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“Great Place to Visit”

Hever Castle & Gardens
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Hever
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the intriguing second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. The castle is a romantic double moated 13th-century castle which houses historic 16th-century portraits, paintings, furniture, tapestries and treasures. Comprehensive information on the history of Hever Castle can be found in the guide book and audio tours are available from the Hever Shop, Visitor Centre or castle entrance. Visitors can explore the magnificent gardens for all seasons which include Italian, Rose and Tudor gardens, topiary, yew maze and splashing water maze, or take a stroll around the informal areas of Sunday Walk and Anne Boleyn's Walk. Hever hosts a number of special events throughout the season including gardening events with the head gardener and his team. Family fun includes jousting tournaments each summer, one of our most popular events.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
southampton
Level Contributor
84 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great Place to Visit”
Reviewed June 2, 2014

I recently visited Hever Castle with my husband.

We found the castle quite easily, despite the small country lanes in the surrounding area. Parking was not an issue as we were there quite early (when the grounds open up). However, there was plenty of parking available as we found when we returned to our car and saw the entire field was full of cars!

I cannot say enough just how beautiful the grounds of the castle are. They really took my breath away, from the manicured lawns to the lake to the gardens. Yes it does cost a fair bit to get in, however the care they take in maintaining this wonderful place I would say was worth it. The water maze was a funny experience and if you stepped on the wrong plate, you'd end up a bit wet. The yew maze was an experience! I could not find the center without the help of my husband and found myself backtracking quite a few times. Everyone in the maze seemed to be having a great time trying to find their way around.

The actual castle is smaller than I imagined, but no less stunning. You follow a set route around the castle looking at rooms, artifacts from the Boleyn era and afterwards William Waldorf Astor who restored the castle at great expense. It is beautiful and respectful of both the Boleyn's and Astor's who lived here.

We spent around 2.5 hrs looking around the gardens and the castle. It was a lovely sunny day and most people looked to have bought picnics and settled on the lawn area. This would be a wonderful setting for a family picnic, and if we returned again, weather permitting, we too would bring a picnic and spend a full day soaking in the beautiful views.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank jennyjoop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ashby de la Zouch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Castle and grounds both good, car park poor”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

Excellent day out but car park was on opposite side of a main road which we had to cross with my Mum, who is 88 and cannot run!
A bit expensive but Mum and I both OAP so slight discount.
The Castle was well worth the visit, interesting history, Anne Boleyn born there. Rooms very nicely set out, and the whole place had a warm feel to it. Some stairs and spiral staircases.
The grounds and gardens and lake make a very nice stroll.
There is a boat trip on the lake, which we did not have time for, and, of course, tea rooms and gift shops.
Why do we OAPs get the discount when, by and large, we have more disposable income than younger working people?

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Andrew D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
123 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Greatcastle, very pretty grounds”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

My daughter suggested we go here. I knew nothing about it, and found it very interesting. The grounds are especially beautiful. Very worthwhile.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Gumbydoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Lovely place to visit”
Reviewed May 31, 2014

A beautiful castle with lovely gardens and grounds. We downloaded the Hever app from the iTunes store before we visited and this provided us with an audio guide as we walked around the castle. The water maze and yew maze provided some light hearted fun. The Tudor gardens were very peaceful. There are a couple of restaurants or you can bring a picnic and eat in the grounds.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank WiltshireThree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
134 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Good day out, take a picnic.”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

I visited on a lovely warm Sunny Sunday with my friend, this has to be the perfect way to be at Hever.

First of, the parking is well marshaled, with friendly people and probably as good as you will get anywhere, so hats off for that. We then found ourselves with a long queue of people waiting to pay to go in, at times only one ticket booth was opened. By the time we got towards the front, there were two and the member of staff we were served by was radioing the issue to management. That said a very warm sunny day, they had amble people car parking for a busy day, why not the ticket office? but hope that gets resolved.

There are plenty of places to eat, but to be honest fairly standard food from what I could see, so a picnic is a good choice. A lot of people found the obvious grass areas, but if you like the idea of a little seclusion over looking the lake and a small element of privacy, walk around the lake and you will be far from the maddening crowd. The view we had with boats on the water, a little bit of privacy (people will always walk past you) but compared to the obvious area which will be packed, its a good choice.

The house is okay, it is a historic attractive property, which is very photogenic, but it is small. The house seems more set up for the Astor's than Boleyn's and that was a shame. I understand the importance of the Astor's for maintaining and keep Hever, but it is advertised for being the home of Anne. There is an interesting room set out about the history of Henry viii and his wives, but to be honest, I last visited Hever 2005 and nothing had appeared to have change! Some of the staff are dressed up the dress of the Tudors a nice touch, but not like Hampton Court where they act the part of speak to visitors.

The two mazes are a little bit disappointing, though the water one on a hot day is good fun. The traditional maze is small and so takes about five to ten minutes to do, it is what it is and basically once you are in its free, so good to do.

The places to eat are plentiful, as said we took a picnic so only ventured in to one to buy coffee and then ice-cream. The coffee is freshly made in the place we went to, but my Americano was poor, though my friends latte was lovely, so take your choice. The ice cream shop that is part of the restaurant near to the gift shop was small and served both shop brought ice products, but also scoop ice-cream. We had to queue for a while with one member of staff, struggling to cope. The other option is if you like Mr Whippy Ice-cream then there is a ice-cream stand near the water maze and they sell it there and queues seemed smaller.

The day we visited they had extra pay attractions, which were the steam boat and archery. The steam boat was doing regular trips, the archery was very popular. The Archery was being done near to the water maze and hard to miss and good to watch. Unlike many other archery lessons I have seen, they not only had traditional round targets, but also what appeared to be wicker boar, bear and deer and price seemed reasonable (all ages catered for)

I think you need to set Hever in to contexts as a day out, if you wish to see a historic house, then it is small and will not take even the most ardent of readers of notes on displays that long to go around. It is though a very historic and interesting property because of Anne, but be realistic. The grounds are really what you will go for, simply beautiful, opportunities to walk around a beautiful lake, around beautiful gardens, including an Italian ones. These are all set in a very attractive part of the Kent/English Countryside.

Well worth a visit.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Steve J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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