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Be spellbound this summer at Hever Castle

Castle has a whole host of attractions lined up for school holidays

From magical activities to mythical quests as well as falconry displays and jousting, summer at Hever Castle promises something for all the family. Throughout the summer holidays (July 22 – August 31) visitors can take part in a series of hands-on activities and enter the magic of Hever during medieval times.

  • Join their resident sorcerers and learn the tricks of the trade.
  • Learn about magical creatures and find out which are friend and which are foe.
  • Find out how to cast spells and how to execute the perfect wand waving technique.
  • Pick up your broomstick and defend the castle from the dragon.
  • Come dressed as fairy-tale characters, your favourite witch or wizard or perhaps as a brave knight and the best dressed will receive a certificate.

Spellbound Summer takes place daily within the dates detailed above and is included in normal Hever Castle admission rates (see end of article).

Follow the brave knight on his quest through the castle, coming across mythical beasts and finding out the best way to protect yourself. Find all the shields hidden in the gardens which help to protect you from the mythical creatures. Discover how each shield works as your wander through the grounds.

On selected days in July and August visitors will be entertained by the falconry displays from Birds of Prey Willow Centre in Sevenoaks with two displays a day.

The popular Summer Jousting Tournament runs on selected dates in July and August. The Knights of Royal England will be entertaining visitors with exhilarating displays of action, stunts, falls and fights in an authentic arena. Battling it out in the saddle and on foot in one-to-one combat, the valiant knights will then compete for points to find this season’s ultimate champion.

A visit to Hever Castle is a perfect day out for the whole family with 125 acres of open space, glorious gardens, the fun Water Maze (will you get out without getting wet?) and three play areas including the Tudor Towers adventure playground. There’s also a newly-launched obstacle course in the woods aimed at four-to-eight-year-olds.

Gardens only admission – £15.85 (adult), £9.95 (child 5-17), under fives free, £43.60 (family). For more information on prices and opening times, visit

All pictures courtesy of Hever Castle & Gardens


David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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