Discover the therapeutic benefits of nature this Autumn at Hever Castle

October 04 2021 | Garden What's on

Discover tree colour therapy, take part in Forest Bathing, follow a stunning autumn nature trail and build a den in the new woodland adventure play area as part of Autumn Colour 2021 at Hever Castle.

Hever’s annual outdoor celebration of Autumn Colour heralds a stunning time in the 150 acre grounds with the Boston Ivy on the Castle turning a fiery red and ambient colours on trees and cosmos in the meadows bringing Lake Walk to life.

Head Gardener Neil Miller and his team will be offering guided tours in the grounds including the myriad of grasses and perennials in Faith’s Garden, winter bedding in the Italian Garden, the striking dahlia border on Two Sisters’ Lawn and the resplendent tree colour on Lake Walk.

Autumnal Guided Garden Tours take place at 11.30am on Wednesday 6th, 13th and 20th October 2021.

Visitors are also encouraged to enjoy a self guided tour in the wooded areas of the estate and take part in forest bathing and colour therapy.

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku is simply spending time outdoors under the canopy of trees. In Japanese, “shinrin” means forest and “yoku” means bath, so ‘forest bathing’ is the art of immersing oneself in the forest and soaking in the atmosphere through the senses.

The self-guided trail encourages visitors to stimulate all their senses by crunching through the colourful fallen leaves as they pass under the oak trees on Anne Boleyn’s Walk, look up at the evergreen Scots Pines, red pin oaks and delicate buttery yellows of the larch trees on Lake Walk.

Visitors can enjoy the aromas on Sunday Walk with the scent of the yellow Cercidipylliam japonica or submerge themselves in the forest glade at the top of the lake in ‘Smugglers Walk’ before moving past the Japanese Tea House and returning to the more formal gardens where the autumn colour on Diana’s Walk is stunning.

Those who want to take a longer walk can take a detour into the quiet glade of Anne of Cleves Bower House and the 25 acres of Park Wood will also be open to allow further immersion in the woodland experience.

The team at Hever have also put together a tree and plant colour chart which explains the different benefits of plant colour therapy.

Neil explains: “The colours that we choose to wear or are attracted to in our environment often mirror our moods or communicate how we are feeling. Some in the plant world will choose all purples blues and pinks for their gardens, while others go for fiery reds, hot oranges and yellows. A lot of studies have shown that the colours we use and choose make us feel a certain way. It’s important to really understand how you respond to colour in order to plan your own garden canvas at home for optimum wellbeing and happiness.”

The online colour therapy guide directs visitors to the different colour hues in the garden and on the wider estate, as well as providing suggestions for trees and plants for the home garden.

For younger visitors, the newly created obstacle course and woodland area in Woodland Walk off Lake Walk provides a fantastic forest experience this autumn.

Aimed at 4 – 8 year olds, this area of the estate has been designed to immerse children in the wonders of the woodland through the seasons with plenty of tactile activities such as wooden obstacles, balance and climb over logs and stepping stones, rope ladders and den building.

Everything has been created from materials already in the woods from fallen or cut down trees and the paths are made from woodchip from the trees.