The beautiful gardens at Hever Castle were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal and Son, turning marshland into the spectacular gardens you see today, which are a pleasure to visit at any time of the year.

One of the most magnificent areas of the gardens is the Italian Garden, which was designed to display William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculptures. Over 1,000 men worked on the grand design, with around 800 men taking two years to dig out the 38-acre (14.2 ha) lake at the far end of the Italian Garden. Within four years the 125 acres (50 ha) of classical and natural landscapes were constructed and planted. The garden is only now reaching its full maturity and includes the colourful walled Rose Garden which contains over 5,000 bushes.

There are many water features around the gardens, including Half Moon Pond, the Cascade, the cool and shady grottoes, the formal Loggia fountain inspired by the Trevi fountain in Rome, and the less formal Two Sisters’ Pond.

Other areas that you can stroll through include the Tudor Garden, Rhododendron Walk and Anne Boleyn’s Walk, with its collection of trees planted more than 100 years ago.

In recent years, the present owners have made several changes to the gardens, including the installation of the Millennium Fountain that can be found on Sixteen Acre Island forming an interesting feature at the far end of this more informal area of the gardens. The 100-metre herbaceous border has been reinstated and Sunday Walk and Church Gill Walk created, providing a peaceful woodland garden following the course of a stream. In addition to the existing Yew Maze, a splashing Water Maze has been built on Sixteen Acre Island – a unique feature which is especially popular with children.

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The Gardens

Nature & Wildlife

Hever Castle & Gardens is home to a vast variety of small mammals, birds, water fowl, fish, amphibians and insects. The cygnets and ducklings are hugely popular and many visitors return throughout the season to see the young develop. A peaceful walk around the lake is the perfect place to spot owls, blue tits, robins and woodpeckers and kingfishers. Swans, ducks, herons and crested grebes can also be seen on the moat or the lake.


With 5,000 rose bushes in the Rose Garden and more than 100,000 spring bulbs and 15,000 bedding plants planted in the gardens annually, you are guaranteed a breath-taking display no matter what time of year you visit.

Hever Rose

Hever Castle & Gardens has its very own rose which was launched by Dame Judi Dench, the award-winning British actress, in 2011. The floribunda ‘Hever Castle Rose’ (Horquinsey) produces masses of velvety deep-red blooms which fade to cerise, offset by golden-yellow stamens.

Tours & Trails

Take a tour of the gardens with one of the Hever Castle gardening team. Learn about the history of the gardens and discover more about the work that goes on today to conserve, restore and improve the grounds. Enjoyable trails to follow with young visitors can also be downloaded.