Christmas 2021 at Hever Castle FAQs

Attractions

CHRISTMAS 2021

Please be aware that we cannot process your booking over the phone. All bookings must go through the website.

The following includes some frequently asked questions about Christmas at Hever Castle.

Before booking, we advise that you read the relevant page and the Important Information provided.

Head to the Christmas page for full details:

christmas AT HEVER CASTLE


Christmas at Hever Castle FAQs:

  1. CANCELLATIONS, EXCHANGES, TRANSFERS & REFUNDS
  2. BOOKING TICKETS – QUEUEING, CHARGES, ISSUES AND ERRORS
  3. ANNUAL MEMBERS
  4. CARERS & ACCESSIBLE NEEDS
  5. B&B & MEDLEY COURT GUESTS
  6. EXISTING TICKET HOLDERS
  7. TICKET TYPES
  8. TWILIGHT CHRISTMAS
  9. FATHER CHRISTMAS – PRE-PAID & DROP-IN
  10. OFFERS
  11. OPENING TIMES & PLANNING YOUR VISIT
  12. DOGS
  13. SAFETY MEASURES

 

1. CANCELLATIONS, EXCHANGES, TRANSFERS & REFUNDS

Tickets cannot be resold, exchanged, transferred to another date or refunded once tickets have been purchased unless the event is cancelled or covered by refund protection purchased.

Any refunds due to event cancellation will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

Please be sure that you choose the correct date and time slot time when making your booking. Tickets are non-transferable. This is highlighted throughout the booking process.

Refund Protection

It is recommended that Refund Protection is considered when purchasing tickets for Christmas at Hever Castle. This option is available at the time of booking, you cannot add it to your order after you have paid. Please read the terms and conditions of this policy carefully before booking.

If you have purchased Refund Protection during the booking process then you may cancel your booking subject to the terms and conditions that are on your policy confirmation.

Adverse Weather Plan and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will not be offered in the event of poor weather. If Hever Castle determines that the weather on site presents a hazard and a risk to safety and a decision is made to cancel the event, you will be notified by email of a cancellation and you will be informed of the re-booking process if this is feasible. If an alternative date cannot be offered or attended then a refund will be considered on a case by case basis. Any refunds will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

Covid–19 Cancellation Policy

Should the event be cancelled due to government guidance, you will be notified and offered an alternative experience, date or full refund. If the decision is made to cancel the event, you will be notified by email of a cancellation and you will be informed of the re-booking process if this is feasible. If an alternative date cannot be offered or attended then a refund will be considered on a case by case basis. Any refunds will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

 

2. booking tickets – queueing, charges, issues and errors

Q: I have booked for the wrong day – can I transfer over to another day?

A: No, we are unable to offer exchanged or refunds once tickets have been purchased. It is noted on the website and at the point of booking that you need to make sure that you have chosen the right date and time slot at the time of making your booking.

Q: I have lost my ticket, what can I do?

A: If your tickets are lost or if you require your E-Tickets to be re-sent to you, please email christmastickets@hevercastle.co.uk with your reference number or surname and postcode and they will resend your confirmation. Requests will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.

Q: Why are you using a queueing system?

A: Due to high levels of demand and our limited inventory we need to ensure that there is a fair process in place for all those who wish to purchase tickets, whilst providing additional safeguards.

The queuing system provides the following benefits:

• It provides a fair system for allowing purchasers to book tickets. Once you are in the queue your place is held and no-one can jump in front of you
• It helps manage the number of purchasers on the site at one time so that you have a seamless buying experience
• It prevents ticket touts and opportunistic buyers from flooding the ticketing system and
buying up all the best tickets before real purchasers have the opportunity

Q: What can I expect while in the queue?

A: Once you enter the queue you will be assigned a queue position. While in the queue you will be told your position and your estimated waiting time. The speed of the queue (and your estimated wait time) might increase or decrease during your wait – this is perfectly normal. While we will try to minimise your time in the queue, your wait time is impacted by the people in the queue in front of you. Things such as how quickly people are completing their purchases or if people who are in front of you decide to leave the queue will impact how quickly you progress through the queue. Once you have reached the front of the queue you will be transferred to the ticketing pages where you can complete your purchase. Please note that if you navigate away from these pages and re-start your journey may have to queue again.

