Sunday, 22 April 2012
A couple of months ago I applied for, and won, two tickets to visit Sissinghurst Castle in the ‘My Big Kent Weekend’ draw. Sissinghurst was the home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson for about 30 years, and they are responsible for the beautiful gardens.
The view over the Weald of Kent
I last visited Sissinghurst a long time ago, and the gardens and tower are as lovely as I remember, even in March. I would love to go back in the summer to see the gardens in full flower, but I do know that it is a very popular tourist destination, and it gets very busy in the summer. The meadow covered in Spring flowers was just gorgeous.
My friend and I had a lovely afternoon wandering around the beautiful gardens, and going inside the Gatehouse Tower, where the couple had a very pretty, but snug sitting room. The views from the tower are lovely, but it would have been nice to have got right up to the top of the tower, as you can see there was work going on up there.
There used to be an Elizabethan moated house on the site, but the building was demolished about 200 years ago, leaving the Gatehouse and the attached buildings. Apart from the formal gardens there are beautiful woodland walks surrounding the castle, and even though the trees were bare we enjoyed the walk, even if we were the only ones in that area.
We both had a lovely day, there are a few other beautiful places to visit in the same area, so hopefully we will get to some of those later in the year. I hope everyone is having a really good weekend
I could sit here and enjoy the view any time
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Some of you will remember this beautiful little country church from previous blogs. It is a hidden gem in the East Kent countryside, well off the road, and is now the school church for Northbourne Park School. When I first visited this lovely little church, many years ago, you could go inside and have a look around, sadly this is not now the case, but a photo of the inside and more history of the church can be found here: http://www.kentchurches.info/church.asp?p=Betteshanger
The ‘straight mile’ on the way to the church.
The Lych Gate
These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago, I finished work at lunchtime and decided to go and see how the baby donkeys were doing, as it was such a beautiful day. I missed the turning to the donkeys (those one track country roads again!!) but realized I was quite close to this church. As it is one of the prettiest and most peaceful places I have ever been to, the decision to pay it a visit was not hard to make.
Looking towards the church from near the school grounds.
The sundial in the grounds.
I spent a lovely hour wandering around, taking photos of course, and, apart from some of the school children riding past on bikes I had the place to myself.
Rupert Brooke, the famous First World War poet was stationed at Betteshanger Park late in 1914, he left here and travelled to nearby Dover and then to France. This little church could possibly have been one of the last places on English soil that he saw, a beautiful last memory of England for him.
HAPPY EASTER TO YOU ALL X