Hever Castle | Kidadl

Hever Castle

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  • Rated the best Family Day Out by UK Heritage Awards, Hever Castle is a fantastic family day out and easily one of the best places to go in Kent for a day of exploring.
  • Encompassing historic grounds, a 38-acre lake, maze and more, this will be a day (or night, if you stay over) to remember.
  • Don't miss out on the number of different trails that are fun, informative and educational where kids can learn about the historic site as well as taking in the fresh air and wonderful grounds.
  • With Acorn Dell, a fun new play area, there's something for every age.
  • One of the best castles in England, you don't want to miss out on this beautiful historic site when you visit Kent. 

This historic site isn't just your basic castle; it also has stunning gardens, a playground, jousting, a military museum, a 38-acre lake, a maze, a Japanese tea house, boating and even archery.

Dating back to the 13th century, Hever Castle and gardens was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife. Hever Castle is actually where her father, Sir Thomas Boelyn, is buried. There's a special audio tour just for children to learn all about the history, the grounds, and everything in between. 

Statue in the grounds of Hever Castle gardens.

From Easter to October you'll be able to wonder at the 100-year-old yew hedge maze and pop over to Sixteen Acre Island for a water maze. Fancy finding your way out of the maze? One of very few traditionally designed mazes in the country, it is located next to the castle forecourt, measuring eighty feet by eighty feet, the maze was built in the Edwardian era by William Waldorf Astor. The hedges are an impressive eight feet in height, and there's nearly a quarter of a mile of pathways within the maze to get lost in! 

Or if you fancy picking up a new skill, you could try your hand at archery. There are also rowing boats available and canoes for hire, so you can explore the beautiful 38 acres of lake on the grounds; perfect for a summer's day. Hever Castle events are fantastic, especially at Christmas, offering a magical experience. 

Don't miss out on the UK's second-biggest triathlon and the world's largest children's triathlon at Hever Castle. The Half Iron Gauntlets unique swimming route around the River Eden and Sixteen Acre Island is known as one of the UK's best open water swim loops.

Acorn Dell is a fabulous play area, designed to allow children to explore freely, use their imagination and have fun. Including a 2-metre-high living willow structure, a mound with three tunnels to clamber in and a climbing frame, a giant sandpit, kids will be entertained for hours. Plus, located in the trees are two platforms where kids can look out, linked by a bridge and a slide for making a quick escape. 

Stay at Hever Castle too, and make a night of it, they offer bed and breakfast, plus Medley Court, a four-bedroom property on site, perfect for the whole family. 

What to know before you go

  • There are several bathrooms dotted around the site. Including baby change and accessible toilets in various areas of the grounds, including the lakeside café, where there are high chairs, and plenty of space for pushchairs, too. Plus, there's a bottle warmer for babies.
  • There are two manual wheelchairs available for hire, and it is advisable to book these prior to a visit.
  • Assistance dogs can be admitted into all facilities including the Castle.
  • Don't miss out on the delicious food the site has to offer, including Moat Restaurant, Guthrie Pavilion Cafe, a Pizza van, ice cream, hot dogs and more.
  • Kidadl top tip: join a tour and buy a headset to make it worthwhile!
  • People say the Castle is really beautiful at night, so consider staying over.
  • Bring swimwear for the water maze.

Getting there

  • Situated on the Kent, Surrey and Sussex border, Hever Castle is set in beautiful rural countryside with great connections to the UK motorway network and rail stations nearby.
  • Hever Castle is situated 30 miles from London, 3 miles southeast of Edenbridge off the B2026 between Sevenoaks and East Grinstead in Hever village.
  • It can be reached by car via junction 10 of the M23, and is signposted from junctions 5 and 6 of the M25 and the Hildenborough exit of the A21.
  • Trains run from London Bridge and London Victoria (via East Croydon or Oxted) to Edenbridge Townstation, where you can take a taxi for three miles to the Castle. Alternatively, Hever Station is a one-mile rural walk to the Castle.
  • There are multiple car parks which are free of charge and accessible parking is available.
  • For visitors with a disability, Hever Castle will admit their carer free of charge on the provision of a benefit Award Letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (e.g. for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit) or a Blue Badge, making for a memorable and accessible experience for all.

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