Q: Why is there a booking charge?

We are using a different ticketing system to our usual ticket provider to improve the visitor experience. This has come at a significant cost but was vital in response to the issues that we have suffered in previous years. It has been necessary to pass on some of these costs to our visitors as many other attractions do with experiences of a similar nature.

Q: My tickets haven’t arrived by email, what should I do?

A: The usual culprit is a mistyped email address but remember to check your junk mail folder too. If you provide the details you used when purchasing your tickets we’ll search for them here.
https://event.bookitbee.com/find-tickets/

Q: I’ve lost my tickets, can you resend them?

A: If you’ve lost your tickets, simply enter your email address here and we will re-send all of your tickets for upcoming events. 
https://event.bookitbee.com/find-tickets/

Q: I want to move my booking

A: Tickets are non-transferable. This is highlighted throughout the booking process and in the Important Information which you have to accept before completing your purchase.

Q: I want to cancel my booking and get a refund

A: We are not able to offer any changes, exchanges or refunds once tickets have been purchased unless the event is cancelled. Any refunds will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

Please be sure that you choose the correct date and time slot time when making your booking. Tickets are non-transferable. This is highlighted throughout the booking process.

It is recommended that Refund Protection is considered when purchasing tickets for Christmas at Hever Castle. This option is available at the time of booking, you cannot add it to your order after you have paid. Please read the terms and conditions of this policy carefully before booking.

If you have purchased Refund Protection during the booking process then you may cancel your booking subject to the terms and conditions that are on your policy confirmation.

Q: I want to buy extra tickets for a date/time that is sold out.

A: It is not possible to buy extra tickets for dates or times that are sold out. Ticket numbers are limited.

 

3. annual members

Q: When do tickets go on sale to Annual Members?

A: Tickets go on sale on 14 September 2021 at 11am, one week before they go on sale to the general public on the 21 September 2021.

Q: I have just joined as a member or renewed my membership can I still book online?

A: You will need to wait up to 24 hours before making your booking online. This is because the Christmas ticket system that we are using isn’t directly linked to our membership system.

Q: Which tickets are free to Annual Members?

A: Annual Members receive free entry for Daytime arrivals between 11:30 – 14:45 and discounted tickets for Twilight arrivals between 16:00 – 18:45.

Q: I am an Annual Member and want to purchase non-member tickets for friends and family during the member priority booking period.

A: For 2021 only, as a thank you for your support, Annual Members can book for non-members and those under 5 years before 21 September. Annual Members will only be able to make one booking per booking link (link = 1. Father Christmas & Gardens/Gardens Only or 2. Castle & Gardens) per membership during the Annual Member booking window, this will increase after tickets go on general release. If you wish to purchase more than one date/time per booking link then these should be added to your basket before checking out (max 12 tickets per booking). You can only check out once for Father Christmas & Gardens/Gardens Only and once for Castle & Gardens.

Q: I am an Annual Member wanting to book Father Christmas for a child who is currently 4 years old, but who will turn 5 before our Christmas visit. How do I book this?

A: If you select the under 5 child option at the time of booking they will receive a gift for a child under 5 in the Grotto. Alternatively, take out Annual Membership now for your child, then select the Annual Membership Child 5-17 years option and they will receive a gift for a child over 5 in the Grotto.

Q: I am an Annual Member and want to book for more than one date, how do I do this?

A: Annual Members will only be able to make one booking per booking link (link = 1. Father Christmas & Gardens/Gardens Only or 2. Castle & Gardens) per membership during the Annual Member booking window, this will increase after tickets go on general release. If you wish to purchase more than one date/time per booking link then these should be added to your basket before checking out (max 12 tickets per booking). You can only check out once for Father Christmas & Gardens/Gardens Only and once for Castle & Gardens.

