The Lake at Hever Castle
The 38 acre lake, the brainchild of William Waldorf Astor, was excavated and constructed by 800 men who were contracted in December 1904 to “carry on the works regularly and continuously by day and night (except on Sundays) when so ordered” and complete the work in two years! The lake was filled in July 1906.
Today the Lake provides a tranquil location to reflect, away from the castle and gardens. The magical lakeside locations of the Italian Loggia and Japanese Tea House folly not only provide wonderful points from which to view the lake but are stunning vistas from the Lake itself. Families and nature lovers will enjoy the nature trail on Lake Walk and boating provides fun for all ages.
At the lake
Take a peaceful walk around the lake and along the way see bird boxes that are home to owls, blue tits, robins and woodpeckers and look out for kingfishers, swans, herons and crested grebes on the lake itself. At the foot of the lake there are three second world war pill boxes built to defend a key crossing point on the River Eden. The walk takes approximately 1 hour.
Download an enjoyable nature trail to complete during your walk.
• Lake Walk is weather dependent so please check on arrival
Discover the beauty and serenity of the lake at your own pace in one of our rowing boats, canoes or pedalos and take in the stunning views. Boating is available for hire from the Edwardian boathouse on the lakeside near the Loggia.
Boating is only available on weekends until 20 September.
• Opening times 11am – 5pm.
• Payment is by cash only.
• Dogs on leads are welcome.
• Annual Members will receive £1 discount per boat.
• Cannot be booked in advance
Please note: boating is subject to availability and is weather dependent.
N.B. The African Queen Steamboat has been decommissioned.
Japanese tea house
Built on the edge of the lake on the peninsula of Sixteen Acre Island, the Japanese Tea House Folly is best viewed from the Loggia. For a closer view of the Folly you can hire a boat to row across the lake or take the Lake Walk. Visitors can walk around and sit under the veranda but the interior is closed to the public. The Tea House is available for hire for private events and special occasions accommodating up to 6 people comfortably.
A kaleidoscope of rainbow colours has burst forth beside the Lake with fourteen species including Calendula officinalis (Marigold), Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower), Cosmos bipinnatus, Linum grandiflorum (Flax) and Papaver rheas (Common Poppy).
Sown during the period of April – June, the flowering period of this rainbow mix will continue here until November.