Family Days Out, Half Term, Kent, UK

Hever Castle and Gardens Kent

We recently enjoyed our very best day out in the area so far, at Hever Castle and Gardens Kent. I was expecting it to be a nice day, but it way exceeded my expectations. Read here to find out why we think a trip to Hever Castle and Gardens Kent is an absolute must for you this Spring/Summer. 

Where is Hever Castle?

Hever Castle address – Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge

Hever Castle post code – TN8 7NG

Hever Castle opening times 

All opening time information can be found here 

Our day out at Hever Castle 

On arrival parking was easy and stress free. We changed into our walking boots, grabbed our picnic and set off. As you approach the castle it is nothing short of magnificent. Imposing but welcoming at the same time, beautiful, mesmerizing. I think even the kids were amazed by it, and in all honesty, they really aren’t easily impressed. 

Surrounding the castle is a large moat, and as we stood admiring it a proud swan swam by. It was so apt, the peace and tranquillity that a swan represents, fits so nicely with the feeling the castle instils in you as you look at it. Ironic I suppose, when you learn the turbulent history of the property and those who lived in it. 

Hever Castle History 

Now. How many historical buildings have you dragged your kids around, desperately trying to rouse their interest. However, in truth they are bored and really just want to know if there’s a park nearby. Well, if your anything like me then quite often. We did not have this problem at Hever Castle.

The magnificent building, originally a medieval defensive castle was built in 1270. In the 15th and 16th centuries it became the home of the very powerful Boleyn family, who added the Tudor dwelling within the walls. 

As we entered the castle a Tudor lady in full costume greeted us and the children were inspired immediately, she was so enthusiastic. 

The castle itself is packed full of interesting, easy to read information and guides who are only to happy to answer questions. 

Petrolhead A spotted a portrait of Henry VIII which was a great opportunity to discuss with them the notorious King and his ill fated wives, in particular Anne Boleyn, who spent her childhood at Hever Castle. 

Hever Castle

As we discussed Henry VIII’s wives my historical knowledge was put to the test. Hever Castle came to the rescue as we came to a room dedicated to the six wives. There’s a picture of each wife, in the order in which they married Henry VIII, with a detailed description of their fate. The children were really taken with this fascinating albeit gruesome part of British history. As a home schooling family, any opportunity to educate the smalls is a huge bonus. The kids can now name each wife, in order and describe their fate. Result ! 

 

Who owns Hever Castle?

William Waldorf Astor, the richest man in America, bought Hever Castle in 1903. He invested his time, money and imagination into restoring it. He constructed the Astor Wing and the outstandingly beautiful lake and gardens. 

 

All that learning built quite an appetite so we enjoyed our picnic out on a bench over looking the stunning gardens. Every part of Hever Castle is utterly immaculate. 

We then had fun navigating our way around the maze, before heading off in the direction of the adventure playground.

Hever Castle Playground

We like to consider ourselves playground connoisseurs. We have certainly spent enough hours in them! Hever Castle has one of the best we have ever been to. 

A bold statement for sure. But its awesome! There are the usual swings, slides, climbing frames etc, and an area especially for toddlers. But then there at the bottom of the playground is an enormous, purpose built fortress. Huge, solid and every child’s dream. My two disappeared within seconds, and I didn’t see them again for about half an hour! I mean, I wasn’t worried, they kept popping into view, and there was no mistaking Princess D’s voice over everyone else’s, so I knew they were safe. They had an absolute ball. Slides, tunnels, rope ladders, sand pits etc etc. I grabbed a coffee and relaxed in the sun, whilst they played and exhausted themselves. All I could think was how fantastic that they were going to be so tired they would go to bed like angels and I would get to watch MasterChef in peace. #rockandrolllifestyle

Miniature Model House Exhibition 

 Hever Castle has a lovely gift shop, with little goodies for all pocket money budgets, as well as more lavish purchases. Don’t miss the Miniature Model House exhibition, which is accessed through the gift shop. It’s fascinating!

Hever Castle Triathlon

Hever Castle Triathlon has established itself as an essential destination for British and international triathletes and the mainstream media, for its picture postcard venue, elite action, age-group choice and festival atmosphere. This year it is on 22nd and 23rd September and all the information you need can be found clicking here.
 

Hever Castle Weddings 

Its every girls dream to get married at a castle, right? Hever Castle offers some incredible opportunities for weddings. Whether its the stately grandeur of the castle itself, the classic country house atmosphere of the Astor Wing or the stunning lakeside location of the Italian Garden, its a unique wedding venue for you to enjoy your big day. 

I hope the passion I feel for Hever Castle comes through in this post and that you are now excited to make the trip and visit yourself. On top of all this, there are lovely pubs near Hever Castle, convenient accommodation, Hever Castle golf and so much more !

Book your tickets here !

Our sincerest thanks to Hever Castle for inviting us to review your outstanding attraction

If you are looking for more family days out then check out our Drusillas Park review  and our Shreks Adventure review 

 

 

 

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