4. carers & accessible needs

Q: I want to make a booking including a carer

A: Standard charges apply to visitors with accessible needs, general admission for carers is free of charge. For carers in your party, please select the ‘Carer’ ticket type when making your booking. Proof of disability will be requested on arrival, which may include a Blue Badge, statement of special educational needs from LEA or NHS, a letter from a medical professional on NHS headed paper, a DLA or PIP letter from the Department of Work & Pensions, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. Failure to provide proof will mean that you will be charged the full rate on entry.

Q: Is there accessible parking

If you have accessible needs, please notify car parkers on arrival and they will direct you to accessible parking or the most suitable location should this already be full.

 

5. b&b & medley court guests

Q: I have booked to stay at Hever Castle & Gardens during the Christmas experience, how do I book tickets?

A: If you have booked to stay in the luxury Bed and Breakfast or our holiday cottage Medley Court during the Christmas experience then you will be given admission tickets on arrival. After making your room reservation you will be sent an email containing details for how to pre-book to visit Father Christmas should you wish to do so at an additional charge of £12 per child.

 

6. existing ticket holders

Q: I am already in receipt of some tickets for Hever Castle & Gardens, can I use these at Christmas and if so how?

A: These tickets are not valid for the Twilight Christmas tickets (for arrival after 16:00), but you can use them for Daytime Christmas tickets. Please select the ‘Existing Ticket Holder’ ticket type when making your booking. You will need to produce your physical tickets when you visit with their separate unique 4 or 5 digit reference, along with your email confirmation. Visitors that do not bring their complimentary tickets will be charged the full rate on entry. These tickets cannot be used until 21 September 2021. Please note that you will need to select a ‘Castle & Gardens’ ticket to gain access to the Castle this Christmas.

 

7. TICKET TYPES

Q: With my ticket, do I get entry to both the Castle and Gardens?

A: Not unless you have pre-booked Castle & Gardens tickets and this is listed on your booking confirmation.

Q: Why can I not book for the Castle and the Grotto in one visit this Christmas?

A: Annual Members can book two experiences per membership during the Annual Member priority booking window, this will be increased after tickets go on general release.

Following the success of 2020, we have decided to operate the Christmas event in the same way as last year. This enabled a greater number of our visitors/members to enjoy more than just the grounds at Christmas time. Visitors/members should therefore choose the experience that is most important to them.

Q: Why do you only offer adult and child tickets at Christmas?

A: During our Christmas experience we are unable to offer concession or family tickets due to the additional expenses and resources that the Christmas experience requires.

 

8. twilight christmas

Q: What is the difference between the Daytime and Twilight tickets?

A: Those booking Twilight Christmas tickets will enjoy the experience at night with the castle and gardens illuminated from 16:00 – 20:30. Visitors attending the daytime experience must be in the grounds by 15:00 latest and final exit is at 18:30

Q: If I have booked for the Daytime experience, can I stay for the Twilight experience?

A: Yes, this year those booking Daytime arrival times are welcome to stay but must arrive at their allotted arrival time into the grounds and we request that you leave after 3.5 hours, this is to avoid overcrowding. Last exit for day visitors is 18:30pm. Visitors cannot leave the grounds to return later unless they have another booking. If you miss your slot you may be asked to try again later but may risk not being able to enter the grounds at all.

 

9. father christmas

Q: Can children who are not booked in to see Father Christmas enter the grotto?

A: If no one in your party is booked to see Father Christmas then you cannot enter the grotto.

If there are other children in your party visiting Father Christmas, children who are not booked to see Father Christmas can enter the grotto if the maximum number of guests in your party does not exceed 5 people. This is to avoid overcrowding.

Q: I want to book Father Christmas for a child who is currently 4 years old, but who will turn 5 before our Christmas visit. How do I book this?

A: If you select the under 5 child option at the time of booking they will receive a gift for a child under 5 in the Grotto. Alternatively, select Child 5-17 years option and they will receive a gift for a child over 5 in the Grotto.

Q: Will there be a drop in Father Christmas this year?

A: There are currently no plans to do a drop-in Father Christmas this year.

Q: Can I bring my dog into the Grotto?

