Day Trip To Hever Castle and Gardens

Hello, everyone! Today I thought I`ll write a little post about my short trip to Kent, focusing on the wonderful time I had at Hever Castle and Gardens. Since we're getting to know each other, let me share with you that I am a history buff with a major fascination for the Tudors and the Romanovs. My dad was a history teacher, and I am glad to share this hobby with him. Although I always get frustrated that even at his age, his memory is a lot better than mine.
Hever Castle, Kent


                                        Hever Castle: A Little History

Hever Castle is best known as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. King Henry VIII`s second wife is one of the most enigmatic and infamous female figures in history, and I`ve always wanted to know more about her. I blame my fascination on Natalie Dormer`s brilliant performance in The Tudors; it`s hard not to be enchanted by Anne`s story. And whilst we may never know the truth, did she play Henry or not, visiting the castle gives you an idea of the idyllic childhood she had. Sadly, we all know how Anne`s story ends, and soon afterwards the castle belonged to another one of Henry`s wives, Anne of Cleves.
Hever Castle
After 1557 onwards the castle had a vast number of owners, from the Waldegraves to the Humphreys. It would have gradually become a wreck if it weren`t for William Waldorf Astor, whom in 1903 took over the domain. He spent a lot of money and time to restore the castle to its old glory and even built the adjoining Tudor Village. The Drawing Room, where the Astors used to entertain their guests, it`s one of the most lavish rooms you`ll see. Visiting the castle takes around 1h- 1.30h, as there are not that many rooms. The main attractions include the Inner Hall, the Drawing Room, the Dining Hall, the Library and the Staircase Gallery. Obviously, one cannot miss Anne`s bedroom and King Henry VIII`s Bedchamber.
Hever Castle Gardens
                                                                        The Gardens

The Gardens are probably the most exquisite place at Hever Castle. Although the weather wasn`t that nice when we visited in June, we`ve still spent most of our time outside. It`s hard to imagine that this beautiful place used to be a marshland until 1904. There are various sections to wander around, but my favourite might have been the Italian Garden. Here`s where Astor liked to display his collection of Italian sculptures.
Hever Castle Fountain

Italian Gardens Hever Castle
As you can see, the gardens truly are spectacular. That`s why in my opinion, it`s best to visit them either Spring or Summer, so you can capture their stunning beauty. If you`re going solo, just lay on the grass and read a good book. If you`re a couple, take a boat and explore the broad lake. If you have kids with you, they can enjoy an archery class or play in the water maze. There are plenty of options for everyone out there. If the weather is nice, you can also enjoy a nice picnic, unless you fancy going to one of the cafes. The only downside I can find is that the food section is a bit limited (if you`re not a big meat eater), but you can still enjoy some nice hot/warm beverages and cake.

Hever Castle Gardens, Kent

Hever Castle Pond

We paid 17.50£ for our tickets, but you can save some money if you book online. You can visit just the gardens, or the castle and gardens unless you live locally and an annual pass might be better for you. Also, keep an eye for any events going around, especially during the warmer months. All in all, it`s a wonderful place to visit, even if you`re not a history buff. These photos are a bit old since they were taken in June, but hopefully, you can get an idea if it`s a place you`d enjoy.

Have you ever been to Hever Castle? What other historical places do you recommend outside of London? Thanks for reading!

8 comments

  1. I've never been to Hever Castle but it sounds like a great place to visit. I love when you can have a little snoop around somewhere like that. The comment about your dad's memory made me laugh, it reminded me of my grandad. He looks at the time on a clock then lists a number of historical events that happened that year...x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. My dad and your grandad would probably be best of friends, haha! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Wow! These gardens look incredible. I am saving this place on my must see travel list.

    Janja | seekingwonderful.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Really hope you`ll get a chance to visit, it`s so beautiful.

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  3. Oh wow, what a fascinating place to visit! I wish we had castles here in Australia!

    Hope that you are having a lovely weekend :)


    Away From Blue

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    1. That`s one of the main things I love about England, so many castles.

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  4. I love Hever Castle so much. We used to go all the time when I was little. I always feel like the gardens are so magical. B x

    www.babblesnbooks.wordpress.com

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    1. Gardens are stunning, easily my favourite part of the tour.

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