13th century country house with unlikely backdrop to events that shaped Britain's monarchy
Originally constructed with a walled bailey and a gatehouse, this defensive castle was build around 1270 .It also served as a childhood home to Anne Boleyn ,prominent Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 (for just 1000 days) and second wife of King Henry VIII - the country house has formed an unlikely backdrop of varied tumultuous events (including her execution for treason) which shaped the English reformation and Church of England.
Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant from Anne's sister.
Fast-forward 700 years, there is a host of activities and attractions that you can choose on a day-out including boating, archery, lake walk, martial game of jousting, miniature houses or if you fancy finding your way through a maze - no wonder it has been named as best family day-out in UK Heritage awards.
Best enjoyed : A day-out with your mates or throw a kids party over a sunny weekend
Distance from London : 39 miles by car
Free parking plus accessible parking , Ticketed entry to Castle and the grounds, Audio guides available, Cafe & Gift shop, Luxurious B&B for stay, Dog-friendly (except castle, gardens, cafe and few areas)
Must-see : Castle gardens and kids water maze
On our visit we took a stroll in the stunning castle grounds admiring the romantic double-moated castle, and the various statutes in the gardens. The best spot for a picnic is the popular yet unusual water maze which had kids (and unwary visitor like me) squealing with delight, as they balance themselves on the concentric stepping stones with (hidden) water jets - or if you are looking to stay cool! Visit the official website to explore more
Perfect setting for a day-out for a leisurely walk around or even a perhaps more active engagement with the attractions and the events - all in all a delightful experience packaged into one!