Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hever Castle and Chartwell House

This was a trip I have been looking forward to and it was a glorious spring day....we (me and 39 other American Women) traveled by coach to Hever Castle and enjoyed coffee, tea and biscuits then a private guided tour of the castle before it opened to the public.

The charming castle at Hever dates back more than 700 years and was once home to Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife and then was passed into ownership to another of Henry's wives, Anne of Cleves. It was bought and restored by the wealthy American, WW Astor in the early 1900's . The castle now reflects a harmony with history and 20th century convenience and comfort. The beautiful gardens at Hever Castle were laid out between 1904 and 1908, turning marshland into a lake and a 125 acre garden.

The Astor Wing and Castle can be rented for private events, such as weddings...can you just imagine?

Next on the trip, Chartwell House was Sir Winston Churchill's home until his death in 1965 and is now a National Trust Property. Churchill saw it as a place where he could truly escape the pressures of his public and political life to be with his family. Many of his paintings are in the home and in his art studio surrounded by breathtaking views and gardens.

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." Sir Winston Churchill

***and a special thanks to Mercedes and Barbara for finding and returning my cell phone and keys (yes, the same keys I lost on New Year's eve!) It's a good thing I have friends looking out for me, and Lillia keeps an extra key! Cheers!

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