Exploring Hever Castle and Gardens


 

car and drawbridge

Hever Castle and Gardens.  What to say, where to start?  A 10 out of 10 for a great day out near Edenbridge just south of London.  The 13th century castle, with not just one but two moats and of course a drawbridge, has over 700 years of history.

swans

Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn who was the second wife of Henry VIII and mother to Queen Elizabeth I.  The castle in itself would be worth the visit but there is so much more to discover on the grounds.

girl and swan

castle and swansboy and swans

You can start with a cup of tea and a bite to eat in one of the restaurants while you look over the map and plot your route.  There are several gardens to enjoy.

pathgardengardens

With over 4000 rose bushes planted I am sure the rose garden was glorious when in full bloom.

rose gate

rose garden

There was only a modest garden around the castle until 1903 when William Waldorf Astor purchased the castle and began to expand the gardens including a 38 acre lake.

covered path

The loggia and fountain from which to enjoy the beautiful views over the lake.

fountain loggia

fountain

For a tour of the lake you can rent a rowboat or take a ride on The African Queen.  There is also a walking path around the lake for another option if you have the time.

african queen

Enjoying the walled garden as we wander back towards the castle.

walled gardencolumnstatuetent

fountain tent

There are many special events held throughout the year.  While we were there it was an Edwardian theme.  Inside one of the tents the school teacher had just rung the bell for class to begin.

If you can go to the castle check their calendar to see what events are scheduled.  They just had a1940’s themed weekend and in July there are jousting tournaments planned.

school

Strolling along the outer moat.

moat bridge

An Edwardian host greets us as we arrive back at the castle.

in costume

Inside the castle courtyard.  (There were no pictures in the castle.)  The Long Gallery on the top floor of the castle has a new exhibit about the life of Anne Boleyn that just opened this year.

courtyardtimber and flower

The Astor Wing behind the castle is a luxury B and B which also hosts events and weddings.

inner moat

We circled around after a look in the gift shop and the Miniature Model Houses Exhibition, back through the the arch under the Golden Stairs.

garden path

There are two fun mazes on the grounds, the Yew Maze and this is the Water Maze.  It was a warm day and the kids were having a blast on this.  We tested it ourselves and the walkways are on a spring and if you don’t go the right direction you get a big spray of water!

water maze

As you can tell there is a lot to see, do, and learn at Hever Castle.  If you go please allow plenty of time and enjoy your day!

fountain

Categories: Castles, England, GardensTags: , , , ,

5 comments

  1. Another one of my favourite places, you have some great photographs here Jane.

    • I can easily see how this would be a favourite place. Somewhere you could visit many times and enjoy throughout the seasons.

  2. What a wonderful post – thoroughly enjoyed all the pictures and great info ! There really aren’t any gardens as beautiful as in England – can’t find anything so lovely here in Ohio !!

    • I am sure you have many wonderful things in Ohio, but the English gardens are something special aren’t they? Thanks for your comment today.

  3. It looks a really interesting place to visit and you have captured some great pictures of your visit.

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