FAQS FOR CASTLE & Gardens Reopening
Prebooking online is essential and when you visit, we will have some new safety measures in place.
The following information and requests from us are to protect you and our staff whilst visiting. We thank you in advance for respecting them and your ongoing support of us.
Please be aware that we cannot process your booking over the phone. All bookings must be made online. This applies to Annual Members and Visitors.
The following includes some frequently asked questions about your visit to Hever Castle gardens and play areas.
- Safety Measures
- Booking Tickets
- Cancellations, Refunds & Transfers
- Annual Memberships
- Attractions, Toilets, Eateries and Shops
What safety measures have you put in place?
When you visit, we will also have some new safety measures in place. Please respect the rules and guidelines for your own protection and the safety of others. Those that do not follow the guidelines may be approached by staff and may be asked to leave. Abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.
Our COVID Secure Declaration can be found here.
We promise to keep you feeling safe by:
✔ Restricting visitor numbers
✔ Providing a warm welcome at a distance
✔ Patrolling our site to monitor visitor activity
✔ Using one way systems to enable social distancing
✔ Providing additional cleaning of facilities
✔ Staff will wear face coverings in line with current government guidelines
✔Operating a cashless system
What we ask of you in return to show you care:
✔ Book an arrival time online
✔ Don’t forget to book for under 5s. They MUST have a ticket.
✔ Adhere to the arrival times that you have been provided for all activities. Do not arrive before your arrival time as you will be turned away and asked to return later.
✔ Adhere to the current government guidelines. Anyone failing to comply will be asked to leave.
✔ Keep two metres away from other visitors
✔ Follow the one-way system in the grounds
✔ Wash your hands for 20 seconds after using facilities
✔ Use hand sanitiser when necessary
✔ Taking your litter home with you
✔ Wear a face covering in line with current government guidelines (usual exemptions apply)
How do I book a Castle ticket? – (N.B. The Castle is currently closed)
Only Gardens Tickets are currently available.
When the Castle is reopened, visitors can upgrade to a Castle ticket at the Castle Entrance. This is because we are limiting numbers in rooms and cannot guarantee Castle entry for everyone. Audio Guides will be available to all Castle visitors, we encourage visitors to bring their own headphones (standard 3.5mm jack required).
N.B. Face coverings must be worn in the Castle (exemptions apply).
Why do I need to book online?
Booking online is essential so that we can manage our daily visitor numbers to ensure that we are complying with government guidelines to enable social distancing. Booking online also reduces contact for you and our staff making the environment safer for us all. Booking online is essential for Members and Visitors.
Can I book on the same day as my visit?
Yes, you can book on the same day as your visit as long as there is availability. Ticket numbers are capped each day to enable social distancing.
Why do I have to book a time for my visit?
Booking a date for your visit and time slot enables us to manage queues so that we can facilitate social distancing, making the environment safer for us all. Please try to arrive within your 15 min time slot. Entrance will not be permitted after the final entry time.
I’m a member, why do I have to book online?
Booking online is essential so that we can manage our daily visitor numbers to ensure that we are complying with government guidelines to enable social distancing. Please remember to bring your membership card with you otherwise you may be charged in full.
Can I still book a visit online if I have an alternative partnership card or offer?
Yes, you can but the usual restrictions still apply. Booking online is essential so that we can manage our daily visitor numbers to ensure that we are complying with government guidelines to enable social distancing. Please use the option for partner offers when making your booking. Please remember to bring your membership card/offer/voucher with you otherwise you may be charged in full. Where payment is required we will take this at the pay kiosk. Please note we are operating a cashless site. If you arrive on a restricted day payment in full will be requested on arrival. For more details see here.
Tesco Clubcard Voucher Holders – You do not need to enter your voucher number to make your booking. The box that shows is intended for another purpose, not Tesco Vouchers.
I am a carer, can I still book online?
Yes, you can. To help our disabled visitors have a more memorable experience, we ask that they/you pay the normal entry fee and admit their/your carer free of charge on a 1:1 ratio. Booking online is essential so that we can manage our daily visitor numbers to ensure that we are complying with government guidelines to enable social distancing. Please use the option for a carer when making your booking. Please remember to produce your proof on arrival with a benefit Award Letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (e.g. for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit) or a Blue Badge. If you arrive without this information payment in full will be requested on arrival.
