Sweetbriar Dreams

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Gardens of Hever Castle - Part 2

And now are you ready for part 2 of my posts on Hever Castle in Kent?  A grey day to begin with, but the sun was kind to us all by the end giving us a chance to see Hever Castle with blue sky behind it and warm sunshine on our faces.  Once again, a cup of English Breakfast Tea and let's see what's in the cupboard... a couple of Rich Tea Biscuits!  Let me take you by the hand around the stunning gardens of Hever Castle...

The gardens expand 125 acres and have William Waldorf Astor to thank for his amazing legacy on their creation and collections held within.  The views from the windows of the Castle an ever changing painting as the gardens flourish through the seasons.

The walk under the gate house and the oldest working portcullis in England inviting you to explore these beautiful well kept gardens.

Then over the bridge, filling the eyes with amazing late spring/early summer rich, lush greens.

The stone walls acting as bones for the living skin of the newly bloomed wisteria.  The colours so easy on the eye.

Of course, I have to capture old parts of architecture, so obviously hopper heads and down pipes need to be etched on my camera card!

I know blogs everywhere are full of the gorgeous wisteria blooms, but here's one more and I only wish you could smell the incredible scent that this is paired with.

The Astor Wing which I touched on in part 1, sits in the grounds, no doubt full of very lucky Bed and Breakfast guests. What a beautiful place to stay in.

The decoration, the chimney pots, the windows!  An incredibly romantic place and perfect for a Charles Dickens novel!

The Italian Garden with its perfect lawns and beautiful sculptures was somewhere that you could get lost in.  In fact, I did lose myself at one point!

The Pergola Walk with its grottos was my favourite part of the gardens, a little grey but little alcoves on the right with running water over ferns was so calming and peaceful.  A place to really stand quietly with your thoughts.

In the grottos, many carvings with worn out faces, but the ones where the features are very much plain to see are more up to date.  These are faces of gardeners who have worked for years here.  Casts are made to give a good likeness and once the gargoyles are placed in the grottos, the ferns will gradually cover their faces and the water will corrode.  What a beautiful way to leave your mark!

The day was especially grey until later and a little chilly, so when we got to the lake it was blowing a gale.  38 acres of water adding more of a chill factor to the wind!  Again, part of the reconstructive works ordered by William Waldorf Astor and created by 800 men who were told to work on this every day and night when ordered, apart from a Sunday.  It took them two years and finished in 1906.

The Nymph's Fountain was constructed in 1908 and was inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome.  I really felt for this stone carving as the wind blew in from across the lake!

The Blue Garden, for obvious reasons was another area of the garden which was just divine!  So perfectly manicured and a delight to walk slowly up through the levels.

Throughout the gardens there were pockets that took our imagination, one of the grey barked trees made me smile with the pink blossom surrounding it (I think the blossom is from a Judas Tree, correct me if I'm wrong).

But of course, the carvings produced even bigger smiles.  I could sit and look at these for hours!

The last throes of Spring apparent around the gardens, what a shame spring has to be so short lived.

The famous Hever Castle Maze of course had to be visited.  When I came here (last century!), my Nan thought it would be too scary for me.  Well, I've been in worse, so off we set and did really well and only reached three dead ends!

It could have been a whole lot quicker and just gone into the 'Exit' to walk straight to the centre, but where's the fun in that!!

And so, the beautiful and stunning visit to Hever Castle was at an end and more travelling beckoned our group.  Smiles and laughter proving that the trip was perfect for all.

And... the sun eventually came out.  Perfection!

Have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead!


  1. Both the castle and gardens look delightful.

  2. Beautiful! Thanks so much for the tour.

  3. So much to see and all of it delightful.

  4. I so enjoyed this tour of the gardens. What an amazing place. I think it's fun that the gardeners' faces are immortalized in the stone fountains. Unique!

  5. Wonderful tour, Chel - and stunning shots, as always. It's years since I visited Hever - I keep meaning to go with the present Mrs B when down that way, but haven't got round to it yet. Fabulous colours in the garden. There used to be an enormous wisteria over the gatehouse - I don't know whether it's still there.

  6. The gardens are juste beautiful Chel. Thanks for taking all of us on the tour with you. You took such nice photos of everything once again! Thanks.
    Enjoy your day.
    Julie xo

  7. We have never been but it is on the list, I love the faces of the gardeners in stone, what a great tribute to them. xxx

  8. I really enjoyed walking through the garden with you, while sipping tea and eating pancakes!


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