A: We do not allow dogs in the Grotto unless it is an Assistance Dog.

Q: Can I take my own photos in the Grotto?

A: Yes, you are able to take your own photos.

 

10. offers

Q: Can I use Tesco Clubcard Vouchers for Christmas experiences?

A: Tesco Clubcard Vouchers are not valid during the Christmas period. This is advertised on the Tesco website, on our website on the partner offer page and on the Christmas pages.

Q: Can I use my RHS Membership for Christmas experience?

A: RHS Membership cards are not valid during the Christmas period. This is advertised on the RHS website, in their leaflets/booklet and on our website on the partner offer page and on the Christmas pages.

Q: Can I use my Gardeners’ World 2 for 1 Card for Christmas experiences?

A: Gardeners’ World 2 for 1 cards are not valid during the Christmas period. This is advertised on their website, in their leaflets/booklet and on our website on the partner offer page and on the Christmas pages.

Q: Can I use my Historic Houses Membership for Christmas experiences?

A: Historic Houses Membership cards are not valid during the Christmas period. This is advertised on their website, in their leaflets/booklet and on our website on the partner offer page and on the Christmas pages.

 

11. opening times and planning your visit

Q: How long should we allow for our visit?

A: To enjoy the full experience of Christmas at Hever Castle we recommend you allow enough time for each all the elements of the experience that you wish to include. Attractions, shops and eateries will start closing before the final exit time.

  • Pinocchio Christmas Trail 30 minutes
  • Gallopers & Big Wheel 30 – 45 minutes each (queues possible)
  • Hook a Duck 30 – 45 minutes (queues possible)
  • Eating 30 – 45 minutes (queues possible)
  • Shopping 30 – 1 hour (queues possible)
  • Christmas Light Trail – 1.5. hours to walk the whole grounds that will be lit (from 4pm)
  • Grotto – 30 minutes from arrival at the Grotto (pre-booking essential)
  • Castle – 30 – 45 minutes (pre-booking essential)

Queues are possible at all attractions, eateries and shops even when tickets have been pre booked

Visitors are requested to exit the car park no later than 3.5 hours after your arrival time.

Q: What are the opening times?

A: 11:30 – 20:30

Daytime Arrival Times 11:30 – 14:45 (Last Exit 18:30)

Twilight Arrival Times 16:00 – 18:45 (Last Exit 20:30)

CHRISTMAS EVE & NEW YEARS EVE – If your booking is for the 24 December or 31 December, final entry to the grounds is at 15:00 and final exit 16:30. Castle last entry is 15:15 and final exit 16:00. Last entry for Father Christmas is at 15:45 and final exit 16:00.

Q: I’m meeting friends and family. How can I make sure we all meet up together?

Firstly, please ensure your meeting adheres to current government guidelines, as anyone failing to comply will be asked to leave. Please note that there is more than one car park. On arrival you will be met by staff to guide you to the car park that is open for use. If you have accessible needs, please notify a member of staff. If you are meeting friends and family unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will be located in the same car park. Please make sure that all members of your party have a copy of your booking reference. Should you arrive at different car parks you can then access through different entrances and meet at an agreed location.

 

12. dogs

Q: Can we bring our dog?

A: We welcome dogs in the grounds, both during the day and for the twilight experience, as long as they’re kept on a lead at all times. With the exception of assistance dogs, dogs are not allowed inside the Grotto, near the Huskies, cafés, restaurants, shops Castle or Adventure Playground. There is a stand where dogs can be tied and left in the Castle Courtyard if you wish to visit the castle, but this is not supervised, and they are left at your own risk.

 

13. safety measures

Q: Where Do Face Coverings Need to Be Worn?

At the time of writing, we ask that you wear a face covering (exemptions apply) in all indoor spaces, with the exception of the Grotto which is in a marquee and highly ventilated.

All other Safety Measures can be found here.
https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/visit/#Safety

Usual FAQs apply and can be found here.


If your question is not answered above please email christmastickets@hevercastle.co.uk with your query. If you already have a booking reference please include this in your email. All emails will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.

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