I visited Hever Castle yesterday on a sunshine and showers kind of day. I was fortunate to get tickets through Kent County Council's excellent Big Day Out scheme. This provides 18,000 free tickets for Kent residents to local attractions. This year there were major problems with the website repeatedly crashing when issuing tickets. Dozens of people I know who tried to book tickets failed so I count myself fortunate. Next year these problems need to be sorted out so people don't have their time wasted, and the uncertainty of whether they have tickets or not. Previously I have enjoyed browsing the site to see where to visit. This time visiting after hearing of the previous crashes I just took what came up and was very pleased with Hever Castle.
Most famous as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn I only wished the gardens were later in the year, and will probably revisit when in full flower. The Italian Gardens had been recommended to me and did not disappoint with swathes of hyacinths generating generous amounts of scent.
The model exhibition is well worth a visit and the Castle itself provides a clear well organised history. It must struggle to cope with numbers on busy days. Sudden rain sent everybody inside and it seemed close to capacity. An early start after a walk around the lake I am told is the way to beat the rush. Next time.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them and apologies I'm unable to format this post better!