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“Fantastic place ”

Hever Castle & Gardens
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Hever
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the intriguing second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. The castle is a romantic double moated 13th-century castle which houses historic 16th-century portraits, paintings, furniture, tapestries and treasures. Comprehensive information on the history of Hever Castle can be found in the guide book and audio tours are available from the Hever Shop, Visitor Centre or castle entrance. Visitors can explore the magnificent gardens for all seasons which include Italian, Rose and Tudor gardens, topiary, yew maze and splashing water maze, or take a stroll around the informal areas of Sunday Walk and Anne Boleyn's Walk. Hever hosts a number of special events throughout the season including gardening events with the head gardener and his team. Family fun includes jousting tournaments each summer, one of our most popular events.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

I have always wanted to see Hever Castle since studying Tudor history at school. It is a beautiful place. It has been restored to its glory by the Astor family and as a result much of it is more modern than I expected. However I enjoyed seeing the early 20th century changes as well as the original Tudor parts of the building.
The gardens are huge with a gorgeous lake.
Allow plenty of time to see everything.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank janeysomerset1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"anne boleyn"
in 378 reviews
"water maze"
in 483 reviews
"astor family"
in 123 reviews
"childhood home"
in 138 reviews
"italian garden"
in 162 reviews
"audio guide"
in 76 reviews
"tudor history"
in 75 reviews
"change of clothes"
in 42 reviews
"large lake"
in 38 reviews
"adventure playground"
in 89 reviews
"yew maze"
in 86 reviews
"tudor times"
in 29 reviews
"rose garden"
in 82 reviews
"gardens are lovely"
in 34 reviews
"sunny day"
in 61 reviews
"rowing boat"
in 52 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 38 reviews
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372 - 376 of 2,983 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2018 via mobile

All I can say is wow. Been here a few times now. Bit long winded to get to but worth it. The castle is small but impressive. Steeped with history. You can go in as many times as you like. Best trip by far was the day before Christmas Eve. 12 days of Christmas trail in the woods. Carousel outside the castle , hot chocolate stalls plus restaurants. Fake snow falling in the castle yard as you wait in line, Christmas decor and trees everywhere. Fun games for young children, hall of mirrors. Husky foundation raising for charity at the opposite end. The dogs are just wonderful. The keepers let you stroke them but they are attached to leads . Gardens and lake are lit up like a fairy tail . Small shops to buy souvenirs with reasonable prices.

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank Tinkertash2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

An amaizing day out.
The inside castle is full of facts and interesting history , the garden at this time of year is just heavenly with all different colours around and the lake whit it's view is breathless.
We have an annual pass, but every time we go is different and beautiful.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank nazarica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018

I went here with the family today. It's situated in the Kent Countryside, about 15 miles from Chartwell House. Never Castle was previously owned by the Howard family in 16th century England and Anne Boleyn stayed here for some time during her Courtship with Henry VIII. Anne Of Cleeves also received this as a sort of divorce present from Henry after he described her as his Flanders Mare and could not bring himself to remain married to her.

There is ample parking outside and there were lots of families here for the annual Easter Egg hunt when we arrived. It's not cheap to enter, but because our daughter is a student at college she got in for a lower rate which saved us a couple of rounds. At the entrance thee is no pressure put on you to joint the National Trust or whoever owns this place now. You are given a guide of the castle and visitors can either just pay to see the gardens or see the castle too. Parts of the castle are not for public use as there are private quarters there and these are used for special occasions and wedding guests when the occasion calls for it. There's even an outdoor swimming pool for the private guests.

After paying at the entrance visitors walk down to the lake and then turn left and walk through the Italian themed gardens. Once you have walked through these the castle comes into view. To me, it looks just like a large house, rather than a castle, although it has spiral staircases and a portcullis at the entrance.

When we were there the views of the castle were somewhat spoilt by a few large Easter Bunnies due to the egg hunt, but if you find the right spot there are some beautiful views of the castle and gardens. Before entering the castle we went round the maze. The entrance is at the side by the moat and with a bit of luck you can find the centre within 10 minutes. The exit is a short walk of about 10 yards from the centre of the maze to the front of the castle.

We found lunch exceedingly expensive and I would advice visitors to take a packed lunch if they are not prepared to open their wallets a little. A bowl of soup, a sandwich (which was no more than a large ham roll costing about £6), a small chocolate tart, a piece of Rocky Road, a pot of tea and a large sausage roll cost well over £20.

However, after lunch we went into the castle. As Castle's go it is quite small and a gentleman dressed like Cardinal Wolsey was checking the tickets as we arrived. There are audio guides if you want them but again you have to pay for them. As we didn't get them we don't know the cost of hiring them.

When you walk through the castle you go one way and there are guides there to assist you. Throughout the castle you can see the significant renovations carried out by the Astor family after their purchase of the castle in the early 20th century. Without their significant investment the castle would have ended up as just a ruin. They built a substantial annexe at the rear of the castle in a tudor theme which only adds to the scenery. It looks magnificent but is only available to guests using the castle for a private function or a wedding.

Walking through the castle there is evidence of the tudor history from early 16th century use through to Elizabeth I. There are plenty of antiques including Henry and Anne's Coat of Arms, examples of Anne Of Cleeves Crest, historic bed frames and copies of books of hours and letters from Anne to Henry. The rest of the castle is dedicated to later owners, including the Astors, and even mentions Churchill using the place for his paintings.

After completing the tour visitors exit into the Courtyard inside the castle itself, before departing through the portcullis and over the small bridge to the main area. There is a gift shop off to the right as well as a small military museum dedicated to the Gentlemen and Yeomanry of the Kent Sharpshooters. The original gentlemen were the officers and the yeoman were the farm workers, as everybody knew their place in those days. Within the gift shop is a small museum dedicated to miniature houses and these are beautiful.

Visitors walking round the gardens have some lovely views of the castle as some parts are elevated to give budding photographers some lovely opportunities. There is a small area to the right of the castle dedicated to archery practice. However, paying £4 for 5 arrows or £18 for 40, if a few of you want to chance your arm, is again a little pricey.

Overall, the place is very impressive and the inside of the castle is small but picturesque. However, it is expensive to visit and in our opinion the food is costly and not worth the extra outlay. If I was to visit again I would take a packed lunch as there are plenty of places here to eat as long as you take away the rubbish afterwards.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank helenandpaul13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

We had a wonderful day in the castle and gardens. Archery was super and the water maze had us laughing for a long time. We will be back when the sun shines.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank ArchieElliott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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