Hever Castle is somewhere that I have only discovered since moving to the south, but have been a number of times and really enjoy it there. I even did a triathlon there five years ago, so I’m not quite sure I will ever look at the lake the same way again… Just goes to show how large and spacious the grounds are at Hever Castle, and it makes a good choice for visit when you want to be socially distant.
The Autumn Colour Trail started on 1st October, and runs for six weeks, and it adds a new dimension to the childhood home of Anne Boleyn at this time of year. The grounds are huge, over 150 acres, so there is a lot to enjoy, and from Japanese gardens, to lake views, Italian gardens, water features, and more. As such, it is arguably one of the best times to see the castle and the grounds, with the lush red Boston Ivy covering the front of the Castle turns, as well as rich yellows, reds, and oranges, that clover the leaves round the grounds. There are tulip trees and Japanese maples scattered round too, which all contributing to real explosion of colour as you walk.
Natural Therapy and Forest Bathing
The idea behind the trail is to enjoy the outdoors and see all of the lush autumn colours, but also to enjoy some natural therapy, and perhaps practice the art of forest bathing. If we all need something to help calm us and relieve stress and anxiety at the moment, then getting out into nature is what will make a difference! The children and I really enjoyed the trail and seeing all that nature has to offer at this time of year. We were on the look out for conkers too, which we saw plenty of, so that is another element to add to your trip! It is honestly so pretty and the grounds there at Hever Castle really are impressive.
With the current situation, the guide for the autumn colour trail is downloadable before you go, though there are some maps that you can take pictures of as you enter the grounds. Of course, your tickets need to be booked in advance, which can be done online. There were plenty of stations to sanitise and wash hands as we walked around, and before going into the castle. Inside, such as when we grabbed a drink and a cake, and went into the castle itself, face coverings need to be worn.
They were limiting the number of people into the castle, and making sure that there were not a lot of people going in at once. We didn’t have to wait long at all, a couple of minutes, but it just meant that when we were inside we were spaced out enough from the group in front of us. They limit the number of people in each room of the castle, which makes a lot of sense, although some are just two at a time, which is just a point to note if you are in a larger number than two, as the children and I were. We felt totally safe though and distanced from others, with one-way systems in place.
There are so many things to see and so much space that we hardly came close to others anyway. So I’d definitely recommend for a day out where you can spread out. We were there for quite a while, as the grounds are large and there is a lot to see in the castle itself, so in terms of what you pay for entry price, you do get your money’s worth.
Check out this video which gives you an idea of the scale of the grounds, and the lush colours from the autumn leaves that you’ll discover on the colour trail:
The details: Hever Castle, Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG. Open from 10.30am – 6pm, Monday to Sunday.
*our entrance tickets were gifted in exchange for this post, however all opinions remain my own, and I would only recommend something that I would pay for myself.