No Ordinary Castle

hever castle

You know how a photo can stir up such intense emotion inside of you? Just one look and you are transported back in time to a moment, a feeling or a place. If it is of a person you love especially someone who may not be here anymore the feelings can be even stronger, so much so you feel it in the pit of your stomach or in the inner depths of your heart.

I look at my children and I feel the love I have for them in my heart, its a warm feeling sometimes making me laugh, sometimes making me cry, but it is an intense feeling all the same. I enjoy them as much as I physically and possibly can throughout the day. By the time the evening comes and they go to sleep I reflect, always. Its just something I can’t help but do. I do this even more so when I blog. Even more so when I write things down and remember, and when I edit the photos I have taken from our adventures or days at home.

In these moments of reflection I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. I feel I have achieved something I would never have done so if I never had my children. I feel enriched with life, and extreme amounts of gratitude for what I have with these two beautiful bundles. I promise to never take this role for granted.

hever castle

When we planned to visit Hever Castle I had every intention of having the best day and part of that for me is capturing it all, so that I can take it all home with me and remind myself of all the happiness that went on in our day. And I did.

I have just finished editing all our photos and they are beautiful. Beautiful to me just because they are my children and I am biased. I am by no means an expert just an amateur lover of photography if I am completely honest.

So when we arrived we walked into the grounds and as always even so when I was 15 years old when my mum first brought me here, I was taken aback by the beautiful green life engulfing me.

hever castle

Although the castle is a short walk from the entrance it took us over thirty minutes as you know what children are like. They cannot just walk somewhere they have to investigate, to explore and to touch everything they see. They are very visual and perceptive (something us adults tend to forget to be) and so as we walked I let them explore, touch the plants and smell the flowers. I let them watch the water trickling down from the rockery and I watched them run towards the ducks. They stood on the bridge and watched the ducks with great intent for a long time. My children definitely have a love for all animals which makes me so happy.

hever castle

When we arrived at the castle there was Anne Boylen dressed in her red and black gown. Archie was very taken by her and held her hand and gave a very shy look. The whole way around the castle he asked about the queen. When we came to the staircase he didn’t forget to tell me that the queen walked up here too. We even had to lift him up to the windows so he could see the queen. It was rather special and lovely.

hever castle

When I walked around the castle, probably being my third or fourth time in my short life I felt so lucky to be able to see it all again. There is just something about being older and seeing things with different eyes. The furniture and interior decor was just beautiful. Whomever decided to keep Hever alive and to open it to the public, thank you. It is just the most beautiful place. I have had a love affair with Hever for as long as I can remember. 

There was also a little workshop open where the children could make their own bird feeder or bird box. The children really wanted to do this and couldn’t wait to have a turn. We had to wait 15 minutes or so for the next session and Archie just couldn’t wait to get in and start using the hammer.

hever castle

hever castle

hever castle

We also visited the adventure playground, with a huge wooden castle, zip wire, swings and so much more. The kids had a ball and completely wore me out. Archie had me running left, right and centre!

When I edited this particular photo, it was one of the last ones I did. I had to take a moment to really savour it all. Our day, my children, the happiness all wrapped into one is  my little piece of heaven.

hever castle

My two crazy children don’t know how much joy they bring me, Archie’s baby teeth and scrunched up face makes me smile. In fact it melts my heart, and Sophia’s eyes looking straight at me I know this girl so well and I have seen her grow into a beautiful young five year old right before me, and it has been magical.

The most amazing thing is that this photo was a moment, just a few seconds in our life, and looking back over it tonight makes me tear up, because it pulls the strings in my heart that remind me how lucky I am. To watch them grow every single day is not only a miracle to me but it is a gift.

I love them so much. They show me what life is really about, they may have taken every last bit of energy out of me visiting Hever Castle, but they are absolutely worth it.

To see them running around and watching them explore not only reminds me of my childhood, but of the feelings I felt growing up. I remember the feeling of the wind in my hair as I ran bare foot on the grass and feeling it press against my feet, the warm feeling of being so out of breath but so full of happiness laughing with my friends.

