Beyond London: Medieval Magnificence at Hever Castle & Gardens in Kent

My next adventure outside London sees me explore a real gem of Kent – Hever Castle & Gardens. An historical place of real significance steeped in nostalgia and grandeur, the Castle’s history spans more than 700 years. The medieval castle, gatehouse and walled bailey were built in 1270, and in the 15th and 16th centuries one of the most powerful and influential families in the country lived there, the Boleyns – who added the Tudor dwellings around the grounds.

Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle

Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, who would become King Henry VIII’s second wife and the Queen of England for just 1,000 days. The King wanted Anne to be his wife rather than his mistress, so as a result of this he renounced Catholicism and created the Church of England.

The Castle later passed into the ownership of Anne of Cleves – another of Henry VIII’s wives, and from 1557 onwards various families owned it including the Waldegraves, the Humphreys and the Meade Waldos.

Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle

Over the years the Castle fell into gradual decline before William Waldorf Astor invested time, money and imagination into restoring it. He commissioned the ‘Tudor Village’, now called the ‘Astor Wing’ and creation of the glorious gardens and lake area.

Walking through the Castle offers a wonderful perspective into the medieval and Tudor era, with a treasure trove of historical artefacts, furniture, fashion, paintings and decor. If you love your period dramas or history, you’re certainly in for a treat while you stroll in and out of the rooms, with something captivating and enlightening to discover.

Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle

A step outside the Castle takes you to the spectacularly beautiful gardens, which were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal and Son, who turned marshland into this beautiful area. My walking adventures have seen me explore a number of Italian Gardens and the lovely one at Hever Castle was designed to display William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculptures.

Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens

Over 1,000 men worked on the grand design for the garden, with around 800 men taking two years to dig out the 38 acre (14.2 ha) lake at the far end of the Italian Garden. In four years 125 acres (50 ha) of landscape were constructed and planted, which includes the colourful walled Rose Garden which contains over 4,000 bushes.

Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens

It’s not just stunning greenery that is on offer, but the Gardens have many water features, including Half Moon Pond, the Cascade, the cool and shady grottoes, the formal Loggia fountain inspired by the Trevi fountain in Rome, and the less formal Two Sisters’ Pond. While you walk around you must keep your eye out for trees that were planted over 100 years ago, as well as the Tudor Garden, Rhododendron Walk and Anne Boleyn’s Walk.

Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens

Although an historically influenced garden, there have been several changes to it over the past few years, namely the Millennium Fountain being installed on Sixteen Acre Island. Also, a 100 metre herbaceous border has been reinstated and Sunday Walk and Church Gill Walk created, providing a peaceful woodland garden following the course of a stream. Additionally, the Yew Maze and a fun Water Maze provide plenty of enjoyment for visitors.

Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens
Hever Gardens

When you visit Hever Castle you’re visiting the Gardens just as much as the Castle, and you haven’t done your trip justice if you don’t walk around the entire lake area to see the watery wonders on show.

Hope you’ve enjoyed joining me on my journey around Hever Castle & Gardens and stay tuned for my next ‘Beyond London’ discovery. Thanks for reading and in the meantime, you can follow all my walks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – and don’t forget to sign up to my blog too so you don’t miss a post! Also, why not have a read of my other walks which explore all over London, from north to south, to west to east via central, there’s something there for you – and you can also read my very special walk of San Francisco too – and that’s not all – you can also listen to some of my walks on my London Wlogger podcast.

Here are the links to all my walks and podcasts:

Victoria to Green Park

Marble Arch to Mayfair

The Shard to Monument

King’s Cross to Hampstead Heath

Leadenhall Market to Old Spitalfields Market

Waterloo to The London Eye

St Paul’s Cathedral to Moorgate

Mile End Park to London Fields

Hyde Park Corner to Italian Gardens

Little Venice to Abbey Road

Regent’s Park to Soho Square

Clapham Common to The Albert Bridge

Grosvenor Gardens to Knightsbridge

Holland Park to Meanwhile Gardens

Hackney Downs to Springfield Park

Tower Bridge to Stave Hill

Shoreditch to Islington Green

Highgate to Finsbury Park

Ravenscourt Park to Wormwood Scrubs

Covent Garden to Southwark Bridge

Putney Bridge to Barnes Common

Westminster Abbey to Vauxhall Bridge

Crystal Palace Park to Dulwich Wood

Clapham Junction to Battersea Bridge

Norbury Park to Tooting Commons

Lesnes Abbey Woods to the Thames Barrier

Richmond Green to Wimbledon Common

Chiswick Bridge to Kew Green

Gladstone Park to Fryent Country Park

Whitehall to Piccadilly Circus

Tower of London to the Limehouse Basin

Ham Common to Hampton Court Bridge

The San Francisco Wlogger

The House Mill to Hackney Marshes

Twickenham Stadium to Crane Park Island

The Oval to Brockwell Park

Arnos Park to Trent Country Park

Blackheath to Mudchute Park & Farm

The Bridges of London (Part one) – Tower Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge

The Bridges of London (Part two) – Grosvenor Railway Bridge to Kew Bridge

The Bridges of London (Part three) – Richmond Lock and Footbridge to Hampton Court Bridge

15 of my Favourite Hidden Gems in London

The Historical and Modern Landmarks of London

Exploring Six of London’s Parks

Discovering Nine of London’s Commons

Introducing the London Wlogger Podcast

Episode 2: Tower Bridge to Stave Hill

Episode 3: Victoria to Green Park

Episode 4: Richmond Green to Wimbledon Common

Episode 5: Hyde Park Corner to Italian Gardens

Episode 6: Little Venice to Abbey Road

Episode 7: Waterloo to The London Eye

Episode 8: Highgate Wood to Finsbury Park

Episode 9: Regent’s Park to Soho Square

Episode 10: Hackney Downs and Springfield Park

Episode 11: The Shard to Monument

Episode 12: St Paul’s Cathedral to Moorgate

Episode 13: Gladstone Park to Fryent Country Park

Episode 14: Chiswick Bridge to Kew Green

Beyond London: Reigate Hill (Surrey)

Beyond London: Quebec House (Kent)

Beyond London: Sheffield Park Station and Garden (Sussex)

Beyond London: Titsey Place (Surrey)

Sources:

All photos taken by London Wlogger © Copyright 2022

Information about Hever Castle & Gardens

14 thoughts on “Beyond London: Medieval Magnificence at Hever Castle & Gardens in Kent

    1. You’re very right, there’s so much to see, the walk around the lake area takes an hour or so! Plus in addition to the castle and gardens, there might be a show or stalls too on display 😊 Hope you get to enjoy it soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How I love this post! Your photos are fantastic, almost as good as being there. We went to Hever twice when we lived in England 40 years ago. It was one of the first historical places we visited and one of our favorites. Thank you for sharing this visit with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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