London Bridge Station, SE1 9SP, London
Join us for the perfect day out in Kent! Experience 700 years of history at the romantic double-moated castle, discover magnificent award-winning gardens set in 125 acres of glorious grounds at Hever Castle, take a peaceful walk around the magical lake, be treated to a thrilling six horse Jousting Tournament pitting the Knights of Royal England against the Scots – this is going to be an amazing outdoor adventure!
– Entrance to the Hever Castle
– Entrance to the Hever Gardens
– Walk around the Hever Lake
– Train tickets
What’s not included:
Dating back to the 13th century, Hever Castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Mother of Elizabeth I. It formed the unlikely backdrop to a sequence of tumultuous events that changed the course of Britain’s history, monarchy and religion.
Its panelled rooms house fine furniture, tapestries, antiques and what is regarded as ‘one of the best collections of Tudor portraits after the National Portrait Gallery’ by David Starkey. The Book of Hours Room beautifully illuminates two prayer books which belonged to Anne Boleyn and bear her inscriptions and signature.
Today, much of what you see is the result of the remarkable efforts of William Waldorf Astor, who used his fortune to restore and extend the Castle in the early 20th century. The Astor Suite is dedicated to its more recent history, showcasing pictures and memorabilia relating to the Astor family and the Edwardian period.
Hever Castle is what every child wants a castle to be: crenelated, moated and haunted. A permanent exhibition in the Long Gallery brings the 16th century to life with costumed figures illustrating key events in Anne’s life at the Castle.
Discover magnificent award-winning gardens set in 125 acres of glorious grounds at Hever Castle. Marvel at the Pompeiian wall and classical statuary in the Italian Garden; admire the giant topiary chess set and inhale the fragrance of over 4,000 rose bushes in the quintessential English Rose Garden.
The Loggia, overlooking the 38-acre lake, is the perfect spot to relax before exploring the many cascades, grottoes and fountains. A stroll through the Tudor Garden, Blue Corner or Rhododendron Walk, provide colour and interest throughout the year.
THE LAKE AT HEVER CASTLE
Enjoy a leisurely one-hour stroll around the lake to see parts of the gardens many visitors miss, including a stunning waterfall surrounded by vibrant autumn leaves. Keep your eyes peeled on the walk for wildlife such as reed buntings, the great crested grebe, green woodpecker, herons and kingfisher.
The 38 acre lake, the brainchild of William Waldorf Astor, was excavated and constructed by 800 men who were contracted in December 1904 to “carry on the works regularly and continuously by day and night (except on Sundays) when so ordered” and complete the work in two years! The lake was filled in July 1906.
Today the Lake provides a tranquil location to reflect, away from the castle and gardens. The magical lakeside locations of the Italian Loggia and Japanese Tea House Folly not only provide wonderful points from which to view the lake but are stunning vistas from the Lake itself. Nature lovers will enjoy the nature trail on Lake Walk and boating provides fun for all ages.
The Knights of Royal England return to battle it out at the annual Hever Castle Jousting Tournament. Spectators will be treated to and a thrilling six horse Jousting Tournament pitting the Knights of Royal England against the Scots.Witness spectacular displays of action, stunts, falls and fights in an authentic arena complete with Royal Box.
Listen to bagpipes played in tribute to the Scottish jousters and follow the procession from the Castle forecourt as Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Knights of Royal England make their way to the arena. Bring a blanket or watch the joust in style from the medieval spectator stands, available for a small cost. Then choose which knights you support and cheer them to glory.
Jousting is included but you can buy tickets for seating in the medieval spectator stands upon arrival at the stands with cash only and on a first-come first-served basis.
10:30 a.m. Please note that we will aim to take the 11:08 a.m. train* from London Bridge Station, so we will wait at the meeting point until 10:50 a.m. Please be there sharp on time. If you are late we will not be able to wait but you will be welcome to catch up with us at the platform or at the destination but it will be your responsibility to find us.
Train*: Please note that as the rail network is very unreliable, those details might change depending on the train delays and we may take an earlier or later train. The decision might need to be taken by the leader on the spot to suit the group’s needs. If you do not arrive at the meeting time, we can not guarantee that you will be able to catch up with the group as the leader may not be able to update you about any changes – even if you call or message them, as sometimes the phone network might not be available and often they might be busy taking care of the group. Leader’s priority will always have to be the customers that arrived on time. We add the train details in order to help you out if you have problems getting to the meeting point on time, but take no responsibility for any changes – so the only way to ensure you do not miss out on the event is to arrive on time at the meeting point.
This event includes some walking but is not a hike. There is a short walk of around 1 mile to the castle itself. Later in the day, there is a walk through the gardens and a gentle stroll around the lake, taking in a couple of mazes on the route, which is around 1.5 – 2 miles, and finally, a walk back to the train station at the end of the day.
Plan of the day:
Train from London Bridge to Hever
Visit to the castle
Visit to the gardens
You can bring your own picnic to enjoy at one of the many picnic areas in the grounds. Horse Shoe Lawn provides a perfect setting with sun and shade and a picturesque castle view. Half Moon Lawn is another popular choice with views over the pond. Venture further afield and you will discover Two Sisters Lawn adjacent to the Theatre which is surrounded by delightful flower beds, or follow signs for Lake Walk and choose a secluded spot.
Picnic benches can also be found outside the Hever Shop, there are a number of benches dotted around the estate.
If you prefer to have a quick cup of coffee, afternoon tea, or a meal, the Moat Restaurant is a great place for it. With beautiful views of the Castle, here you can enjoy a variety of freshly made sandwiches and a large selection of freshly baked cakes available to eat in or take away, plus hot and cold dishes and children’s meals.
Train from Hever to London Bridge
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