I'm ashamed to say this is my first castle visit in 2017 and it's freaking June!!!!!
Leeds castle in the wonderdul county of Kent just an hour south of London. It's a norman castle so 12 century build and was inhabited by a number of british kings and queens as one of their leasure residencies. Henry VIII stayed at Leeds castle a few times too.
The name is confusing as most people would think it's in Leeds which is up north but leeds was an old word for hillside and as it's lovely hilly around it does make sense.
The castle itself was cool but not too medieval inside as people lived in there up until the 1920s so a lot of the interior is fairly modern.
The surrounding gardens however are stunning!!!
26 February 2017
Another old english town during the winter months. I promise, more castles to come soon 😊!.
Often compared to Oxford , Cambridge is one of the famous university towns of England. Smaller than Oxford though but just as full of 15th century goodness. The over 30 collages are spread out over the town connecting each other with mostly cobbled streets and a sympathetic town centre.
Most impressive part was the chapel comissioned by Henry VII for the Trinity Collage. Really breathtaking!!!
ca. 2h train ride from the capital
11 December 2016
During the winter months I usually take a little castle trip break because the surrounding castle gardens aren't as nice as in summer. I noticed that I subconsciously compensate with old english towns in the meantime.
Here I did a day trip to one of Englands oldest towns - Bath. In opposite to most english towns which have this strong medieval tudor style of history to it, this one is one of the few which is famous for being roman.
Before the anglo-saxons ruled England most part of Great Britain was occupied by the romans...romano british they call the style.
It's a nice little town and very clean but not many original roman buildings are left so most are rebuilt. Pretty ideal for a day trip though. Also has apparently one of the uks best christmas markets. Went there on the 3rd advent and have to say it was actually pretty festive 😊
England's only thermal water spa too! All in the style of the roman bathing culture.
And all that 2h from London...
22 October 2016
A must for castle lovers!! Can't believe it took me 6 years in the UK to finally go there. Doesn't have a castle as such, old remains of the Roman city walls and Canterbury castle but it has the famous Canterbury Cathedral which is the seat of the English church. Totally get why...it's amazing inside!! The organ was playing when I walked in and the crypt has something truly magical. 11th century awesomeness!! Worth the 12 pounds entry for sure and only an hour on the highspeed train from London. The town is tiny and wonderfully old idyllic english. In short: Perfect autumn day out 😍
2 October 2016
COTSWOLDS. Chipping Chamden to Broadway Tower hike.
Little hike in the famous Cotswolds. The Cotswolds are kind of like a national park, they call it AONB which stands for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From the village Chipping Camden to the Broadway tower. Super nice autumn walk!!
COTSWOLDS. Stratford upon Avon.
Visiting Shakespears birth and living place - Stratford upon Avon, a medieval market town in England's west midlands. Very idyllic place full of awesome timber framed houses!! My rainy selfie is in front of William Shakespears birth house. His crest was a shield with a spear which you can see on the porch.
The cute thatched roof cottage is from his wife Anne Hatherway (yea, just like the actress, we all got confused as well).
28 August 2016
HERSTMONCEUX CASTLE in East Sussex.
Visiting England's (apparently) biggest MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL. It was very big indeed and saw my first real joust which was awesome. Also did a little basket weaving course which was great fun too. All in all not very authentic though. Surrounding gardens and area are very nice as well as the 15th century moated castle. Inside of the Castle was closed unfortunately.
18 October 2015
Another castle visit in East Sussex. Lewes is a pretty tiny and old town in the South Downs national park with one of the oldest and biggest priories in the country. The priory as well as the castle are now only ruins though but it was still pretty impressive to get an idea of how it could have been. The castle was an old motte and bailey castle with two mottes and a keep. We also visited one of Henry VIII wifes house - the Anne of Cleves house. These days Lewes is famous mainly for its big bonfire night festival.
2 August 2015
HEVER CASTLE in East Sussex.
This was one of the best castles I've ever visited!! Great gardens and an amazing interior with most rooms kept in the tudor style. The best part was that Anne Boleyn lived in this castle while writing with King Henry VIII - you can see some of the original letters they wrote to each other. The audio guide and tour was informative and well done too and all in all a pretty impressive place packed with history.
25 May 2015
ARUNDEL CASTLE GARDENS.
Arundel Castle also had amazing gardens ! A lot of castles are privatly owned and refurbished over the years. It seems people stoped having enough money for refurbishment in the vicorian era so late 19th century. Most castles which are still intact inside and not made into a museum are therefore often in this vicorian style which also reflects in their gardens. The times love for the magical and exotic was pretty obvious with all those special plants and fairy like fountains and gates. Pretty awesome place I have to say!!
ARUNDEL CASTLE in West Sussex.
(Between Brighton and Portsmouth)
Another castle visit in the south. The reason for the frequent visit to Sussex is that there are quite a few cool castles worth a visit and its also close to London so on average 1,5h on the train, while going further north usually takes longer. Arundel is a small town which has a train station so no need for a hike to get to the castle. Arundel is open only in summer since the family still lives there. Stunning castle, especially the inside to see how an old castle can be used as a modern home still keeping the historical touch. Best part - the vicorian library!!!!!
7 March 2015
BODIAM CASTLE in East Sussex.
From Central Londom we took the train to Robertsbridge, a small town in Sussex the south of England. The train took about 1,5h and from there we started our journey to Bodiam which is a little 2h hike through nice and calm heath land. I think it's actually the closest train station to the castle but our castle explorer team always welcomes a walk 😊 Bodiam Castle is not build on a hill or anywhere obvious so we had a bit of a trouble finding it. It's fairly small and almost in a bit of a valley which makes it visible only when you're close to it. Well we found it in the end and it is awesome!