We are almost embarrassed to admit in 18 years of living in Kent we have never been to Hever Castle before. One of the Worlds most historically significant sites, it lies just North of Edenbridge. Now we have been to Edenbridge a million times , so why we’ve never been to Hever I don’t know. So with a lovely sunny afternoon in prospect, we decided it would be a great place to get in an Autumnal mood.
Parking is opposite the Castle grounds and is included in the price of entry, which at £16 an adult isn’t exactly cheap but when we saw how much Hever had to offer we couldn’t begrudge the entry to the grounds and Castle.
Built in the 13th Century, it was the family home of Anne Boleyn , Henry VIII second wife and Mother of Queen Elizabeth 1st, hence its world significance.
If you are interested in British History as I am, you’ll find it fascinating. To view Henry Tudors bed room where he would sleep when he was tired of being King, or the dining rooms and council chambers was amazing. They have been lovingly restored by the Astor family at the turn of the 20th Century and left to the nation so that we can enjoy their splendor.
But even if the overwhelming weight of History does not get you excited, then there are the stunning gardens, each with its own uniques style. Japanese, Italian, English country gardens, and amazing woodlands which at this time of the year are alive with flame red leaves and golden trees. Visitors from all around the world, and Essex, come to marvel at the beauty.
For those of you with miniature people of school age, (I believe they call them ‘children’) there is also plenty to do. As we know these ‘children’ struggle with concentration, as for some reason the establishment of the Protestant Church of England, the Succession of the Tudor Dynasty, and 13th Century architecture dosen’t always sit well with the little people, there is an amazing play area, gift shop and miniature model houses where you can stomp about pretending your a giant. Which I did, until the lady asked me to leave.
Inside the castle is as stunning as the outside. The Astor family have created a luxurious world which is inspiring and stylish. There are also plenty of helpful and well informed staff and curators who are more than happy to tell you all about the history of the building, and where the toilets are.
If the weather is good, the gardens can take as long to explore and should not be missed. You just want to amble around all day enjoying the stunning views, although with so many water features you need those helpful staff and their knowledge of the toilet locations. Lets face it, Im getting to that age. Wandering round country houses , talking about lovely carrot cake and worrying where the nearest toilet is. I’ll be moaning about young people next!….oh wait.
Hever Castle also offers wedding packages which would certainly be the envy of all your friends, unless your friends surname is Windsor. There are corporate facilities, dining rooms to hire for that magical dinner, and countless events throughout the year.
So, with Kent having more Castles than you can swing a draw bridge at, there really is no reason not to spend a lovely Autumn day exploring them, helping to pay for their upkeep, expanding your mind and absorbing all that culture and history, and carrot cake.