Coming into this tour I had two non-musical aims… to try as many different types of cider as possible (which is going very well!) and to visit some castles. My first castle experience was certainly a good one, with a visit to Hever Castle in Kent satisfying my desire to wander around some seriously old beautiful buildings and gardens… and of course meeting the requirements of Sarah’s Henry VIII obsession.
Hever castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, one of Henry’s less fortunate wives, and the history behind it all was thoroughly interesting. Of course in true Súnas style we found ourselves singing very inappropriate songs that Paul assures me would get me stoned if heard by the wrong people.
The castle itself though is on the most amazing grounds, with gardens that stretch for miles, complete with a giant man-made (or dug) lake, two mazes and a few interestingly positioned statues. And of course, an essential for any good castle, there was a moat with some arm-sized man-eating gold fish!
We spent hours wandering the grounds, inside and out of the castle and just generally enjoying this amazing place. And being the sentimental fool that I am, I came out of Ye Olde Castle Gift Shop with a copy of the love letters between Henry and Anne, the last of which was written as she sat in the Tower of London awaiting execution… and still signed off ‘your ever faithful servant and wife, Anne’.
One final thought to take away… Water mazes are not fun and it gets pretty cold after having cold water sprayed down your back!