Our work at the Visitors' Centre doesn't leave us much free time. We try to take a day or two with family when they visit, and once in awhile we take off for an afternoon to run errands or take a driving lesson (required before you can take the driving test for your British drivers' license). This summer, one of our favorite places to visit has been Hever Castle. It's only a 20 minute drive east of the temple and the drive is half the fun. We wind around all over the countryside on little roads that are literally paved cow paths from the past. Some are so narrow that if a car comes from the opposite direction one car has to pull over so the other car can scrape by. Nevertheless, the scenery is breathtaking this time of year. Sometimes, on P-Day, we take a picnic lunch to the castle and just spend some time sitting by the picturesque lake for an hour and feeding the ducks.
Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, one of King Henry VIII's wives. Henry VIII often visited there and brought his entourage of 250 servants with him when he came. After he had Anne put to death, King Henry gave the castle to one of his later wives. Nice guy.... Regardless of the history, the castle is in a serene setting, with gorgeous gardens. It was purchased and restored and improved by the Waldorf-Astor family during the 1900's.
A few weeks ago, I took some photos. They really don't do justice to the magnificence of the English countryside or the beauty of the castle grounds, but here are a few of the best:
|Walking across the bridge at Hever Castle|
|Hever Castle in all its glory|
|One of the ornamental gardens|
|Don - out standing in his field|
|The private lake|
|What a view...|
|Leaving the rose gardens|
|Walking toward the jousting field|
|Is there anything more serene than this?|
Even though we love to explore this part of England, there are weeks that we don't get off the temple grounds at all, except to do some grocery shopping. We're never bored, though. We are surrounded by beauty everywhere we look. Things are always changing on the temple property. Whether we are taking walks in the early morning, working in the Visitors' Centre, or heading over to the Mission Office for something we need, I am always grabbing my camera to capture a beautiful sight on the grounds. We never get tired of the splendor.
Here are a few photos I've taken on temple property with my trusty little point-and-shoot during the last month:
|Always a plane nearby....|
|Sometimes we wonder if pilots just want their own close-up |
view of the Angel Moroni and the temple grounds
|Near the David O. McKay oak|
|The view from our living room (here, it's a "lounge")|
|The Reflecting Pool|
|Pato and his growing family|
|Our home away from home.|
|Last Monday, as we were finishing an activity,|
we came outside and were greeted by this full rainbow.
Hooray for summer! ~Pat~