Five castles in Kent to visit this spring including Hever Castle and its new Anne Boleyn exhibition

Some of the best days out this county has to offer can be found at its fascinating castles.

From the White Cliffs of Dover to an exciting new exhibition at Hever Castle, you're sure to find something your family will love at these top picks...

Daffodils outside the walls of Hever Castle. Picture: Hever Castles and Gardens (55092574)
Daffodils outside the walls of Hever Castle. Picture: Hever Castles and Gardens (55092574)

Hever Castle, near Sevenoaks

Take a look inside the childhood home of King Henry VIII’s most infamous wife, Anne Boleyn, this March. Hever Castle is opening the first in its series of exhibitions exploring the life of the former queen and her youth spent at the country house over 500 years ago. Becoming Anne: Connections, Culture, Court uncovers the secrets of the Boleyn family. Find out about the rise and fall of the aristocratic household and the formative years that shaped Anne into becoming one of history’s most memorable monarchs. And, if you're visiting from March 14 - 20, you can also discover Dazzling Daffodils, a floral festival celebrating the favoured narcissus flower with guided tours of nearly 60,000 daffodils.

The Anne Boleyn exhibition is now open until November, and Hever Castle is open to visitors daily. Adult tickets for the castle and gardens start from £19.80. Book online here.

Visitors are welcome at Deal Castle
Visitors are welcome at Deal Castle

Deal Castle

Built in the 1500s, Deal Castle is a remarkable remnant of Tudor times right here on the Kent coast. Nestled in this charming seaside town, visitors can learn the captivating tales of King Henry VIII’s artillery castle, from withstanding a siege during the English Civil War and returning to service in the Second World War. Kids can play with wooden muskets, creep through the passageways below the castle and take in the fresh sea air - one thing’s for sure, they’ll sleep well on the way home!

Deal Castle is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. English Heritage members can enter for free, adult tickets start from £7.90 for non-members. Book online here.

A stunning shot of Dover Castle. Picture: Claire Baker
A stunning shot of Dover Castle. Picture: Claire Baker

Dover Castle

There are no better views of the English Channel than from the rooftop of Dover Castle. As the skies begin to clear, now is the perfect time to take in views from atop the famous white cliffs ahead of the summer crowds. With wartime memorabilia and real-life battle stories, this fascinating fortress will capture the imagination of history buffs young and old. Whether you climb the Great Tower or dive underground into the tunnels, there is plenty to explore at Dover Castle.

Dover Castle is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. English Heritage members can enter for free, adult tickets start from £21.30 for non-members. Book online here.

Scotney Castle is open again in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Tom Lee, Flickr
Scotney Castle is open again in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Tom Lee, Flickr

Scotney Castle, near Tunbridge Wells

It might not look like a traditional castle, but this tucked away National Trust property is well worth making the effort to find. The estate is made up of a picturesque 14th century moated castle, hidden in an enchanting wooded estate, overlooked by a spectacular Victorian country manor. This month, the Quarry Garden has reopened to guests for the first time since the pandemic and the mansion is celebrating the end of its winter hibernation with a book display from the castle’s large literary collection.

Scotney Castle is open daily, except the Old Castle which is currently closed. Adult tickets start from £14. Book online here.

Tonbridge Castle and the nearby high street Picture: Matthew Walker FM4969512
Tonbridge Castle and the nearby high street Picture: Matthew Walker FM4969512

Tonbridge Castle

One of the county’s only remaining motte-and-bailey castles, Tonbridge Castle is a beautiful place to escape for a peaceful afternoon. The striking 13th century gatehouse, delightful gardens bursting with colourful flowers and interesting artefacts from medieval times make for a great day out for solo visitors and families alike. The castle’s past comes to life with an audio tour, which describes the experience of living as a Lord or Lady in the castle 700 years ago using interactive activities.

Tonbridge Castle is open daily. Adult tickets start from £9. Book online here.

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