History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul – Lord Acton.
When it comes to travel, many of us forget about the beauties that lay in our own country. Perhaps we overlook them because it is a mere train journey or car ride away; or we take them for granted because we assume they will always be there. Much of the time, it is because we do not know what gems are hidden around this small, yet astonishing, country of ours. One of these hidden treasures (it is not particularly hidden but I’ve never heard of it) is Sudeley Castle, home and resting place to Katherine Parr: the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII.
Sudeley Castle and Gardens is full of beauty, history and momentous intellect. Even when you first drive onto the property, you drive along a long gravel path where the incredible castle is hidden behind the trees. I can only imagine the horses and carriages that carried our past kings and queens – from Richard III to Elizabeth I – along this very same road for glorious parties that lasted entire weekends. Of course, there is so much more history there; a total of over a thousand years. It is a place of tourism where we can learn about pieces of England’s past; a wedding venue for those who want a spectacular backdrop and a home to its current owners, Lady Ashcombe and her family.
I am a complete history nerd; not so much in terms of retaining information about a place, but rather I adore stepping foot into a place that is significant in the past and the present. To think that I saw objects such as love letters, handwritten by Katherine Parr to Thomas Seymour and the dress Elizabeth I was christened in is astounding. To walk along the floor that kings have walked along just gives me chills and I could go on and on and say that in a hundred different ways until you tell me to shut up because you get it – I’m very excited about stepping foot on the same floors and breathing the same air as royalty as old as 1000 years. There have also been ghost sightings along the stairwells which never fails to pique my interest.
From a blogger perspective, it is a pretty magical place to capture incredible photos of ruins and original stonework as well as a beautiful backdrop for all of the outfit photos. I made sure I wore the best outfit of the weekend on the day I went to visit Sudeley Castle because I wanted the best photos for it. As soon as I heard the word castle, I was planning the outfit. I’ll admit that. And, you know what? We had so much fun taking photos – we being Warren and I aka “Instagram boyfriend”. I’m not sure he’ll love the term, but this is part of what he signed up for. We hid in hedges, spun and spiralled in fields, played peek-a-boo from behind crumbling stones. It may have been my favourite part of the entire day, and it really didn’t feel like work because we had fun with it. I took photos of him too. I swear.
I want to visit more places like Sudeley Castle; places that are full of character and have a magnificent past. I want to explore and fill my head with more knowledge about this country and who did what where. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! Like I said at the beginning of this post, travel doesn’t have to be jetting off into the sky to land in a far-flung destination; it can be exploring a new part of the countryside that you haven’t visited before. It is cheaper and just as fun and intriguing.
Have you visited any English castles? Are you a bit of a history buff and enjoy getting lost in the past too?
Love, Faye xo