Although the weather was poor, our family had a fabulous time at Hever Castle. Here is what we did...
As we got to the castle early, we decided to go outside and have a look around first - something that is essential for every visit. There is loads for adults and children alike, ranging from incredible gardens to kids' playgrounds.
You can see most of what we did from the video, but some of it has to be described in a bit more detail.
We spent ages walking around the spectacular gardens, which were laid out from 1904-8. They are immaculate, with absolutely beautiful flowers and colours. The gardens are award-winning and there is loads to see and do, including hiring boats on the huge lake.
I particularly recommend the stunning Italian gardens, but my favourites had to be the bushes which were trimmed to look like animals. We saw birds, lions and Rob even swears that he saw an elephant!
|Me in the water maze|
There are three mazes in the gardens; the Yew maze, the water maze and the children's maze. The yew maze is a normal (yet surprisingly difficult) maze that Rob and I really enjoyed. We split up from mum and dad and managed to beat them to the centre. The water maze is very different. It's not at all hard, and the objective is to get around the planks without stepping on one which sprays water. The last one is the children's maze which is a wooden maze, complete with slides, bridges and steps. Although I was too old, Rob really seemed to enjoy it!
We were not allowed to take photos, videos or record audio in the castle itself which was a shame, but we did have an amazing time.
The castle is surrounded by a moat and is the kind of place that I would love to own - grand, but still liveable. The oldest part of it was built in the 1200s and it was owned by the Boleyn (originally Bullen) family from 1462 to 1539.
|Me and Rob with "Anne Boleyn"|
The museum inside the castle has three floors and is jam packed with interesting information about Anne Boleyn, the castle and general Tudor facts. I was particularly interested to find the prayer room built into a bedroom and a book owned by Anne as a girl. There were also the prayer books which she took with her to the Tower of London.
There are loads of beautiful rooms, antique furniture, prayer books, interactive displays and paintings to look at, making it fun for the entire family. In fact, Hever Castle is said to have the best collection of Tudor portraits in the UK after the National Portrait Gallery!
Disclosure: we were given free entry to Hever Castle in order to write about it. All views, photos, opinions and videos are our own.
I do recommend taking an audio guide or getting a guidebook to go from room to room inside the castle (especially on the ground floor), as there is not much information to read, only lots to see. Rob and mum both took audio guides and dad had a guidebook, and I felt that I did not learnt as much as them.
Overall, Hever Castle is perfect for the whole family, and I learnt loads, enjoyed looking at cool pictures and had a very entertaining time. If you ever go to Kent, you should definitely visit!
Hever Castle costs £15.50 per adult for the castle and gardens, and £8.70 per child. A family ticket for castle and gardens is £39.70, although it's slightly cheaper if you just go for the gardens. The audio tour is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Chinese and Russian and costs £3.75. There is a special audio tour for children.
For more on great things to do in Kent, go to the Visit Kent website and take a look at Robert's blog post on Groombridge Place.
Here are some more posts by us:
Brighton In The Winter By Jessica
An Amazing Time At clueQuest By All Of Us!
Labels: castles, family travel in Kent, Hever Castle, Kent, places to go with kids in Kent