We were lucky enough to Visit Hever Castle Over the Easter School Holiday’s. Hever Castle was once a childhood home to Anne Boleyn, who was wife to King Henry the 8th and mother to Elizabeth 1st.
The castle its self dates back to the 13th Century and has seen many changes though out the centuries with the changing of monarchy.
There are many beautiful Gardens around the castle and the moat, these were just modest gardens around the castle walls until William Astor brought the castle in 1903 and they are now award winning gardens.
April 18th – May 7th There is Tulips Celebrations going on around the gardens there are 7,000 tulips currently in bloom. They look totally amazing, They are certainly worth popping down to see.
We loved having a wander around the gardens, we saw many wildlife including a black swan, only a small number of black swans are in the UK. There is also a large boating lake which you will be able to take a small boat ride around the lake. If you do not fancy a boat ride there is a lovely lake walk. There is a mini model of the castle and I think other buildings in a section at the back of the shop, It was lovely to see but I did find it a bit dark to try and read but to be honest it could be my reaction lenses trying to adjust going from bright sunshine to indoor light.
Over Easter Holiday’s the Castle had lots on for the children, they had a Easter Egg Hunt, Easter bonnet making and a Easter bonnet parade for the children to take part in. There is also a maze and a water maze for everyone to join in, there is also a play area too, which is in excellent condition. There is also Archery and shield painting which runs from 1st April until the 29th October, and starts from £3.
I felt the Easter Bonnet making was great value for money as it was just £1, Bear and Bell really enjoyed doing this, there was lots of choice from stickers, to crepe paper, to stencils and gems to decorate the bonnet. The member of staff running the area was very helpful and friendly. We unfortunately didn’t get time to check out the shield paining and Archery, but we will certainly have a go next time we visit!
The Easter Egg hunt was in partnership with Lindt chocolate, was also great fun, the clues were easy to find and the clues took you mostly around the garden area. The children enjoyed looking out for the clues and got really excited when they found them, at the end there was a lindt bunny at the end to take home.
We were also very lucky to met the King, when we entered the castle, he was very friendly, helpful and certainly made the castle seem more alive. The Castle was bright an you could have a lovely look at all the beautiful items on show, without the rooms feeling crowded. The staff were helpful and answered any questions Bear had. Going round the castle was very easy to follow unlike some places we have recently visited.
We brought a picnic with us, there was plenty of space to sit down with a picnic blanket or there was plenty of benches to sit on if you prefer, The shop had a great choice of gifts and there was a good selection of pocket money toys if your little ones fancy buying something tiny.
Even though we didn’t take a buggy, We are now out of that stage, I felt Hever castle is very buggy friendly around the ground, the buggy’s are not allowed in the castle so I do suggest you take a baby carrier or carry your little one round. The grounds are also wheelchair friendly but hilly in some places. There are six different trail walks which you can download before you go via the webpage, – Hever Castle Trails to Download
The views walking around the castle are very pretty and personally I think it would be a great visit all year round for all the family. The Children really enjoyed exploring the gardens and finding new places which they seemed to miss coming in.
The prices are very good £16.90 for a adult for both the castle and the grounds and £9.50 for children over 5 years old. Hever castle offers a discount for seniors and students. There is also a family price of £44.50. There is also a small shop where you can buy some plants and a little coffee van too!
This is certainly a great value family day out for all the family, if you are not local there are a few places to stay near including Hever Castle its self.