by Janis / 8 comments - Orginally published:1st February 2019

Discover the Childhood home of Anne Boleyn

Hever Castle is beautiful, and as you approach on foot from the gatehouse on the hill, the picture-postcard castle just emerges before your eyes.

If there was a castle in your dreams, I’m sure it would look like this.

Encircled by a moat, with swans and ducks swimming around.

Boston ivy climbing up the front of the stately sandstone turrets.

And to be perfectly honest as castles go, this one is a perfect size. Big enough to make your mark and small enough to be cosy.

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The view across the grounds to Hever Castle, as you approach from the gatehouse.
The view of Hever Castle
The grounds of Hever castle are so wonderfully kept, you stroll along the path by the manicured hedges and lawns, passing fruit trees and beehives.
The small vegetable garden next to Hever Castle
The Anne Boyeln gardens

Where is Hever Castle?

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The History of Hever Castle

Centuries Pass

Then you are greeted with the 13th-century castle. Hever Castle has passed through several hands across the centuries and undergone various modernisations and renovations. Particularly during the 14th & 15th centuries.

The most famous of its residents was Anne Boleyn’s family. Anne Boleyn lived at the castle during her childhood in the early 16th century. Then became Henry VIII’s second wife and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I.

The beautiful Hever Castle on a bright, sunny, autumnal day from the edge of the second moat.
A view from across the outer moat
In the 20th century, Hever Castle was owned by William Waldorf Astor, and during this time a large amount of renovation was carried out.

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Discover Hever Castle

Halt who goes there?
As you cross the drawbridge and under the portcullis, you enter into another period in time. Passing through the inner courtyard of the castle, which reflects the timber-framed Tudor additions.
Reddening Boston Ivy growing over the main gatehouse, drawbridge & Portcullis of Hever Castle in Kent
The portcullis & drawbridge
Looking up the corner tower of Hever Castle engulfed in Boston Ivy
Climbing Ivy

There are friendly Hever Castle tour guides on hand if you have any questions you’d like to ask as you stroll around.

Once you enter the castle, you are free to wander around at your own pace, just following the signs to guide you through each room.

The inner courtyard of Hever Castle with its half-timbered 13th-century facades
The inner courtyard

There are friendly Hever Castle tour guides on hand if you have any questions you’d like to ask as you stroll around.

Once you enter the castle, you are free to wander around at your own pace, just following the signs to guide you through each room.

Did you know?

That Hever Castle has the oldest working original portcullis in England.

A reason to visit Hever Castle

The Tender Loving Care
The rooms are so beautifully kept and with such detail, it’s incredible. You’ll pass by the Drawing Room with its striking inlaid oak panelling and then onto the galleried Inner Hall.
The large ornate early 20th century wood-panelled drawing room of Hever Castle in Kent
The Drawing Room
The Inner Hall of Hever Castle, with its Italian walnut panelling and columns.
The Inner Hall
From here you’ll wander into the Dining Hall, which during the 15th century was the Great Hall, the Entrance Hall & Library. Each with so much detail particularly the wood panelling throughout all the rooms.
The dining hall of Hever Castle, with a large central table, a tapestry on one wall and portraits on another oak panelled wall.
The Dining Hall

Our Tip

If you plan your visit ahead, buy your tickets directly online, and you’ll save yourself a couple of pounds.

Exploring Hever Castle

Heading up

Then as you continue upstairs within the castle, the bed chamber of Henry VIII can be seen along with the bedroom of Anne Boleyn.

The ceiling in Henry VIII’s bed chamber is the oldest in the castle and dates from c.1462.

The dark, oak-panelled, King Henry VIII's bed chamber complete with a four-poster bed at Hever Castle in Kent
Henry VIII’s bed chamber
Climbing further in Hever Castle we arrive at the Long Gallery which dates from 16th Century and extends the entire width of the castle. Today this room has 18 original portraits depicting the line of the Tudor monarchy.
An oil painted portrait of King Henry VIII on the wall at Hever Castle in Kent
Henry VIII’s portrait

Where to stay around Hever Castle

- Hever Castle Luxury Bed and Breakfast - This is your chance to stay in the beautiful grounds of Hever Castle, fit for a King. This luxury accommodation is stunning, stylish and relaxing.
- Beautiful Countryside Bedroom - Is located around 1.7 miles from Hever Castle. It's set within beautiful tranquil grounds; the room has a garden view and terrace.

The famous past owners of Hever Castle

The Astor’s
It’s then onto the Astor Suite. The Astor Family were the owners of the Hever Castle for 80 years, from 1903. They were mainly responsible for how this magnificent castle is presented today.
An oil painted portrait of William Waldorf Astor on the wall of the study at Hever Castle in Kent
William Waldorf Astor Portrait
The period desk in the study at Hever Castle in Kent
A writing desk in the Astor Suite

Have You?

Visited any of England’s other castles, there are some amazing fortresses around the country?

