Reflections on The Anne Boleyn Experience 2010

Posted By on May 25, 2010

Me and Anne

I’ve now crashed back down to earth with a resounding thud after an idyllic week at Hever Castle last week. It is so hard to put my thoughts and feelings into words but last week really was a dream come true.

As a Brit, I’ve been to London before and I grew up near castles and Tudor attractions BUT there is nothing like spending a few days with other Tudor history fans and sleeping at Hever Castle. To be able to go for a walk around the grounds before breakfast, gaze at the castle without it being surrounded by tons of tourists and chat into the night about Anne Boleyn and Tudor history, without people’s eyes glazing over, was an incredible experience. I know it sounds silly but I really did feel Anne’s presence – not a ghostly presence, but more of a feeling of Anne smiling down at us and being pleased that we were following her words “And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best”. Spending those few days focused on Anne and walking in her footsteps just blew my mind.

Here are my highlights of the week:-

  • Touching Anne Boleyn’s memorial tile at the Tower of London with my own hand and placing flowers from all of us at The Anne Boleyn Files there as a testimony to how much she means to us.
  • Meeting 19 wonderful people – I love you all!
  • Having Hever Castle as my backyard
  • Being in the castle by ourselves at night, eating in Anne’s dining room and being surrounded by things which would have been familiar to her.

If you came on the tour then please add your highlights as comments below. If you didn’t make it then please browse the photos on our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/theanneboleynfiles/

Next year, I am hoping to do two tours – one in May 2011, which I will be launching soon, and one in July 2011. I need two fixes of Hever next year!!

P.S. I’ve just listed the jewelry that I launched at Hever Castle – you can see a set for each of the six wives plus a Princess Mary Set and the Pembroke Set at https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/products-page/tudor-jewellery-accessories/the-hever-collection-2010/, I got to wear it all at Hever!

21 thoughts on “Reflections on The Anne Boleyn Experience 2010”

  1. erin says:

    Claire – I’m a broken record but thanks again for posting all your experiences and making us all feel like we were right there with you.
    I can’t believe I get to go to Hever in just a couple of weeks! Wowie.
    I also think it would be really fun for the members of The Anne Boleyn Files to bring a little Anne Boleyn around with them wherever they go and take pictures with her in unusual places and send them to you to post here! Any time you go on vacation, bring a little Anne Boleyn and snap her pic! 🙂
    Erin

  2. Carrie says:

    Thanks Claire for posting the wonderful pictures! I was unable to go this year because I had a baby on April 15th. Last week when I was browsing through the pictures, I jokingly said to my husband “Me and Christian(my son) could have gone! Even though he’s only 5 weeks old, it still would have been a great learning experience!” I hope to be able to go on the trip someday!

  3. Claire says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your son, Carrie, my son is also called Christian. I hope to meet you one day x

  4. Marikae says:

    Thanks so much for posting…here in the US, when you mention Anne Boleyn, people look at you with a look of puzzlement…or they say “Oh from that movie..The Other Boleyn Girl”…for us US fans, you have brought us closer to Anne and Hever.thanks. Oh, and hopefully I will be in the UK during your July tour next year. We are planning on a castle tour with my kids, just not exactly sure of the dates! That would be awesome. (I’ll dump the kids and husband and come by myself!)

  5. mickey mayhew says:

    has anyone been to Blickling Hall where Anne was born? I’m going on my own pilgrimage next week, there’s a statue, just for starters…

  6. JaneGS says:

    Sounds like an incredible experience–it was fun to go along vicariously and maybe someday I will get to be there in the flesh!

  7. julie b says:

    These are wonderful pictures Claire, it was nice to see some of the Anne Boleyn fans in the pictures. I bet it was neat to have a face with the names. What a nice experience it must have been.

    As I was looking through the pictures, on the outside of Hever Castle, I imagined Anne’s shadow must have cast on that same wall as she walked by or played there.

    Was everything pretty much original from Anne’s time? Like the flooring and bridge???

