Hever Castle

Hever Castle

A visit to Hever Castle and its idyllic gardens is an experience to treasure and remember for years to come.

This thirteenth century castle, once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is furnished with many Tudor portraits, furniture and artefacts. In 1903 William Waldorf Astor purchased Hever Castle and restored the castle to how you will see it today. He also fashioned the gardens including the yew maze (open April - October weather permitting) and the Italian Garden, as well as building the Tudor Village (now a residential conference venue). More recent introductions include the adventure playground and the water maze (open April-October) weather permitting - both of which are definite favourites with the children!

We welcome groups - both large and small (minimum of 15 people) and for information particular to your needs please visit our website.

To allow enough time to enjoy all Hever Castle and Gardens has to offer, we suggest you allow about 4 ½ hours for your visit.

Brief history
The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and a walled bailey. In the early 1500s, the Bullen family bought the castle and added a Tudor residence within the walls and so it became the childhood home of its most famous inhabitant, Anne Boleyn. It later passed into the ownership of Henry’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. From 1557 onwards the Castle was owned by a number of families including the Waldegraves, the Humfreys and the Meade Waldos. Finally, in 1903, William Waldorf Astor invested time, money and imagination in restoring the Castle. Since 1983, the castle has been owned by Broadland Porperties Limited and open to the public.

The spectacular gardens at Hever Castle were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son, turning marshland into the magnificent gardens you see today. One of the most glorious areas of the gardens is the Italian Garden, which was planned to display William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculpture. Over 1,000 men worked on the great design with around 800 men digging out the 35 acre lake at the far end of the Italian Garden - taking two years to do so! Within four years the 30 acres of classical and natural landscapes were constructed and planted. The garden is only now reaching its full maturity and includes the colourful walled Rose Garden which contains over 3,000 plants.

Opening times (please check before planning your visit)
Check here please: OPENING TIMES

Restaurants: There are two self service restaurants - the Pavilion Restaurant near the lake and Italian gardens, and the Moat Restaurant near the castle. Both offer a range of hot and cold meals and refreshments throughout the day. Picnics can be enjoyed in the grounds although we are unable to allow barbecues.

Shops: The Gift Shop is situated next to the Moat Restaurant and has a wide selection of gifts, toys, cards and souvenirs for sale throughout the season. The Book Shop (open from 28 March) is next to the Pavilion Restaurant and contains a good range of historical, gardening and general interest books.

Getting to Hever
By road
Hever Castle is situated three miles South East of Edenbridge off the B2026 between Sevenoaks and East Grinstead in the village of Hever.
Situated 30 miles from London in West Kent, exit the M25 at junctions 5 or 6 and follow the Brown tourist signs.
Also well signed from the Hildenborough exit of the A21.
By rail
London Victoria or London Bridge to Edenbridge Town. Then 3 miles from the castle - taxis usually available. Or, London Victoria to Hever Station which is a one mile rural walk (no taxis available). Eurostar terminal at Ashford is 1¾ hours away by road.
By air
Gatwick airport is 30 minutes away, Heathrow is one hour. Hever can then be reached by Road or Rail as above.
By sea
Dover is 1¾ hours away by road as is the Channel Tunnel at Folkestone.

Disclaimer: The information on this leisure attraction was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure attraction should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015