Tuesday, 8 April 2014
In another attempt to not let my dissertations drive me completely insane, I went to Kent this weekend for a few days of relaxation and fresh country air. Which inevitably led me to Knole Park in Sevenoaks.
Knole House is a grade 1 listed manor house and is one of the largest private houses in England with 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards. Originally built for Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the 1400s, it became the residence for many subsequent archbishops until it was taken away from Crammer by Henry VIII. Elizabeth I gave it to her cousin, Thomas Sackville whose descendants still live in it today, amassing in the meantime a huge amount of art and antique furniture.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to look around this stately home but I did have a wander through the beautiful 1000-acre park. What a beautiful place. I desperately needed to escape everyone and everything and this was just perfect for doing so. Although it was fairly busy on Saturday morning with plenty of dogwalkers and families around, there were long stretches where you simply wouldn't see anyone and it felt like you were completely alone. I loved it...the views were stunning, the walk refreshing and I became strangely excited about seeing deer. Coming from the countryside originally, you see deer fairly often but because I am short sighted I always ALWAYS missed them. However, it would be difficult to miss these. They were casually just chilling throughout the park, keeping a watchful eye that no one came too close, but otherwise not caring about the people who gawked at them.
Although it would definitely not be everybody's cup of tea, I would recommend everyone to visit this place. It was the perfect way to clear my head and is a very quintessentially English way to spend a day. On top of that, it has reminded me that however much I do adore my home in a busy urban town, a little piece of my heart always remains firmly within the southern countryside.