When Marie, our friend from the U.S., came over on her annual trip to this country in early May I forgot to blog about it so when we revisited one of our previous venues today I decided to combine both visits into one post.

We revisited Hampton Court. If you are thinking of Hampton Court Palace in London then I should point out that it wasn’t that Hampton Court but if you are thinking of Hampton Court Castle in Herefordshire then, yes, it was that one.

We first visited Hampton Court Castle at the beginning of May this year and we were accompanied by Marie who was on her annual Great Britain trip. This time, in the middle of August, we were on our own.

This is the front of Hampton Court Castle and it is not a real castle but a stately home. It was, however, built in the 15th century.

Visitors see the house by guided tour only at set times. When we went here with Marie we didn’t go into the house but just toured the gardens.

This next picture, as you may guess, is the Library.

However, what you may not guess is that the part of the bookcase facing us in the corner is a secret door.

The section immediately to the left of the corner is the secret door. What gives it away is the little door handle on the right-hand edge just below centre and the fact that the ‘books’ are an amazingly good fit.

This next picture was on our first trip with Marie and you can see Amanda and Marie discussing what mischief they can get up to. This part of the Walled Garden is the first area reached after passing through the entrance.

The next two pictures show the Dutch Garden. The first picture is in early May when Marie was here, you can see both Amanda and Marie in the picture, and the second picture is on our recent trip in the middle of August when the potted plants have developed and was also taken slightly later in the day.

In another part of the garden, but still water related, are the Island Pavilions. The next picture shows one of the two pavilions seen from inside the other. The picture following shows the source of the water where the water bubbles up in the centre.

We next found ourselves in the Sunken Garden with its pool and waterfall. The path, from which the next photograph is taken, loops round to our left and up to the level of the wooden fence. The dark space behind the fence is the entrance to a large tunnel which goes underground to under the base of the Gothic Tower at the centre of the Yew Maze.

Having arrived at that wooden fence the aforementioned tunnel, shown in the second picture, is on our immediate left. On our first visit with Marie we groped our way through the completely dark passage to the far end but this time I used the torch facility on my smartphone and the photograph was taken using flash.

I don’t know how but we completely missed the other passage. Looking at the picture above the photograph of the tunnel you will see a small, narrow, dark opening at the end of the fence. That narrow passage drops a little, care required, and goes behind the waterfall as shown in the picture below.

There is quite a bit of splashing from the waterfall and I didn’t want to get my expensive camera wet so moving smartly was the order of the day. Unfortunately in the dim light I missed seeing the small puddle on the far side of the waterfall which turned out to be deeper than the thickness of the soles on my sandals. Result – one wet foot.

We did eventually arrive at the base of the Gothic Tower and climbed to the top.

The view from the top is quite good showing the ‘castle’ the island pavilions and a general overview of the walled garden.

Directly below us was the Yew Maze.

There was plenty of colour, although in our May visit a lot of the plants had yet to grow and in our August visit some of the borders were looking tired, and this gives a small sample of some of the flowers.

There is a lot to see here at different times of year so perhaps we may come again.