My children remind me of what is important, about my life thus far, about values and meaningful relationships, deep conversations and kindred souls. They remind me to look for the beauty in every day and love as much as I can.

hever castle

They picked me and I am forever grateful. I am just going to take this moment, the feelings tied into it and the photo, and wrap it up carefully with my most favourite wrapping paper and ribbon and I am going to put it in my pocket. It will stay there for when I or someone I may meet needs a little happiness.

When I do, I will get it out and hand it over, watch them unwrap it and smile. For I will know that a little piece of my heaven and a little piece of the beauty I see in my life will light so bright something familiar in their life.

Like a mirror my happiness will be theirs.

We had a lovely day at Hever Castle and we cant wait to visit again. Thank you for having us!

Super Busy Mum


  1. February 18, 2016 / 8:49 am

    What fun you had! You took some gorgeous photos too xx

  2. February 18, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Looks like a stunning place to visit – mine would be won over by the adventure playground

  3. February 18, 2016 / 10:44 am

    Oh I’ve only ever seen Hever Castle in the dark as friends of ours live close by. It looks beautiful and like a great place to visit with children. That first photo is simply stunning with the sunlight streaming through behind. Beautiful. I love that Anne Boleyn was there as well and that there were children’s activities to break up the day.

    • Tanita
      February 18, 2016 / 10:45 pm

      Thank you Laura. Yes it was lovely they really enjoyed the bird box making xx

  4. February 18, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Such a lovely post! It sounds and looks amazing 🙂 What beautiful photographs and the sun was shining too! yay! Jess xx

    • Tanita
      February 18, 2016 / 10:46 pm

      Thank you Jess, yes we were very lucky the sun was out xx

  5. February 18, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    Love the idea of the birdbox and feeder session. Creativity outdoors.

    • Tanita
      February 18, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Yes it was great indeed! Really made their day all that more special x

  6. February 18, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    What a beautiful post (and beautiful children!). I often sit and look at my children when we are sleeping and reflect on how lucky I am and I also love to look back at photos from days out and holidays! x

  7. February 18, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. It’s so important to stop and recognise how wonderful our children are amidst the day to day chaos.

    • Tanita
      February 18, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you Emma I do completely agree with you x

  8. February 18, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    It all look so beautiful and gorgeous photos. Looks like a fab day out. x

  9. February 18, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Awww it looks like you had loads of fun and you got lots of really gorgeous photos too! I love the photo of the two of them on the bridge

  10. February 18, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Such a lovely post and your photos are beautiful, but so are your words. It is great to read a post about appreciating what you have in your children. I spend so much time thinking about what I do wrong as a mum and how I should be better, it’s nice to be reminded to just stop and appreciate what we’ve got sometimes.x

    • Tanita
      February 18, 2016 / 10:36 pm

      Thank you so much Natalie! Aw I know we can be terribly hard on ourselves we shouldn’t be xx

  11. February 19, 2016 / 4:27 am

    Aww what a lovely post and so true. I feel the same when I look at my children. That black and white picture of your daughter kissing her brother is so adorable. One to be framed. The castle looks great too x

  12. February 21, 2016 / 7:37 am

    We keep meaning to go to Hever as it’s so close to us. But never do. I must make sure we do it this year!

  13. February 21, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    You took some really lovely pictures and you’re so right pictures can evoke emotions from deep within especially of people who are not around anymore or of people you love

  14. February 22, 2016 / 9:23 am

    What lovely pictures, I love the idea of being able to make a bird feeder as well as explore the beautiful surroundings x

  15. February 22, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Beautiful photos, looks like a wonderful day out, with loads of lovely sights to take in!xx

  16. February 22, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    You chose a lovely day to go, the photos are lovely I’m getting really excited about spring being round the corner now! I loved your blog of the day too.

  17. February 24, 2016 / 9:39 pm

    I can’t believe I live so close and yet have never been to Hever Castle! It looks so beautiful. We’ve added it to our ‘places to go’ list for the spring. X

  18. February 28, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Love this post, what a fun day out and those photos are just gorgeous. My favourite is without a doubt the squidgy face kisses and giggles from the little one. Too cute! Thanks so much for linking with #DevelopingLife

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