Hever Castle, Kent, England

In Counties, Days Out, Kent, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travelby Janis8 Comments

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. 

The view of Hever Castle, Kent, England, UK

The view of Hever Castle

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. 

Quick Links

The entrance across the moat, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The entrance across the moat

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.

Hever Castle & Gardens, Kent, England

The Anne Boyeln gardens

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. 

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 residence 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.

A view from across the second moat, Hever Castle, Kent, England

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.

Our Tip

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

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. 

The portcullis & drawbridge, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The portcullis & drawbridge

Climbing Ivy, Hever Castle, Kent, England

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, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The inner courtyard

Our favourite travel reads

Did you know?

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

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 Drawing Room, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Drawing Room


The Inner Hall, Hever Castle, Kent, England

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 Dinning Hall, Hever Castle, Kent, EnglandThe Dinning Hall, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Dinning Hall

Heading up

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

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

Henry VIII’s Bedchamber, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Henry VIII’s bedchamber

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.

Henry VIII’s portrait, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Henry VIII’s portrait

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.

William Waldorf Astor Portrait, Hever Castle, Kent, England

William Waldorf Astor Portrait

A writing desk in the Astor Suite, Hever Castle, Kent, England

A writing desk in the Astor Suite

Have You

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

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.

Lake & Italian Loggia, Hever Castle, Kent, England

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.

Something to make your travels easier?

Good to know

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

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).

Topiary Chess set, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Topiary Chess set

An interesting read

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.


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.

The Pergola Walk, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Pergola Walk

Vines in the garden, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Vines in the garden


Laid to lawn, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Laid to lawn

Italian Urn, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Italian Urn


The Grandeur, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Grandeur

Tempted to?

Discover more of historic Britain and tour its picturesque countryside & castles. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Hever Castle Lake

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 on to the water, by rowing boat or pedalo.

Japanese Tea House, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Japanese Tea House


The Boat House, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Boat House

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.

So, take your time and enjoy the surroundings and perhaps even grab yourself a cup of coffee.  

Beyond the arch, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Beyond the arch

Loggia and fountain, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Loggia and fountain

Rose Garden

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.

The Rose Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, England

The Rose Garden


Archway to the Rose Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Archway to the Rose Garden


Looking towards the Italian Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Looking towards the Italian Garden

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 plant shop & café, Hever Castle, Kent, England

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.

Solley’s ice-cream, Hever Castle, Kent, England

Solley’s ice-cream

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of our time at Hever Castle.

Why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

If you enjoyed this post

Why not subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter?

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

Comments

  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

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.