This time in England we stayed with friends in Sevenoaks, a little town 25 minutes with the train from central London – a place better known as one of those old-fashioned little places that investment bankers working in London love to live it (meaning that any detached house of a decent size is probably going to hurt your wallet a lot).
There are really a couple of streets filled with little shops and restaurants, and true to typical English villages very little parking. There are also some of the best schools in the whole country – I think Sevenoaks School is still ranked no 1 and there are kids boarding there from over 30 countries or so. This school is in the middle of the city, right next to the Knole Park.
I love Knole Park and kids love it even more. It is a country estate and one of the largest in the country – and also something peculiar called a “calendar house”. This means that the house has 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards. The house is surrounded by a 1000-acre deer park, and access to the park itself is free. The park has a beautiful landscape of old oaks and other greenery, and naturally all those deers roaming about (sometimes a bit too aggressively if I may say). The history of the house is long and interesting, and despite the house now being in the care of the National Trust, the Sackville-West family still lives there and cares for their private gardens (and they also still own most of the deer park). Sometimes they provide tours to their private gardens, but I have never managed to get on any of those tours.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention – just like everything else, the name Sevenoaks actually have some meaning behind it: it is derived from Saxon word “Seouenaca”, the name given to a small chapel near seven oaks trees in Knole Park around AD 800 – pretty impressive I think!
Sevenoaks High Street (main street of the town) on a Saturday morning
Part of the large Knole house
Private entrance to the gardens of Lord Sackville
Mommy look at those things…
Yes darling, the Bambi is called deer. Can you count how many you can see?
Deer spotting on their way to visit the main house