Dating back to the 13th century, Hever was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Its splendid panelled rooms contain fine furniture, tapestries, antiques and an important collection of Tudor portraits.
It is also crenellated, moated, haunted and contains plenty of armour and gruesome torture devices! One of the two illuminated prayer books on display is believed to be the one Anne took with her to her execution at the Tower of London.
Much of what we see at Hever today is thanks to wealthy American William Waldorf Astor, who used his fortune to restore and extend the Castle in the early 20th century.
An exhibition in the Long Gallery brings the 16th century to life, with costumed figures illustrating key events from Anne Boleyn’s time at the Castle.
Chartwell was the much-loved family home of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s Prime Minister during World War II. He lived here from 1924 until his death in 1965.
The rooms remain much as they were then, with pictures, books and mementoes evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of a great statesman, writer, painter and family man.
The hillside gardens reflect Sir Winston’s love of landscape and nature. They include the lakes he created, the kitchen garden and the Marycot, a playhouse designed for his youngest daughter Mary.
Beyond the gardens there is an expanse of woodland with circular trails and natural play areas. A house has stood on the site since at least as early as the 16th century and Henry VIII is reputed to have stayed here during his courtship of Anne Boleyn.
``Glyn Jones is the perfect tour guide. Why? Because he strives to make each tour a memorable experience. He is knowledgeable, considerate, and kind.``