Hever Castle Visit

Christmas Lunch - 23 November 2023

Castle and carousel

On a cold but bright morning in late November a group of Sullington Windmills members, together with friends and family, set off for a Christmas experience at Hever Castle in Kent.

Upon arrival there was a short walk from the coach park down to the castle and grounds. We were met by the sight of the red leaf-clad castle front and a brightly lit carousel. Here the group dispersed to explore until lunchtime. Some of the group took a quick coffee and brisk walk around the grounds to stretch their legs, whereas others went straight for a tour of the castle interior.

The castle entrance was filled with a welcoming log fire and an amazing Christmas tree (the first of many). Each room had been carefully furnished and decorated to reflect a certain era of the castle and also Christmas. There was a 1920s room with pale pink decorations and music playing on the record player. There was the medieval banquet hall set up for a Christmas feast and the long gallery filled with a line of individually decorated Christmas trees facing the stern and serious portraits of the castle’s Tudor residents. Many more rooms were to follow, including the Astor children’s attic bedrooms and the much grander bedrooms of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

The castle tour took some time to appreciate all of the history, changes in ownership, the exhibits and furnishings plus the glorious Christmas decorations.

A stroll around the grounds down to the lunch pavilion treated you to a breath of fresh air and continued Christmas-themed decorations. The grounds were really interesting and full of twists and turns, statues, ponds and fountains. The covered walkways were festooned in twinkly lights and the whole garden was to be lit up at 4pm (unfortunately we left before we could see it in all its glory).

Upon entering the lunch pavilion we were offered hot mulled wine or hot spiced apple juice, which was very much welcomed on such a cold day. Lunch itself was a jolly affair with paper hats, a turkey roast dinner and lots of chatter.

After lunch it was time for a few of the group to take their turns on the carousel whilst others browsed the shops or walked off their lunch.

It was a really festive day and put you in the right frame of mind for Christmas ahead.

11:06, 15 Feb 2024 by Paula Cottrell