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Great day out with the kiddies!

Introducing Tudor Towers - Hever Castle's new adventure playground - it's well worth a visit. Chaaaaaarge!

Lower the drawbridge! Hever Castle’s stunning new adventure playground, Tudor Towers, has officially opened and it was well worth the wait. The best thing about it? It’s aimed at older children so there’s loads to do – properly high tube slides, fireman’s poles and climbing nets to tire them out as well as towers, musical instruments and hidden codes to crack to get their imagination really rolling. I took my mudlets along (they are 10 and 9 years old) and they loved it!

If you’ve not been to Hever Castle before, most famously Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, it’s well worth a visit. It’s not too big and sprawling so easy to negotiate, stands in a beautiful area that’s steeped in all that marvellous Medieval history. Look here I am, below, with Henry VIII (which wife am I?!).

This new addition to Hever’s grounds is well thought-through – aimed at children 7-14 years old – it nicely bridges that gap of what to do with kids that are older and like more than a few swings and a climbing frame to keep them amused. It stands at 9 metres tall meaning it’s bigger than a four bedroom house with its own moat, drawbridge and three turrets. It also features three slides and two poles and lots of interactive elements split into three houses named after three of the most significant owners in the evolution of the Castle: Boleyn, Waldegrave and Astor. And for those brave enough to enter, there’s even a secret dungeon to navigate…

 

Initially my eldest (my daughter, 10 years… going on 15) was a bit stand-off-ish. I mean, she’d been dragged away from the sofa on the weekend – the devastation! But once she’d been herded into the play area that bit of her that still remembers how to be a child started to come out of hibernation. So for that reason alone this makes a great day out in my books, if you want a little excursion but can’t face one of those massive theme parks. Or you’ve got kids similar age to mine who actually still love to play, once you unglue them from their screens of course. 

After half an hour they were both running up and down, climbing netting and generally remembering what it’s like to be kids and lose the surly scowl, even if only temporarily. Better still, you’ve got a few decent pubs in the area if you fancy making a day out of it – try the King Henry VIII pub just opposite Hever itself, or a 2 minute drive away is The Wheatsheaf at Bough Beech. Way to tire the kids out and two decent pubs on the doorstep? Chaaaaaarge!

Hever Castle, Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge, TN8 7NG, Tel: 01732 865224, hevercastle.co.uk. Admission Prices – Gardens only: Adults £14.20; Seniors £12.70; Student £12.10, Children (5-15) £9.00; Family ticket £38.90

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