I have lived in the United Kingdom for 5 years. During this time I have travelled to a few places around England and have seen a few castles. Hever Castle was one of them.
Brief information about Hever Castle:
Hever Castle is an important historic castle on the English landscape. Different from many traditional castles, Hever Castle has no keep. Historically the castle was the home of different owners’ family. Back to 1270 it was built as a country house. From 1462 to 1539 it was the property of Boleyn family. Anne Boleyn, the intriguing second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I, spent her early youth there and became the most famous resident of the house. After her death the castle became into the possession of King Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. Now it's a tourist attraction and open to the public.
Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, near Edenbridge, Kent, England. You can drive your car to get Hever Castle. There are two parking areas, the bigger one of which is nearby the main entrance.
What to see at Hever Castle:
As a tourist attraction Hever Castle has an impressive building which has links to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. There is a wooden bridge over the moat. Entering the house and following the guide signs you can see a drawing room, which has a tudor decoration and furniture. However most of them were not original. In the living room you can see the portraits, furniture and tapestries. At the second floor there was a room, which was said to be the bedroom of Anne Boleyn. It's a very small room. To be honest I was surprised to see she stayed in a such small room as the daugher of the house owner. Next her bedroom you can see some displays, two of which were her prayer boos, both signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn. You can also see the original letters between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. From these letters I would like to belive there was a real love between them, not only for the interests of politics. Continuously walking I visited the Long Galley in which you can see the Henry VIII and his six wives portraits. Just at this moment I knew the relationship between Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth First. ( Shame on me). In the thirteenth century gatehouse there was a collection of historic swords, armour, instruments of execution, torture and discipline. You can also see the history of the house at the next room, particularly about the last owner William Waldorf Astor. There were pictures of some famous visitors including the queen Elizabeth Second and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. My last see at the house was the fashion exhibition of Tudor ages. You can see the dress Anne Boleyn had when she married to Henry VIII.
Hever Castle Garden is a beautifully designed garden.It was laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son. To me the most magnificent areas of the gardens was the Italian Garden, which was designed to display William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculpture. I was very impressed with the water features around the gardens too. Last but not least walking along Anne Boleyn’s Walk amid enjoying the views was very enjoyable too.
Opening times and prices:
Hever Castle is open daily between 1 April and 31 October. The garden is open from 10:30am to 6pm and the Castle is open from 12 noon to 6pm. Currently the admissions are £15 for adult and £8.50 for child.
Hever Castle is a beautiful and impressive Tudor building, which has a strong connection of Anne Bolyen and Henry VIII. It’s a great place for a day out.
Nearby Hever Castle you can also visit Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill and Knole, the Childhood Home of Vita Sackville-West.