If you want to check out a classic fairy tale castle, you can’t go past Hever Castle. It truly does fit the stereotype and is just a short trip south of London – we did a day trip from my brother’s place in Greenwich and it took just under an hour to drive there.
While Hever Castle is incredibly pretty, if you go in Spring (and possibly in Summer) you might find it just as enjoyable to only pay for entry to the Gardens and stick to viewing the castle from the outside. The walk around the castle itself was interesting but whether it was ‘worth’ the ticket price, I’m not sure.
You should also be prepared for a queue to enter the Castle as only a limited number of people are allowed in at a time – we arrived early and only queued for about 10 minutes but later in the day, the line was seriously long.
If you’re heading to Hever Castle with a baby, I’d recommend our approach of taking our travel pram and a baby carrier. The castle interior isn’t suitable for strollers so being able to leave the pram in the buggy parking area and pop Gemma in the baby carrier was much better than having to hold a wriggly baby while trying to climb stairs in the castle. The pram was handy so I didn’t have to carry her all day and she had somewhere to sit while we had lunch (as you’d expect, there are no high chairs in the outdoor eating areas).
The Gardens really were lovely though. We spent most of the day exploring everything from the formal walled gardens through to the woodlands (including bluebells).
Our only disappointment for the day was the food options – we opted for the barbecue and scored some indifferent sausages in cardboard flavoured buns (and the tomato sauce had run out). We should have packed a picnic to enjoy in the gardens – live and learn!
Overall though, Hever Castle and Gardens is the place to visit if you’re looking for a quintessential castle experience.