We love a bit of history here at Roonee and find great joy in taking our kids to explore some of our favourite historic sites across the UK. Hever Castle in Kent is a wonderful spot to visit, especially if you’re a fan of the Tudor period. Many kids learn about the Tudors in school, so this is an interesting one for them too. Let’s talk about exploring the site when you’re travelling alone with the with kids!
Hever Castle is most famous for being the seat of the Boleyn family. Anne Boleyn spent much of her childhood here, and after the ultimate demise of the Boleyn family, it was eventually passed to Anne of Cleves. Today, the castle and stunning grounds are open to visitors and there are often fun and exciting events on throughout the grounds. Make sure to check the website before you visit as you’ll need to book tickets and the Castle and Grounds close for a period over winter.
Hever is easy to get to if you’re driving but more difficult to get to if you’re using public transport. Edenbridge Town Station and Hever are the nearest railway stations but you’ll need to get a taxi for the final few miles of the trip as there are no busses.
While most of the castle grounds are accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, the castle is not. There is a makeshift buggy park area in the courtyard as you are about to enter the castle, but you won’t be allowed to take a buggy any further than this. Once inside the castle, there are lots of stairs to navigate if you want to see everything, which is fine if you have older, more energetic kids, but less fun if you’ve got toddlers or babies.
You’ll find a shop and tearoom within the castle grounds, while both are on ground floor level with no steps, getting around inside is a squeeze if you’ve got a big buggy. If you get to the tearoom at a time that’s not too busy, the staff will be more than happy to help you find a table with enough space to park your buggy. Highchairs are available and staff will be able to help you get them set up at your table if you need a hand – just ask if you’re not sure about anything.
What To Do
There is so much more than just the castle to explore at Hever. The grounds are stunning, and worth a walk around at all times of year – they are a really magical place for kids of all ages. Within the grounds there are two mazes – a small traditional hedge maze and a water maze. Both of these are amazing fun for kids, but not buggy friendly.
If you visit during school holidays, you’ll find that there are loads of kid-friendly activities to enjoy. Have-a-go archery sessions and shield painting stands are a regular occurrence (at a small additional fee), and there are jousting events scheduled throughout summer which are a real treat to watch.
Where to Eat
Hever boasts an impressive selection of eateries, so you’ll have plenty of choice. On a nice day, bring your own picnic to enjoy in the designated picnic grounds, or grab a few slices of pizza from the pizza van! There are several snack kiosks, the tearoom that we mentioned earlier, and a couple of sit-down venues that are aimed at adults.
Hever is a fascinating place to visit, but definitely easier to get around if you don’t have a buggy with you. There is plenty for older kids to see and do, but if you’ve got a baby with you and want to explore the castle, we recommend taking a carrier with you! Staff are friendly and helpful, making life easier for a solo mum, but don’t be afraid to ask if you need help with anything while you are visiting!