We arrived home at the weekend after a little holiday down in Kent
It was Hubby's birthday (you'll have seen the card I made for him if you popped in here last week) so I booked us a week away, and kept the details a secret till we got there - I had fun letting little bits of information slip unto the conversation during the weeks before and then telling him what direction to point the car in during the journey.
What I'd actually done was to book one of the English Heritage holiday cottages, in this case an apartment in the grounds of and overlooking Walmer Castle.
Walmer Castle was built by Henry VIII as part of the defence system against the French and Spanish, protecting the safe anchorage of Goodwin Sands. The three castles of Walmer, Deal and Sandown (which no longer exists) were fortresses more than the traditional, older castles we're more used to seeing dotted around our landscape - they are built of interlocking circles and mainly curved walls to deflect cannon balls etc - they look amazing from above, but I'll get to that another day!
Walmer became the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1708 and consequently has been altered considerably since it was built. There have been some very illustrious residents and holders of the title over the years including the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Younger, WH Smith (of the shops), Sir Winston Churchill and more recently The Queen Mother.
Our apartment there was part of a very old building, and overlooks the kitchen garden and greenhouses which has kept the castle occupants supplied with fruit and veg for about 300 years.
This was the view from our lounge window
Here are a few more photos of Walmer Castle
Deal Castle is about a mile down the coast, it has a much bigger footprint than Walmer and looks more like Walmer would have done originally, very low and squat and rather threatening! believe it or not, these photos of Walmer and Deal were all taken within a couple of hours!
A few more photos from our trip:
Guarding the Beach at Walmer
We went to see the fabulous newly decorated and furnished rooms in the Great Tower at Dover Castle - there was a "Time Team Special" on TV about them recently, I'll add some photos next time, plus there's the "real" surprise I arranged for Hubby to blog about too!
The weather last week was pretty grotty really - mainly it rained. Drizzle, Showers, Rain, Downpours - even thunder and lightning - we had the lot! But there were glimpses of sunshine and even though the weather wasn't great we didn't really want to come home - tucked up in our warm, roomy and well-fitted out apartment we felt safe and cosy and completely relaxed, which was just perfect.
Thanks for popping by, I hope I've not bored you too much!