The Garden Landscape Guide

Hever Castle Garden

A moated Tudor castle with a twentieth century garden. The garden was made, after 1903, for William Waldorf Astor, with 1,000 men employed. Its style is Italian/Arts and Crafts and still contains the large collection of Italian sculpture which Astor assembled when American Ambassador in Rome. The gardens were designed by an architect (F L Pearson) and a nurseryman (J Cheale). A 38 acre lake was also made, dug by 800 workers over 2 years. The garden has topiary chessmen clipped from golden yew, a Pompeiian Wall, a great pergola, a loggia, a rose garden and a fountain inspired by the Villa d'Este.

Hever, Nr Edenbridge, Kent, England, TN8 7NG

Opening times 2013 Main Season: Gardens open at 10.30am; Castle opens at 12.00pm. Feb 18 – 28 (daily) last admission 4pm; final exit 5pm Mar 1 – 31 (Weds-Sun) last admission 4pm; final exit 5pm Apr 1 – Oct 30 (daily) last admission 5pm; final exit 6pm (31 October final exit 5pm) Winter Season: Nov 2 – Dec 24 (Weds-Sun) see website for opening hours Closed Dec 25 and 26, then open daily between Dec 27 and Jan 2 2014

2013 Admission Rates Castle & Gardens: Adult: £15.00 Senior: £12.75 Child (5-15): £8.50 *Family: £38.50 (*2 adults; 2 children or 1 adult; 3 children) Gardens only: Adult: £12.50 Senior: £10.75 Child (5-15): £8.00 *Family: £33.00 (*2 adults; 2 children or 1 adult; 3 children)

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Designers and Influences


  • over 7 years by Gail Fanning 4 / 5

    Enjoyed Hever all around: the knights jousting, the family history, the topiary chess garden, the water maze, the rose garden... and so much more. Very crowded the day we were there, but if you stay late you can have some more quiet moments to enjoy.
  • almost 8 years by Adam Hodge 3 / 5

    An extraordinary place! SO many different styles and yet the most bizarre is the Italian Garden. On can imagine Edwardian ladies and Gentleman promenading along the paths. Many aspects reflect the fabulous wealth of Mr Astor. Many of the little planted gardens to your left as one advances to the lake are so naff its unbelievable, and yet in the middle is a very pleasantly planted garden surronded by a Yew Hedge.
    Why have all the statues or pots been removed from the end balustrading that looks out onto the lake- their absence makes the place bleak !
    The colours of roses in the Rose garden are too noisy for me- the perimeter of Rose Iceberg with all the crashing colours of the central beds make for a crude visual riot !
    The loveliest parts I think are the rose gardens near the Castle..the utter surprise as one enters the Ballerina garden and the spacious rolling lawns with gorgeous well chosen and spaced mature trees creating a Reptonian landscape with added richness from a broader choice of trees.
    The place is generally well maintained, with a rich collection of interesting plants. It is just littered with some occasional querky planting additions that are just plain wrong !!

The reviews and ratings originate in all cases from third parties. Gardenvisit is in no case responsible for the correctness or accuracy of the reviews. Reviews and similar information are not an expression of Gardenvisit's opinions.

Hever Castle, June 2008 Italian Garden. Photograph ©
Italian Garden, Hever Castle Pompeiian Wall. Photograph ©
Rose Garden, Hever Castle Rose Garden. Photograph ©
Herbaceous Border, Hever Castle Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
Half-Moon Pond, Hever Castle Garden Half-Moon Pond. Photograph ©
Hever Castle Garden, 2008 Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
Hever Castle Garden, June Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
Hever Castle, Chess Garden Chess Garden. Photograph ©
Hever Aerial View. Photograph © Hever Castle Ltd