Hever Castle

Attractions, Parks and gardens London
6 Love It
Save it
Hever Castle
© Shutterstock
Hever Castle

If you ignore the substantial Astor Wing (open to the public only as a venue for hire), Hever Castle itself is quite small, but what stories its walls can tell. Most famously, the castle was the family home of Anne Boleyn, and then later, when the Boleyns had fallen out of favour, it was given to Henry VIII’s fourth wife Anne of Cleves as part of the divorce settlement. Some of the castle’s most exciting exhibits include Tudor portraits of all of Henry VIII’s six wives (there are also dressed models up in the Long Gallery). Children are always riveted by the violent life and times of Henry, his wives and their offspring, and this is a great place to come and introduce the subject. The other rooms in the castle are appealing too, thanks to the Astors having furnished them in grand style. There’s so much more for families here though than just a castle. The beautiful Italian gardens offer great hide and seek opportunties, while the yew maze will have everyone foxed for a good while. The adventure playground is popular too, but nothing beats the brilliantly designed water maze. Visitors must try to get to the central grotto by choosing a path across the pond using the concentric circles of stone slabs and trying to avoid the surprise jets of water that surge into the air if they stand on a forbidden path. Within minutes the kids are trying to find the jets rather than avoid them, so it’s best to take a spare set of clothes. Taking a walk around the huge lake is enjoyable, but even more fun is rowing across it on the traditional wooden rowing boats available at the boathouse (visible as you first enter the grounds from the car park). The exhibition of miniature model houses makes a good diversion on rainy days and the events field comes to life during regular living history demonstrations.


Venue name: Hever Castle
Address: Hever
Opening hours: For 2017 Apr 1-Oct 29 daily 10.30am-6pm; Oct 30-Nov 24, Wed-Sun 10.30am-4.30pm; Nov 25-Dec 24, 10.30am-6pm, open daily Dec 11-24; Dec 27-Jan 1, daily 10.30am-4.30pm. Ground open from 10.30am, castle from noon.
Transport: Rail: Edenbridge rail then taxi
Price: Castle and gardens £16.90, £14.70 over-65, £14.20 student, £9.50. Under-16, free under-five, £44.50 family. Gardens only and online tickets available.
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

You may be interested in:

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Wow wow and more wow! I love castles, I love history and I love Gardens - so this ticks all of my boxes! Hever Castle - marketed famously as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn (one of the six wives of Henry VIII) - is a beauty! It is small but perfectly formed with beautiful flowers and a small moat making it the most picturesque of castles. It is quite expensive to do House and gardens at £17 but it clearly keeps the numbers down because although busy, is not insane! There’s also a handy cafe for drinks (inc alcohol) and shops where you can buy Henry VIII shiz. The gardens are my fave - Lake, statues, steps all intertwined with beautiful flowers. The castle itself is full of history with letters from Henry VIII to Anne and the bedrooms they would have stayed in. Overall lovely and only 40 mins from London Bridge!


A 40-min train ride from London Bridge and a nice 20-min countryside walk later, you could be in Hever, far from the City, admiring this beautiful castle and gardens.

The visit of the old childhood home of Anne Boleyn is truly inspiring. With extraordinary tapestries and antiques from the 16th century, you step back in time and have a glimpse of what this amazing place used to be. Slightly smaller than you’d expect, it’s still an astonishing tour.

The grounds are gorgeous – especially in Spring when the flowers are blooming. With a lake, two moats and several different areas, there’s a lot to explore and discover. There’s also an adventure playground area which is a lot of fun, even for grown-ups. With activities like learning to shoot with a bow and arrow and a water maze where you need to reach the centre without being sprinkled with water jets, you won’t get bored.

A great day out for Londoners who need a bit of fresh air. And bonus point for all the funny lion statues lying around!