at

  2. Lynn Elliott-Kennedy /

    How exciting – please keep us posted on what you discover. So wish I could be with you all to enjoy the experience! 😉

  3. Mary Rutherford-Birkey /

    Thanks for sharing your day Claire! It looks like you’re all having a wonderful time. Wish all of the Tudor Society members could join you!

  4. Doreen /

    What part of the castle was your room? It looks VERY MODERN. I’d be disappointed if I got this room since I’d want something more period.

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      All the rooms are in the Astor Wing, which is attached to the castle and is mock Tudor. It was built on the orders of Lord Astor. The rooms are all unique and are stunning.

  5. Tisha /

    I agree with Doreen, I would like a room that looks more in the Tudor era to get the whole experience but hey your in Anne Boleyns home so that’s exctitng in itself

    Thanks for sharing

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      The windows are exactly like those in the castle, ie. leaded. The furniture is antique and every room is unique. Some have four poster beds, some have claw footed baths… They are beautiful and there are portraits everywhere in the corridors and panneling. Obviously the bathrooms aren’t Tudor, but they didn’t have bathrooms lol!

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Anne Boleyn Experience Day 1 – Arrival

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