Camping in Hadleigh castle.

August 21, 2014

I've always known that I'm 'chronically blessed' (I'd count my blessings but I have only so many fingers and toes) and that my life is somewhat charmed. My rose tinted life was especially evident yesterday, on my birthday, by a) the flood of well-wishes I received despite making myself very hard to get hold of and b) being asked, constantly, 'What do you want for your birthday?' and never having answer for anyone. True, I have a shopping list as long as my arm and I want many things; all of them expensive, immoral, addictive, impossible etc. but when it comes down to it I don't truly want anything. Nothing especially material anyway! I think, that in my old age, anything that I can buy for myself isn't especially exciting for me (Don't especially like clothes or cars, and can't afford private islands yet, but property...! I love buying apartments and doing them up) and what I'm really after are experiences.

"What do you want to do for your birthday, darling?" asked Henry, "Shall I take you camping in the ruins of an English Heritage castle perched on a hill, overlooking miles of Essex marshes and out to the Estuary?" Oh, Henry my love nobody understands my thirst for adventure like you do! "And then I'll take you to stay in a tree house...and a yurt...and..." Alright, slow down, one outdoor bed at a time. So the day before my birthday (Tuesday!) we packed up and made the ascend to Hadleigh Castle.

Henry, ever the Shire horse, carried all our kit (that he bought especially for this trip, thank you my love); tent, sleeping bags, creature comforts, lanterns, rifle, and our provisions which he insisted must be tinned food. I carried my yellow Wireless Charging toolkit (very kindly provided for me by Nokia) that matched my yellow sundress.

Hunter boots, RHS Collection / Barbour Border

Henry insisted that he was considered an average shot at military training but I thought he was really quite good, he never missed a target and his shots were usually close to each other. I on the other hand, couldn't hit the side of a house if my life depended on it, there is a reason why I am always the designated photographer at a shoot---the only thing I can aim and shoot is a camera. In semi-automatic. 

"Built after 1215 during the reign of Henry III by Hubert de Burgh, Hadleigh Castle was surrounded by parkland and had an important economic, as well as defensive role. Hadleigh was significantly expanded by Edward III, who turned it into a grander property, designed to defend against potential French attack as well as provide the king with a convenient private residence close to London. Built on a geologically unstable hill of London clay, the castle has often been subject to subsidence; this, combined with the sale of its stonework in the 16th century has led to it now being ruined. The castle is now preserved by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument." Source.
Today, Hadleigh Castle is surrounded by 19th-century Salvation Army farm and Hadleigh Country Park, and is a popular spot for mountain bikers, dog walkers, and recreation. Taking no chances, Henry took up arms from the castle's windows and kept watch for French invaders.

Camping in Hadleigh Castle was interesting enough. It was my first time camping in the English countryside and my second time ever (the first time I went 'camping' was when I was 12, on an organised trip by the country club. We camped on the golf course and had butlers). There are too many photos which I shall save for another time, including my valiant attempts to bring home entertainment to the great outdoors with the help of the new Nokia Lumia 930 and Wireless Charging. But that's a story for another time, now I must pick the grass out of my hay and see what lovely outdoorsy surprise Henry has planned for me. x 


  1. Happy Birthday!! What a way to spend it!

    Rosie xx

  2. Happy Birthday! x
    Camping for birthday, sounds like hell to me! Glad you had fun!

    1. Hahaha it was quite an ordeal especially when it got colder. Thank you Amber! x