Record visitor numbers for Hever Castle

February 03 2020 | Castle

Hever Castle & Gardens celebrates record visitor numbers for 2019.

Last year 415,274 people visited the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, an increase of 6% on the previous year.

The record visitor numbers for Hever Castle came after historian Dr David Starkey unveiled a rare portrait of Richard III as well as a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, 432 years after she died.

An oil painting of Sit Thomas More was also loaned to the Castle from a private collection for 6 months.

An exhibition on Hever Castle in film and TV ran from May to November last year which included two dresses from the film Anne of the Thousand Days.

Visitors enjoyed a new Craft and Design Fair, run by Craft in Focus in September showcasing the best of the UK’s designers and artists.

CEO Duncan Leslie said: “We are delighted to once again be announcing record visitor numbers for Hever Castle. Thank you to our loyal annual members and indeed everyone that supported Hever Castle in 2019. We strive to put on a varied calendar of events to appeal to a wide audience as well as improve and maintain our stunning gardens and historic property to ensure it is enjoyed by thousands of visitors for many years to come. I would like to thank our hardworking staff across the different departments who ensure our visitors have a memorable experience.”

“Profits are reinvested back into the estate, enabling us to conserve, repair and continue to keep the historic Castle and gardens engaging for future generations.”

Hever Castle is continuing to invest in and open up more areas of the gardens. Last year Park Wood, an area of the estate not usually open to the public was opened for the first time for the daffodils and bluebells. Visitors were able to enjoy a circular woodland park through the trees as an additional walk off the main Lake Walk.

Other highlights for 2019 included the opening of Hever Castle Health & Wellbeing and the Waterside Bar, Restaurant and Terrace, a mile down the road from the Castle & Gardens in June.

The Waterside restaurant complemented the new Wellbeing Centre at Hever Castle Golf Club which opened in April 2019, operated by Hever Health Ltd. The centre includes five treatment rooms offering osteopathy, physiotherapy, beauty and massage as well as a range of yoga, pilates and Paracise™ classes.

After the record visitor numbers for Hever Castle last year, the historic attraction is now gearing up for another busy season starting with Snowdrop Walk and with Living with Nature.

June 2020 marks 500 years since King Henry VIII and King Francis I of France hosted an elaborate festival near Calais on a piece of land which was referred to as the Field of Cloth of Gold to improve relations between the two rivals.

The meeting, which was attended by the Boleyn family, lasted from 7-24 June 1520 and was one of the most impressive, lavish meetings ever to be held between the two kings.

Each weekend in June visitors to Anne Boleyn’s childhood home will be able to take part in events including Tudor dance demonstrations, falconry displays, food stalls and jousting* (*only 20 and 21 June).

Hever Castle will also be marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8-10 May. We are hosting a street party style celebration in the grounds with highlights including special visits from Winston Churchill and a life-size model Hurricane on display

Visitors in 2020 will have an interactive audio guide included in their Castle entry (previously there was a charge for this), adding to the experience.