Hever Castle's Gardens

Beyond the castle
If the beautiful castle wasn’t enough, within the grounds is also a magnificent Italian Garden and a 38-acre lake. Both of these were the brainchild of William Waldorf Astor, and amazingly the lake was constructed by 800 men within two years.
The view from the lake edge of Hever Castle towards the Italian styled Loggia
Lake & Italian Loggia
The whole of Hever Castle’s gardens stretches over 125-acres and includes not only the Italian Garden and Loggia but also a quintessentially English Rose Garden (which smells incredible). It has fountains, a water maze, a Yew maze, a topiary chess set, I could go on, but come and see for yourself.

Good to know

If you have visited Hever Castle before and just fancy a stroll around the gardens, you can purchase a separate ticket.

Hever Castle's Tudor Garden

Check Mate
The Yew maze, not too far from the castle entrance, was planted between 1903 and 1907. Just alongside here is the Tudor Garden, the Fountain Garden and the Chess Garden. Which border the outer moat (yes there are two moats).
The astrolabe feature in front of the topiary chess set in the Tudor garden at Hever Castle
The Topiary Chess set

If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".

You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.

Hever Castle's Italian Garden

Off to Italy
Well, it certainly felt like we’d headed to Italy, designed with beautiful lines, marble statues, pergolas and sweeping lawns. The Italian Garden itself covers four acres and was created to display Astor’s collection of sculptures.
A view along the Pergola Walk at Hever Castle
The Pergola Walk
Underneath the wooden slats that provide cover along the pergola walk in the Italian Garden at Hever Castle
Vines in the garden
A strip of beautifully manicured lawn leading to a stone arch in the Italian Garden at Hever Castle
Laid to lawn
A large cast bronze urn in the Italian Garden at Hever Castle
Italian Urn
The Loggia at the end of the Italian Garden at Hever Castle in Kent
The Grandeur

Hever Castle's Lake

Stretching out into the Kent countryside
If you have the time to take a stroll around the lake, it will take about an hour. Or if you are visiting during the summer months, you can choose to venture onto the water, by rowing boat or pedalo.
A view across Hever Castle's lake to the Japanese Tea house on the far side.
Japanese Tea House
A gravel path leading to the boathouse on the shores of the lake at Hever Castle in Kent
The Boat House

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Something rather grand at Hever Castle

The Italian Loggia

This part of the Italian Garden is lovely, it’s so peaceful and grand, it’s odd to think you are Kent.

Towering pillars, sweeping staircases and a fountain that wouldn’t look out of place in Rome.

Inside the Loggia at the end of the Italian Garden with views onto the lake at Hever Castle in Kent
Beyond the arch
So, take your time and enjoy the surroundings and perhaps even grab yourself a cup of coffee.
The Loggia at the end of the Italian Garden on the lake's edge at Hever Castle in Kent
Loggia and fountain

How to get to Hever Castle

You can catch a train from London Bridge or London Victoria to Edenbridge Town Station, which takes 40mins and 50mins respectively. Then take a taxi the three miles to Hever Castle.

Alternatively, if you do have a car the car parking just outside the castle grounds is free of charge.

Hever Castle's Rose Garden

Something sweet is in the air
Although we visited Hever Castle on an Autumnal day in October, as we stroll through the Rose Garden the incredible scents hit us. This beautiful walled garden has been planted with so much care and attention, you just want to sit down and soak it all in.
A view of the Rose Garden at Hever Castle
The Rose Garden
A brick-built triple arch within the Rose Garden at Hever Castle
Archway to the Rose Garden
A view through the arch Rose Garden to the back of a marble statue of an athletic man in the Italian Garden at Hever Castle
Looking towards the Italian Garden

Where to Eat & Drink at Hever Castle

We all need a pit stop
All around the castle grounds are picnic areas, cafes & restaurants, also plenty of seating areas. So, you can bring your own packed lunch or enjoy the local fayre.
The picnic area and shops as Hever Castle in Kent
The plant shop & café
Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we had an ice cream, it would have been rude not to.
Two tubs of Solley's ice-cream at the cafe in Hever Castle in Kent
Solley’s ice-cream

Our video of Hever Castle

A look through our eyes

We have created a little YouTube video of Hever Castle. Why not take a look?

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  1. It’s always interesting to read about what others have to say about a place you have enjoyed visiting. Loved Hever Castle. Agree it’s the perfect size,and with everything else you say!

  2. We live just down the road from Hever Castle but we still enjoy visiting all year round. I really enjoyed seeing your photos – you were lucky to get pictures of the front of the castle without the crowds. We especially enjoy going in the summer when you can have a picnic in the grounds and take a rowing boat out on the lake. #FarawayFiles

    1. We visited during the week so it wasn’t too busy, but considering it was October it was a fantastic day. The boats were there, but they had finished for the season. It is so picturesque there though over looking the lake especially.

  3. I visited Hever Castle with my boys in December 2017. We visited both in the daytime and again later that evening for the holiday festivities. I loved all the beautifully decorated Christmas trees throughout the castle. Unfortunately we didn’t have that beautiful blue sky like you did, but it was still a spectacular day out. #farawayfiles

  4. I love a castle, I feel like I must have been here before but if I have I was a child. Its definitely going on the list for next year, your photos are stunning!!

    1. Author

      Thank you, it is a magnificent castle and the gardens are beautiful. You certainly need a few hours to see it all and more if you take a stroll around the lake. Enjoy

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