We spent a wonderful (but very wet) morning at Hever Castle today. The team at Hever Castle invited us to come and see the new under 7’s play area but I decided to try and compile the top five things to do for under 7’s at the castle – because we all know how hard it is to keep little ones amused over the Summer holidays.
Here’s what we loved doing today (even in the rain)!
Exploring the grounds
The grounds at Hever Castle are huge and there is something for every age to enjoy and see. The rose gardens were stunning at this time of year, the Italian gardens with views over the lake gorgeous and the girls loved watching the ducks and ducklings in the water by the Castle. You could spend a whole day exploring the grounds, it’s vast. There really is so much to see.
If a long walk is something you enjoy (maybe if a little one is asleep in the buggy) the hours walk around the lake is beautiful with lots of opportunities to spot wildlife such as kingfishes, swans and herons.
At certain times in the year and on weather-dependent days, you can also hire boats on the lake. They have pedalos, canoes and rowing boats. Head to the Edwardian boathouse to find the boats. This is probably more suitable for older children.
Playing in the new adventure playgrounds
There are two play areas at Hever Castle. The first a Tudor playground for children over 7 which has an amazing Castle for little ones to explore. The newest edition, Acorn Dell is a natural play area for under 7’s. I was blown away by how amazing this was. It’s set entirely on sand and built with sustainable materials – think wood and trees/vines. For the adventurous there are two lookout platforms located in the trees that link to a bridge and a huge slide!
The girls absolutely loved it and if it hadn’t been pouring with rain could have spent hours there. The girls particularly loved the tunnels and played lots of hide and seek! There is also a play area for under 5’s with swings, a slide and climbing frame.
The Castle is absolutely beautiful and well worth an explore. We have been around the Castle on a previous visit with my husband so we decided to have a look from the outside today so we could see more of the grounds but I would definitely recommend a look around for little ones with an interest in history.
Pretending to be Knights and Princesses
Hever Castle always have activities on at key periods in the year. We went to the Castle at Easter for their Lindt bunny hunt but over the Summer (until the 27th August) you can find archery lessons and a Princess and Knight school. Children can learn what it was like to grow up as either a Knight or a Princess and we encouraged to dress up. We didn’t do the full lesson today but we got involved in making our own shields today which both girls really enjoyed. It was a lovely survivor to take home with us.
These free classes last for around 40 minutes and take place daily at 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 15:00 and 16:00. You can find the school in a tent on the way to the Water Maze.
Dodging water in the water maze
Towards the back of the Castle you’ll find the Water Maze. The water maze gives lots of splashing fun for families, the object of the maze being to get to the middle where the secret grotto lies – but how wet you get in the process is up to the maze which has hidden water jets that splash visitors as they step on the stones around the grotto.
We cheated slightly as I was nervous to take Evie out of the buggy but the girls loved exploring the grotto!
Have you been to Hever Castle? What was your favourite part?
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