  8. thanks Claire, for posting all of those pictures. I wish I could’ve been there. It sounds like you had an awesome time. I hope to actually meet you one day…

  9. Tudorrose says:

    I wish I could have gone to Hever castle, It would have been so interesting to see, Ah, well perhaps next year maybe. I would have loved to have explored the place to its fullest, Looking at all and everything my eyes came across, For example Anne Boleyns bedhead and the golden carriage clock that King Henry VIII had given her as a present.

  10. Great minds think alike! I was just about to write my post on the highlights of last week. Thank you again for putting together such a magical experience. It was so awesome getting to meet you and Tim, and everyone. I totally miss Hever. Planning on definitely attending next year. Also want to try and go to Sudeley Castle where Anne and Henry stayed in 1536 and where Catherine Parr is buried. Found out you can actually stay there!

  11. Michelle says:

    Wow, wow, wow! What an exciting time you all must have had!

    Marikae, I know what you mean – most people have no knowledge of Anne at all. I’ve been interested in her since I was very young (I don’t know why, just always have been).

    Anyway, I hope someday I can go on a tour, also. I’m just waiting on my ship to come in (or the lottery!).

  12. Amber says:

    I’m glad you all had a great time! I really hope to go next year!

  13. Nancy says:

    The tour was a trip of a lifetime! I plan on coming next year, too. I really enjoyed dressing up as Anne for dinner! You could tour all of the places that we went to on your own, but it would never be the same as staying at Hever! To Mickey, who’s planning on going to Blickling Hall: I was there several years ago. The present house is a Jacobean house, not the original that Anne was born in. I believe there may be some parts of the original incorporated into the present house, but not too much. Near the Hall is a small church where members of the Boleyn family are buried. There was an Anne Boleyn there, but of course not “our” Anne. I believe she lived in the 14th C.

  14. rosemary says:

    Just found your site..looks wonderful! As I am in love with the show The Tudors on showtime, interested in Anne and Henry’s history. Your jewelry looks amazing as well. I will have to look around here for a bit, I can tell !!

  15. Anne Barnhill says:

    Oh Claire,
    It was so good to see your picture–I feel I know you so well as we share such a love of Anne B and all things Tudor. I would give ANYTHING to be part of your tour next year. Maybe I can figure out to do that–maybe my book will do really well and I can hop across the pond!
    Thank you once again for sharing everything! This is really so awesome–I’m just delighted to have found this site.

  16. Julia says:

    Hi Claire! Congratulations for the nice trip and the beatiful pictures!! I am from Argentina. I would to visit England one day and visit Hever Castle!!
    Best regards,

    Julia.

  17. SarahD says:

    It looks like you all had an absolutely amazing time. I’m sure Anne would have been proud 🙂

    Sarah

  18. monique says:

    it was just wonderfull to look at all those pictures you made of that fantastic experience.
    I checked them every day and was dreaming that i was there with you.
    i am from holland and i really hope that i can come next year.. i hope so..

  19. Sharon Miner says:

    OMG! I wish I could have been there!! The pictures were amazing! Thank you so much for sharing them with all of us. If I were ever going to get married, Hever Castle would be my dream site for a wedding!

  20. Shari-Lyn says:

    I wish a could have been there too. Walking on the grounds, eating at her table, sleeping in the castle. That must have been an amazing experience. I hope one day I can go on one of your tours. What an amazing website you have.

    Shari-Lyn from Québec, Canada

  21. Jennifer Salazar says:

    Claire,

    I unfortunately will not be able to attend next years tour 🙁 soooo sad. But after 2011’s tour would you possibly be having a 2012?? That would be great. A friend of mine and I have already planned on it..lol I have been wanting from the time that these tours started to go and I am damned and determined to get there..lol I need my real-life fix too!!! Thank you so much for your pictures and stories, it makes me kick myself in the pants and the determination sets in even stronger..lol Have a great weekend!

    Sincerely, Jennifer Salazar

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