And We're Off!

Much to my surprise, when we got in last night, John started moseying
about on the internet and found a hotel in Folkestone, and promptly booked us in for 2 nights!
We were up at the crack of dawn to set off, and had decided to go straight to Leeds Castle, as it's on the way down.
I have been wanting to visit this castle for a very long time, as it looks absolutely beautiful.  It certainly didn't disappoint.

Here are some pics:

What a spectacular place!


The Gatehouse




Ooh, look, Henners! Long time, no see!


The whole place was fascinating.  So many kings have owned the castle down through the centuries, then it was bought by Lady Baillie, who seems to have been quite a character.  Her private rooms were exactly like the ones in the Villa Ephrusi de Rothschild, and as lady Baillie lived in France as a child, it wouldn't surprise me if they were contemporaties.
Lady Baillie died in 1974 (after 3 marriages!) and the Castle was put in trust for the nation.  It really is a fabulous place.
The castle originally belonged to a long line of Queens, starting with Queen Eleanor of Castile, then Queen Margaret of France (1299), Queen Isabella (1327), Queen Anne of Bohemia (1382), Queen Joan of Navarre (1403) and Queen Catherine de Valois (1422), wife of Henry V.  The history of this place is absolutely fascinating.

The gardens are lovely as well, and there is a maze, but we went for lunch in a cafe there, and then it started raining, so we came back on the little train. We had a fabulous day, and I would definitely go again.
We set off on the rest of our journey down to Folkestone.  I have to say, the Satnav actually behaved herself, and we found it quite easily.  It's a huge white building, designed to look like a liner, which it definitely does. We settled into our room and then went for an explore along the seafront.

This is the sight that greets you as you step out of the hotel door:

I do like to be beside the seaside!  I don't even necessarily have to get in it, I just like to know it's there.
Came back and went down for dinner, which was lovely.  It's not a holiday if you still have to cook, is it?!  I've bought Georgia Garlic with me and am taking photos of her with each meal, which isn't embarrassing in the slightest!
That's it for today, as we're out again tomorrow.
Back soon.
Jane x

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