We pulled up to the large wooden gate and pushed the call button on the intercom. As we confirmed our reservation with the voice on the other side, the gate slowly opened, revealing the long, wooded drive into the castle grounds. Staying at the luxurious Hever Castle was an unplanned treat to ourselves. Romantic, historic, and surprisingly good value, we loved everything about our stay.
If staying in a castle is high on your travel bucket list, Hever Castle is easy to get to from London and makes the perfect romantic getaway.
We are not sponsored by Hever Castle. We just enjoyed our experience and thought you would too.
Where is Hever Castle?
Tucked away in the Kent countryside, Hever Castle is very close to both the Surrey and Sussex borders. The closest cities are Tonbridge and Royal Tunbridge Wells, about ten miles to the castle’s east.
Conveniently, Hever Castle is only 30-minutes from Gatwick Airport by car and about an hour from London Heathrow Airport.
Use postcode TN8 7NG to locate the castle via GPS.
If you plan on coming by train, use Edenbridge Town Station, which is only three miles away. Trains run from London Victoria and London Bridge and take forty minutes if you get a direct. You’ll need a taxi from the train station, which is best arranged ahead of time.
Hever Station is next on the train line and only one mile away, but it’s a much smaller station. You might not be able to get a taxi and will likely need to walk the mile.
To buy tickets and work out train times, we use the National Railway Journey Planner which saves so much time and hassle.
Booking a Room at Hever Castle
We found Hever Castle on Booking.com when looking for accommodation near Royal Tunbridge Wells. Finding a last-minute room at a castle came as an exciting surprise. Though, we did have one advantage, it was mid-February, completely outside tourist season.
Typically, rooms book out weeks in advance, so we don’t recommend waiting until last minute.
We didn’t have the luxury of advanced planning. We came back to the UK in a rushed trip to visit an ill-family member. Fortunately, their health amazingly improved, so we took a little time to ourselves at the end to do a short road trip through Kent. Hever Castle became the highlight!
Choosing a Room at Hever Castle
Hever Castle’s Bed and Breakfast has 28 individually designed rooms. No two rooms are the same.
Room classifications include Superior, Feature, Deluxe, and Standard. Most rooms have a double bed, but there are a few twins and two single rooms. Plus, there is the Edward VII Suite, the most expensive room at the castle, and a large “cottage” called Medley Court.
Higher rated rooms are more spacious with better views. Plus, all superior rooms have both a bath and walk-in shower, other rooms don’t necessarily have both.
Hever Castle guarantees a room in the classification you book, but they can’t guarantee a specific room for your stay. Though, they will try if you ask.
Arriving at the Hotel
As we pulled into the separate parking area for hotel guests, the concierge greeted us at our car. He then gave us a run down on the hotel and the perks which came with our stay.
After check-in, we were taken across the beautiful courtyard to our room in the Anne Boleyn Wing.
Unlike our stay at Thornbury Castle, we quickly realized the guest rooms at Hever Castle are not actually within the historical castle. Instead, the rooms are within the “Tudor Village” attached to the castle. Don’t let this deter you, every room still has tons of character.
In the early 20th century, Hever Castle went under a massive restoration commissioned by the owner at the time, William Waldorf Astor. Great care went into preserving the details of the castle.
As part of the renovation, Astor added the Tudor Village, Italian Gardens, Power Station, Stables, Home Farm, Kitchen Gardens, and Estate Cottages.
The Two Wings of Hever Castle
The hotel at Hever Castle is in the former Tudor Village, now known as the Astor and Anne Boleyn Wings.
The Astor Wing has a Billiard Room and a Lounge that guests of the Anne Boleyn Wing can use if there is not a private party in the Astor Wing. However, if there is a private party, the Astor Wing usually closes to other guests anyway.
There are three main differences between the wings.
- Refurbished in 2015, the rooms in the Anne Boleyn Wing are a little more modern and have air conditioning. However, we never had air conditioning when we lived in the UK, so we don’t think it’s a big deal unless you have an unusually hot summer day.
- The Anne Boleyn Wing opens for bookings six months in advance, while the Astor Wing is only available for bookings eight weeks in advance.
- The wings have different breakfast rooms with the Anne Boleyn Wing having a better view. However, as the hotel wasn’t busy, we ate breakfast in the Astor Wing. The windows were too high for a view, but it was still set in a gorgeous room.
Honestly, we feel it’s not worth stressing over which wing to choose. You’ll have a great experience in either. Pick the type of room you want, based on the price you want to pay, and just enjoy.
Our Room in the Anne Boleyn Wing
We chose a Deluxe Room in the Anne Boleyn Wing. Overlooking the courtyard, the Egremont room was tastefully decorated in an old-world nautical theme. The details were perfect, with dimmable lights, a tea and coffee caddy, and a beautiful standalone wardrobe.
The bathroom was large with both a sunken tub and a walk-in shower. Some rooms in the Deluxe category only have one or the other. However, some of those rooms have the elegant standalone roll-top tubs. As we mentioned, every room is different.
Biggest Perk of Staying at Hever Castle Hotel
All rooms come with admission to Hever Castle and the beautifully landscaped grounds. We found this to be the biggest perk of staying at Hever Castle and great value.
Check-in for the hotel wasn’t until 3 PM; however, as guests, we were invited to arrive as early as noon to pick up our tickets to enter the castle.
Even though the grounds closed at 4:30 PM in spring, we were able to continue wandering the gardens. The castle and some areas of the gardens closed for safety reasons, but we still found plenty to explore. The best part was being able to photograph the illuminated castle after dark.
Read more about our visit to Hever Castle and Gardens.
In the morning, we came out to photograph sunrise on the castle’s keep. We found the Italian Garden, which closed at night, already open for us to enjoy before the general public arrived.
Even though check-out was at 10:30, our tickets were good for the full day at the castle and grounds. After breakfast, we checked-out a tad early so we could be the first to enter the castle in the morning. It was well worth it to have the castle practically to ourselves.
Where to Eat When Staying at Hever Castle
Dinner at King Henry VIII Inn
Though there isn’t a restaurant on the castle grounds, it took us less than 10 minutes to walk to the King Henry VIII Inn.
With 1597 stamped above the door, this country pub was as authentic as it was tiny. We were glad we made reservations. Even in the off-season every table was full.
The menu had lots of traditional choices. Jeremy opted for the fish and chips, while I ordered the pork belly with vegetables. Though we were full, we couldn’t help but split a sundae to finish our evening.
If the King Henry VIII Inn isn’t available other restaurants within a short drive include:
- The Greyhound Inn
- The Castle Inn Pub
Or make your way to the town of Edenbridge where you’ll find the most choice, from Indian curry to Chinese dishes.
Breakfast at Hever Castle
Most hotels in the UK don’t include a hot cooked breakfast, though this is where Hever Castle is more like staying at a B&B.
As we entered the grand room with high ceilings and paneled walls, we had the choice of several hot breakfast options. We both went for the Eggs Benedict (our favorite). Other options included a Full English, American pancakes, and various egg dishes.
While we waited, we picked up pastries, fruit, cheeses, and yogurt from the cold buffet.
We hope you enjoy your stay at Hever Castle as much as we did. If you want to know more about visiting the castle and its beautiful gardens, continue reading Visiting Hever Castle: Anne Boleyn’s Childhood Home.
We’ll be posting more on the area shortly, so stay tuned. Until then, check out a few of our favorite posts from around England.