On the third day, I took most of my photos. There were so many beautiful and interesting things to see. First we visited Hailsham Grange, a former vicarage from the early 18th century with an incredibly wonderful garden. It is not very big but effortlessly merged the formality of British gardening traditions with wild growth and carefully selected color schemes. The owner and creator of the garden, Noel Thompson, graciously leads visitors through his domain and explains the ideas behind his garden. The visit is rounded off with tea or coffee. I was as delighted by the hospitality as by the beauty of the garden.
Our next stop was Old Clergy House, the first ever house to be acquired by the national Trust of England (they paid ten pounds for it at the time). The house was built by a yeoman (small, free landowner for all non-Brits) and was later sold to the church as a vicarage. Inside, a woman in a traditional farmer wife’s costume explained about the architecture and answered all our questions. Outside, a glorious garden, much wilder than the other ones we had seen, surrounded the cottage.
Last but not least, we visited Hever Castle, where Anne Boleyn grew up. The more formal cut boxwoods cluster near the castle while the wild Rhododendron compositions spread out to the side in a huge park. There also is a lovely lake at the bottom of the garden with a Chinese pagoda. I marveled most at a poplar so wide that two people’s arms wouldn’t have been long enough to embrace it.
I hope you still like my pictures because there’s two more days to go. 😉
Let me know in the comments where you prefer to travel to,