Everyone needs a happy place, right? Whether it’s home, a holiday destination, your friend’s/nan’s/mum’s place, a park, a beach or – in my case – a castle, everybody needs one. It gives us sanctuary when we need it, somewhere to just be and a while to gather ourselves and thoughts together…at least that’s what Hever does for me.
It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE history buff and castles are definitely my thing; Hever is somewhere I’ve been visiting since I can remember and honestly I get there, and I feel like I’ve come home. It’s magic.
Hever Castle & Gardens is in Edenbridge, Kent – ‘The Garden of England‘. I’m not gonna give you a history lesson on it but what I will tell you is that it was the childhood home of one Anne Boleyn, the doomed second wife of King Henry VIII, whom I’m sure you will have heard of! The Tudors are one of my absolute favourite periods of English history.
Hever isn’t a huge castle, not compared to the likes of Buck Palace, but it does have a certain quaint charm to it – and the gardens – the gardens are to die for. As you may already know, I’m a huge nature/flower lover, and let me tell you Hever is home to the most stunning blooms and gardens. In fact I think it’s what I look forward to the most when I visit, the idea that I can wander through the rose garden, or the Italian garden, or trail the rhododendron walk gets me all gooey inside. It’s just insanely aesthetically pleasing.
…Not to mention the fact that there are stunning Italian sculptures, water features – a lake that you can take a boat trip on or hire a rowing boat yourself – a maze, archery, nature walks, and a moat that’s home to very friendly (and hungry!) ducks and swans! Oh and I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention how freaking good the ice cream is there – seriously, one scoop is the equivalent of two, so imagine when my boyfriend asked for two, the mountain of ice cream before him! Oh and a flake please, duh.
Hever to me, is just… home. I don’t know any other way to put it. I get there and I feel this ability to finally breathe. My mental health often makes me feel isolated and as though I haven’t a place that I can just take a moment – it also makes me feel like I can’t relax anywhere; I’m always so tense. But on the odd occasion that I get to go and be at Hever, I instantly feel relaxed. It’s peaceful, even on it’s busiest days. It’s unquestionably beautiful and it opens my eyes a little to the fact that there is a world outside my door – I think we all need a reminder like that once in a while?
I feel like it’s so important to have somewhere you can call a happy place. Let me know in the comments below what your happy place is, and definitely let me know if you’ve been to Hever before! I’ll leave the link to the website below if you’d like to check it out. 🙂
Come find me on Instagram: @katscarlettj and Twitter: @katiessanctuary