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While the boys in Ramsgate were out to sea racing their hearts out this past summer, a friend and I drove down the coast just south of Deal in Kent. I thought it was the perfect place to recall on these last days of winter.

Dramatic skies, but perfect touring weather. Photo by me.

Dramatic skies, but perfect touring weather. Photo by me.

It was a short drive from Ramsgate, and after a short stroll on the pebble beach…

The beach across the road from Walmer Castle. Photo by me.

The beach across the road from Walmer Castle. Photo by me.

… we found the castle. ┬áIt was a bit of a strange tour.

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The actual castle was built during the reign of Henry the VIII. But the interiors had all been renovated to suit a more modern Duke of Wellington who entertained Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother when he held the post of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports for 23 years.

The centuries old castle. Photo by me.

The centuries old castle. Photo by me.

We found it rather dark and gloomy and quickly retreated to the more inviting gardens.

Walmer Gardens. Photo by me.

Walmer Gardens. Photo by me.

The artichokes attracted a constant flotilla of bees. Photo by me.

The artichokes attracted a constant flotilla of bees. Photo by me.

The kitchen garden as we see it now, dates back to 1725, although it is likely that fruit and vegetables have been grown there for at least three hundred years when it was a garrison.

The kitchen garden was a favorite. Photo by me

The kitchen garden was a favorite. Photo by me

Onions all lined up in a row. Photo by me.

Onions all lined up in a row. Photo by me.

It was the perfect day to explore a garden.

Runner beans in the garden. Photo by me.

Runner beans in the garden. Photo by me.