Travel UK

England || Hever Castle

On Bank Holiday Monday, Sam and I ventured out to Hever Castle for a day of exploring and castle gazing. It just so happened that it was the big summer jousting tournament, by pure coincidence. Hever Castle is a gorgeous home once owned by Anne Boleyn’s family. It’s where she grew up and where Henry VIII wooed her (if you can call what Henry would do “wooing”.) 

Later the house was owned by the Astor family, and they added on a lot of modern wings and updates. It’s weird to see Tudor architecture juxtaposed to golden-age American influences, but though anachronistic and strange, the effect is still exciting. My absolute favourite feature of the entire grounds are all the mazes the Astors installed. My absolute favourite being the “water maze” where if you made a wrong turn, a jetty of water squirts out at you. (The paving stones are pressurised to sense when someone is on them and the wrong ones squirt you.) It was so easy to picture drunken flappers and society grand-dames, having highball glasses in their hands, squealing around corners and laughing when their insanely expensive dresses were soaked. 

The other not-to-be-missed section of the grounds is the pavilion down by the lake. It’s a bit of a walk from the Castle itself, through the Italian Gardens, but it’s so stunning that you’d truly miss out if you hadn’t seen it. 

The jousting tournament itself was hilarious. Loads of families turned up just for it. (Bank Holiday Monday must be the busiest day of the year for Hever Castle.) Though a bit cheesy, the riders themselves clearly were hugely skilled! And horses are just so impressive up close. 

fountain Hever Castle Hever Castle and moat Hever Castle up close
bird bush
astor guest house
tudor structure
by the water
me in gardens
historical reenactor
metal worker
suit of armor
red knight
the joast

Hever Castle is located at: TN8 7NG

You can get there by taking a train to Edenbridge then getting a taxi. Or do what we did: get the train to Hever and then make the 20 minute walk from the train station. 

Have you ever been to Hever Castle? 

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  • TravelWithNanoB

    Looks like such a beautiful place. Every time I am in a castle I imagine what life looked like there centuries ago, and think about all the secrets those old walls held. So atmospheric! xoxo, nano |

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    I love the tone of your photos in this post and what a fun experience.

  • Miu

    From the first picture I would have guessed you were in Italy! And the water maze sounds so much fun on a summer day 😀

  • What a beautiful place! The grounds look so pretty. xxx

  • This looks like so much fun! And your outfit, so adorable!

  • I love visiting castle and going back in time. Great photos!

  • I like how the jousters beard hangs out of his armour. I also like the pic of you bottom gazing. Lastly, I have a new goal in life: own a water maze.

  • how cool that your visit coincided with the jousting event:)

  • Wow what a place, and how wonderful that you got to visit this awesome place, it looks like a place I would love, the thought of visiting a castle would excite me.

  • Oooooh, so pretty! My daughter would love playing in the water maze–she’d probably make wrong turns just to get squirted. 🙂 Your top with the little bow is adorable!

    • There were definitely kids there running back and forth over “wrong” sections just to get squirted so she’d be in good company. And thank you so much! x

  • I simply can’t think of any reason why I haven’t been – and this post has me pulling out my diary! 😃 Thank you!!

  • Great photos! The water maze sounds super fun. I’ve loved jousting ever since A Knight’s Tale, though I’m not sure how accurate the movie was. Looks like it was awesome in person!

  • Laura Torninoja

    I can’t believe I’ve never been to this place before! Anne Boleyn is definitely one of my favourite historical figures ever, so I feel like I owe it to her to visit here haha x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • For a minute i mistook your first photo for a picture of the Trevi fountain in Rome 🙂 . I definitely need to explore more of the UK as you quite rightly show, there are some beautiful places to visit! xx

    • It was inspired by Italian fountains so I’m sure the original architect would be crazy happy that you thought so! x

  • It looks so beautiful! I love the idea of the water squirting you if you step on the wrong stone, it reminds me of Forbidden Corner! Have you been?
    Bee |

    • Ugh, no, but I’ve been bugging Sam for YEARS now to schedule a trip to the Forbidden Corner! One of my old flatmates said being there was one of her happiest memories ever! x

  • I love me a good ole fashioned jousting! Lol

  • So jealous! Hever’s on my list of places to visit.

  • It’s quite the estate! Looks like people are making the most of it – and what a cool coincidence that you were there for the jousting haha
    For half a second I thought that the first photo was a painting by the way. They look lovely!

  • That’s a different knight than the one we saw! Adam had me convinced the same knights went around the country and did all the jousting haha