Helen’s Visit To Berkhamstead

Nearly everyday at work i pass through Berkhamsted station. Berkhamsted station is a lovely Victorian station, on one side there lies the ruins of Berkhamsted Castle and on the other the grand union canal.
Berkhamsted reminds me of a chocolate box cover as it doesn’t matter what season it is it always looks enchanting.
This is Helen’s final visit with me before she moves on to pastures new. Helen travelled by train to Berkhamsted and of course she went first class.
Helen thought the train was great fun, she got quite excited and jumped on the table before gazing out at the window shouting faster,faster.
We got off the train at Berkhamsted station and headed towards the castle ruins.
At first glance you may be forgiven for thinking that Berkhamsted castle was just a pile of old ruins.However, the castle is one of the oldest motte and bailey castles in England!

The story begins with Duke William of Normandy. After the defeat of Harold at the battle of Hastings on 14th October 1066, William marched with his army through southern England, pillaging as he went. Crossing the Thames at Wallingford, he reached Berkhamsted.
Here he was met by Archbishop Ealdred, the Bishops of Worcester and Hereford, Earls Eadwin and Morcar, and the chief men of London, who swore allegiance to him, and offered him the crown.William proceeded to London where he was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066.
Helen and i started our exploration of the castle ruins.
Above Helen is not finding the seating area to comfortable.Helen said she wanted to climb the big hill called the motte and on the way we found an old well, which would have been used to provide fresh water for the castle inhabitants.
As we walked towards the motte we could see where the moat had been, once filled with water and Helen also enjoyed climbing up the castle walls.
The nearer we got to the motte the higher it became. It must have been a great look out post in its day. Helen assured me that she could make it to the top,so off we set.
As Helen bounded up the stairs she shouted “come on slow coach”
We finally reached the top and the views were spectacular!
It was time to tackle the descend, which i must say for someone who is scared of heights,seemed like a long way down.
Once again on firm ground Helen did a little more exploring in the castle kitchens.
Helen and i made our way out of the castle passing the custodians cottage on the way.
Unfortunatley the visitor’s centre is only open at the weekends so there was nowhere to buy a souvenir of our trip to Berkhamsted, not to be deterred i decided to look in the town. We walked over the grand Union canal via a little bridge and came across a curiously named house.
A little further down the road was an antique shop, surely i might find a souvenir in here.
Nothing Sasha sized here I’m afraid, but i was lucky enough to find a very small pair of pinking shears, just what i have been looking for, for ages. So our search for a souvenir continued. A little further up the road we came across Berkhamsted’s private school, which dates back to Henry the V111 and a lovely church.
After a bit more walking around we finally found something for Helen to have as a souvenir from her visit to Berkhamsted. A packed lunch and an English phone box.
We headed back to the train station just as the train was arriving and went home to pack.
Its time for Helen to say goodbye, it’s been great having her stay and she is now off to meet her next host.
Who will it be and where will she go, well you will just have to wait and see!!
“Bon Voyage Helen”

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