Saturday, 24 July 2010


My two began their summer holiday a week ago and on Wednesday we took a trip to Hatfield House. We're not too far from Hatfield but apart from a visit when I was younger, have never been.

Hatfield House is Jacobean built between 1607-1611 and has heavy associations with Queen Elizabeth I. It has been in the Cecil family for around 400 years and the family still lives there, so only part of the house is open to the public.

Painting of the house on the wall of the dining area.

Photography was not permitted inside the house, but I managed to sneak this pic through the window. The long driveway is not open to the general public, but can you imagine a cloaked rider galloping full pelt towards the house?

Inside the house we saw a pair of gloves and silk stockings owned by Elizabeth, the library which holds around 10.000 books, and the famous 'rainbow' portrait of Elizabeth:

Elizabeth spent much of her childhood in the 'house' (palace) that stood on the grounds previously. I have been told she was sent here by her father, Henry VIII, whenever he thought she was too outspoken. It was here that Elizabeth was told her sister, Mary, was dead and that she was now Queen.

Some of the gardens are laid out just as they were four hundred years ago:

The gardens were full of flowers but they were obviously suffering from the dry weather and didn't look their glorious best. This one looked quite spectacular:

And some of the trees so old and gnarled, they had to be propped up with sticks. I'm not sure what this tree is, but I managed to find some windfall seed pods which I'll plant to see what happens:

(view of the house without car park in foreground!)

(cool and shady, eh?)

Even the drains had a certain charm:

Of course there was a gift shop, but also a wonderful shop that sold, not only gifts but antiques too. Much time was spent browsing in this one, I can assure you!


  1. What a wonderful trip back in time, Andi! I've always wanted to visit Hatfield...such an interesting history there! Loved your beautiful photos--wish you were allowed to snap some inside!

    Enjoy your weekend!


  2. Thank you SO much for taking photos to share with us (sneaky you)! What a georgeous place. The drain is one of my favorites!
    BTW, I really love your blog banner with the bike. Did you design that? It is just beautiful and the bike is great!
    Again, thanks for taking us with you on your walk about. I had a nice time!

  3. This looks like a fascinating place to visit, great photos thanks for sharing.
    Ann x

  4. A wonderful place to visit..and thankyou for 'taking' us there!

    Bellaboo :0)

  5. This took me back, I went on a school trip aged about 8 years old. I was very dissapointed that we weren't allowed in the maze!

  6. Thanks for the blast from the past - the last time I was there was as a child!x

  7. oh I just SO want to be that cloaked rider!

    Thankyou for such beautiful photos, I feel like I've been there (and managed to drink 2 cups of tea at the same time!)

  8. Love the painting of the house on the dining room wall! Looks like a great place to visit.

  9. What a dreamy place! Castles in England are just spectacular! I would have been in my glory in the antique shop too. BTW I laughed too when I saw my phone in my coffee!


  10. What a great place to visit. I love to go there....Kathy

  11. Ohhh... I would have loved to have visited this place. I simply cannot imagine the wealth people had--no lacking for any material thing. Thanks for showing the beautiful photos and for sneaking in that view of the drive!

  12. Hi- I'm a new reader! Thank you for taking us along on the tour. These pictures are beautiful. I love the manicured gardens!


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