FAQS FOR CASTLE & Gardens Reopening
Hever Castle gardens reopened on Monday 1st June 2020.
The Castle and the Play Areas are reopening from Saturday 4th July 2020.
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 from the 1st June and the Castle and play areas from the 4th July.
- 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
✔ Our staff will wear gloves and use screens at pay kiosks. Those that choose to do so will also wear masks.
✔Operating a cashless system
What we ask of you in return to show you care:
✔ Book an arrival time online
✔ 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
Watch the video for what you can expect to see when you visit:
How do I book a Castle ticket?
Only Gardens Tickets are currently available. 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).
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 of 16:30.
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.
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.
All renewal extensions will be made a.s.a.p. and we will notify you as soon as this is complete. In the meantime, anyone with an expiry date after 23/3/20 can use their membership until the extensions are complete.
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.
I have Castle & Gardens membership but can only use my Gardens part of my membership will you be refunding or extending the Castle element?
We will not be refunding or extending the Castle element of your membership however, upon renewal you can switch to Gardens Only membership should you choose to do so. This can be done online and via the link in your renewal email. Like many businesses in the present climate, we are very grateful for your support. If you are able to renew to include the Castle element we would be extremely appreciative.
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 attractions are open?
We want you to feel safe and be safe. In the initial period we have applied caution so only the Gardens, Lake Walk and Boating are open. Toilet facilities will be available but we urge you to go before you leave home.
Open from 1st June:
- Lake Walk
- Boating (additional charge, cannot be booked in advance)
Open from 8th June:
- Takeaway – cake, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks available at the Moat Restaurant
Open from 15th June:
Open from 27th June:
Open from 4th July:
Download a copy of the Map that includes the new one way system that is in place.
Other open air attractions including the Water Maze and a more extensive food and drink offering will follow as soon as possible. Please check the website for the latest information.
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?
A simple takeaway offer of cake, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks is available at the Moat Restaurant (from 8 June).
- 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
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.
Will the shops be open?
The Hever Shop is now open. The Courtyard Shop is closed to permit safer entry to the toilet facilities nearby. Stock from the Courtyard Shop will be available at the Hever Shop. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times, a one way system is in operation to facilitate this and a temporary till position with a screen is in place. We ask you to use contactless payment where possible.
Online shopping is also available with a wide range of items available on our website.
Other more general frequently asked questions can be found here.
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