Monday, September 18, 2017

From the Bluebell Railway to Anne Boleyn's home

The Bluebell Railway line stops just around the corner from where we're staying. It features preserved heritage steam trains that make scheduled runs between East Grinstead to Sheffield Park. It offers special dining car runs and a rail ale night plus other seasonal treats.

We didn't have time to ride the train but we went to take a look and were charmed by the conductors dressed in olden days uniforms. One of them was leading a group of excited school children in a song while they waited to board the train. 

They do a good job of using props and signage of the period so it feels authentic. Here's Harry with his cousin Karen standing in front of the train just as it was getting ready to leave the station.

This afternoon we drove to Hever Castle and Gardens, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. This 700 year old medieval double-moated castle, complete with gatehouse, portcullis, extensive grounds, and its own lake was restored about 100 years ago by William Waldorf Astor.  He also added gardens and a medieval village. It's now run as a heritage site and park.  Here are a few photos of this special place. It features Anne Boleyn's bedroom and a guest room where King Henry VIII stayed during his courtship of Anne.

I took over 100 pictures so it's hard to select but I'll give you an overview.

The gatehouse on the left. Two views of the castle below.

Here's the  portcullis and some interior rooms. The stair treads are made from full timbers cut into shape. The view out the window is towards the Tudor era village built by Astor.

And finally some scenes from the  the gardens built by Astor during the restoration. The most impressive is the large Italian garden on the lake that features statuary he collected from Italy.


  1. I miss roaming around castles and the grounds. I had such a great time on my trips. I am so envious of your wonderful trip so far.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hopefully you can enjoy it vicariously Parsnip.

  2. Marvelous shots! Thank you for sharing them.


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