I have a complimentary ticket, can I still book online?
Yes, you can. Booking online is essential so that we can manage our daily visitor numbers to ensure that we are complying with government guidelines to enable social distancing. Please use the option for complimentary tickets when making your booking. Please remember to bring your ticket with you otherwise you may be charged in full.
Will you provide a refund or transfer for my pre-booked tickets if I need to cancel my booking?
Now that we are open for business our usual terms and conditions apply. Tickets with monetary value cannot be resold, exchanged, transferred to another date or refunded. If you wish to cancel a free booking please call 01732 865224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any other enquiries concerning this matter please contact email@example.com.
I’m a member, why do I have to book online?
Booking online is essential so that we can manage our daily visitor numbers to ensure that we are complying with government guidelines to enable social distancing. Please remember to bring your membership card with you otherwise you may be charged in full. If you find you are unable to visit, please contact us so that we can cancel your booking. Ideally, this would be before the day of your visit. Simply call 01732 865224
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an Annual Member, how will I be compensated for the days I have missed due to COVID-19?
Annual Memberships will be extended to reflect the number of days that we were closed due to COVID-19 during the course of your membership. Additional days will be added if your extension coincides with our annual winter closing.
Why aren’t members getting priority booking?
Whilst we are hugely grateful for the support of our members and this revenue is invaluable to us, we are sadly unable to fund the upkeep of the Castle & Gardens on membership support alone. As Hever Castle & Gardens is privately owned we do not receive any funding or charitable donations. We rely on the additional revenue of day visitors to conserve the Castle & Gardens and to pay our staff who are not volunteers.
Has your access statement changed?
Yes, our access statement has been amended because of the changes that we have had to make to enable social distancing around the site. Please see our revised access statement for more information.
Are wheelchairs available for hire?
Yes, 2 wheelchairs are available for a refundable deposit of £25 at the Hever Shop. It is advisable to book these prior to a visit. Please contact the Estate Office Mon – Fri (9am-5pm) by calling 01732 865224 or emailing email@example.com.
What will be open?
- Gardens with Christmas Light Trail
- Present Collection from Father Christmas (Father Christmas ticket required)
- Playgrounds – Tudor Towers & Acorn Dell
- Takeaway Food & Drink Service
Download a copy of the Map that includes the new one way system that is in place.
Are the toilets open?
Yes, toilets are open but we urge you to go before you leave home.
Additional cleaning procedures are in place. To ensure a safer environment for queuing please monitor social distancing. Where possible a one-way system is in place and not all toilet locations are accessible to all. A map showing the locations is available here.
Will I be able to buy food and drink in the grounds?
There are plenty of places to picnic in the grounds whilst maintaining social distancing. New picnic areas have been created around Lake Walk. Water fountains are available but these are for filling up water bottles only. A map showing the locations is available here.
Indoor catering will close and mobile or takeaway catering will be available. Click here for further information.
New safety procedures are also in place:
- Guard Screens at till points
- All staff, front of house service staff and kitchen staff, are required to wear PPE in the form of visors or masks and gloves
- All staff are temperature checked prior on arrival for their shift.
- We actively remind all staff to continually practice safe hygiene measures
- We have increased the frequency of cleaning, paying close attention to high contact areas such as door handles, handrails and card readers. We use recognised cleaning products and antibacterial cleaners as part of our new cleaning protocols
Hand sanitiser stations have been placed at the entrances to our takeaway cafes.
- Customers are encouraged to use contactless payment
- Social distancing signage in place in the form of floor signs and posters
N.B. Face coverings must be worn in the Moat Restaurant and Guthrie Pavilion (exemptions apply).
Will the shops be open?
The Hever Shop is now open. You can also purchase items on Hever Castle’s Online Shop.
How will you sanitise the Play area?
There is sanitiser at the entrance to the playgrounds. We will be cleaning regularly, however, this is a high contact area and visitors should consider this when deciding whether to use it.
Enjoy your visit
Respect, Protect & Enjoy