Gifted¦ We didn’t go to Hever Castle at all last year due to a combination of the pandemic and me being pregnant with our rainbow baby. I think the last time we went was Christmas 2019 and I missed it so much! It is without a doubt one of my most favourite places in Kent to go for a day out. Therefore, when I could see that sun was finally forecast for the late May bank holiday weekend, I knew exactly what I wanted to do! Fortunately, Hever Castle’s online booking system made it very easy to book a slot. We chose a morning one to allow us to make the most of the day-and what a glorious day it was!
Upon arrival, we were a little surprised to find that some areas were off limits due to filming! I looked on the website and saw that it’s yet another thing Covid-19 is to blame for – it was meant to take place in January but was rescheduled due to lockdown and legal contracts resulted in it having to occur now. Although I was immediately disappointed to not be able to access the Loggia, there is so much beauty to explore still and I was just so glad to be back. However, the restrictions on certain areas did mean that we had to enter the gardens via a path we had never been down before. I was delighted by the aroma of wild garlic as we walked along. Autumn bent down and sniffed it too on my request!
I find Hever Castle the perfect combination of nature being allowed to be itself and manicured lawns. The gardeners do such an amazing job. Blue Corner is my favourite, but there is an abundance of beautiful rhododendrons in bloom at the moment.
While we’re on the subject of nature, Autumn and I were so excited to see a mother swan with her cygnets! They were adorable. We sat in the sunshine and just watched them for quite some time while Reuben napped.
Eventually, Autumn got bored and decided it was time for us to move on and roll down some hills instead!
Autumn wasn’t the only one rolling down hills, either! Reuben is 4 months old now and hasn’t successfully managed to roll over yet. However, he did manage to roll when he was on his playmat at a downhill angle!
This half-term, Hever Castle are providing educational fun for children with their discovery week. Edwardian and Victorian characters offer children insights into archaeology, palaeontology, entomology, physics, tricky, inventions and discovery. Wow, I wouldn’t want to try and say all of that quickly! From what I saw, it seemed very inspiring and was put across in a way that children would understand and be entertained.
While we were waiting to have a go at doing an archaeological dig, Autumn met a Victorian gentleman. Autumn was SO shocked to find out that he was 153 years old! He told her about how children her age would already be working in his time. She didn’t think she liked the sound of climbing inside machines. Understandably, she decided she would much rather go to school with her friends instead.
We had so much fun finding various Anglo-Saxon artefacts in our pit. Autumn was so excited each time we found anything and really enjoyed gently cleaning the sand off of arrowheads with a toothbrush.
We had a good walk around, admiring the castle and the huge fish in the moat. It was so pleasantly warm and there was barely a cloud in the sky. For the most part, it just felt like one of those lovely carefree days where it feels right to just gently meander wherever you feel like going. Of course, life is never completely relaxing with a 4 year old in tow!
We had a brief stint at the playground, (which is the most beautiful playground I think I’ve ever seen), then headed over to the water maze! I was very excited and volunteered to go in with her. The aim is to get to the middle without getting wet – but of course the kids all try to get as wet as possible!
Autumn was no exception to the rule. I was very glad I’d brought spare clothes knowing it was the right weather for the water maze!
At one point, I stepped on a stone thinking it was going to be fine but then a man shouted “Oooh!” behind me, just as water shot up my back! Autumn, of course, found this hilarious! After all our fun in the maze, we definitely deserved an ice cream. Autumn had her second Solley’s of the day and I enjoyed one too.
Desperate to make the most of the sunshine and beautiful surroundings, we finished our day taking a short walk alongside part of the lake. I am determined to go on a boat on one of our next visits and walk around the whole thing. It is absolutely gorgeous and the only part of Hever Castle’s gardens that I haven’t really seen yet. I love the thought of Anne Boleyn walking around these gardens and lakes in her fine gowns.
Autumn ended the day muddy and sticky with ice cream, happy but tired. I asked her what her favourite thing about the day was. She couldn’t pick just one and told me the best things were the water maze and being allowed to have two ice creams!
Hever Castle has something for everyone. Gardens, history, places to run, romance and great food! Already I can’t wait until we’re back there again.
Disclosure: We received free entry into Hever Castle’s gardens in exchange for this review. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.
Welcome to my blog! I'm Laura, a 29 year old mum of two. I live in Kent with my high school sweetheart husband Dave, our daughter Autumn and newborn son Reuben.
I write about my experiences of parenting, as well as my plethora of interests including fashion, beauty, cars, weddings, mental health and the home.