Christmas at Hever Castle 2022


Hever Castle, Edenbridge, United Kingdom

Christmas at Hever Castle 2022

Hever Castle, Edenbridge, United Kingdom

Official Charity Partner

Hever Castle is delighted to be working with the Human Milk Foundation which provides donor human milk to sick premature babies in over 50 NHS hospital neonatal intensive care units across England & Wales and to families at home such as mums with cancer and other health conditions through The Hearts Milk Bank.

Looking for Father Christmas tickets?

Show when the grotto is available

What you need to know

Christmas at Hever Castle 

Before booking, you must read the Important Information below.

TICKETS GO ON SALE

  • 21 September at 11:00 to Annual Members (membership numbers are required)
  • 28 September at 11:00 to the General Public 
  • A queuing system will be in place on both of these dates
  • Sales will be suspended between 10:30 and 10:59 on 28 September 

OPENING TIMES 

Please arrive at the grounds at the time slot you have booked. If you are booking to visit Father Christmas your tickets will also show the time that you should arrive at the grotto.

  • Download the opening times here.

PRICES

Parking is free.

Prices can be found here 
*Booking fees apply

See here for any other ticket types not mentioned above.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The Opening Times download here provides a quick guide as to what is on and when, but full details can be found below.

Before booking your tickets we suggest you take a look at the full list of activities provided and the dates and times that these are available. Attractions, shops and eateries will start closing before the final exit time.

As much of this experience is outdoors we recommend you wrap up warm and pop on your wellies or suitable shoes.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS & ILLUMINATIONS available from 16:00 only

The magical Christmas Lights experience starts from 16:00 when you can wrap up warm and enjoy a walk under the stars to explore the grounds. Witness the enchantment of the Castle, gardens and lake festooned with fabulous colours and twinkling lights, capturing the spirit of Christmas. 

Bring torches and pop on your wellies to see Hever Castle’s much-loved gardens lit up with glorious colour washes, spectacular illuminations and music.

Wander further afield for a trip into 'space' where the bright moon shines and illuminated planets fill the evening skies.


FATHER CHRISTMAS

Father Christmas is only available on these dates:
19 & 20 November (Saturday & Sunday)
25 - 27 November (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
2 - 4 December (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
7 – 24 December (Daily) 

Download the table to find out what time slots will go on sale for visits to Father Christmas.

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like a visit to Father Christmas at Hever Castle. Travel through the land of Christmas, meet cheerful elves and wander along the paths until you get to Father Christmas’ toy workshop to meet the big man himself! This experience is in a marquee, a covered but open staged setting.

Children will receive an age-appropriate gift (0-4 years or 5+ years).

  • Pre-booking is essential
  • A Father Christmas ticket must be purchased for all children wishing to see Father Christmas (including babes in arms) and all children must be accompanied by an adult with a Castle & Gardens ticket.
  • Only 2 adults per group are permitted to visit Father Christmas.
  • We will ask the name of each child to make the experience as special as possible.
  • We will ask the age of each child so that they can receive an appropriate gift.
  • You should arrive in the grounds at the entry time shown on your ticket.
  • You should arrive at the Grotto at the grotto time shown on your ticket. Your Grotto time is the time you are required to arrive at the Grotto, not the precise time that you will see Father Christmas. Please do not arrive at the Grotto before your booking time as you may be turned away.
  • If you miss your Grotto slot you may be asked to try again later but may risk not being able to see Father Christmas at all.
  • Dogs are not permitted in the grotto unless it is an Assistance Dog.
  • You may take your own photos in the grotto, there is no official photographer.
  • If you have a child who is currently 4 years old but who will turn 5 before your Christmas visit:
    • If you select the under 5 child option at the time of booking they will receive a gift for a child under 5 in the Grotto.
    • Alternatively, select Child 5-17 years option and they will receive a gift for a child 5 or over in the Grotto. If you are wishing to benefit from member prices and book during the priority booking window you will need to take out Annual Membership now for your child, then select the Annual Membership Child 5-17 years option. You will need to wait up to 24 hours after starting your membership to book your Christmas tickets.

There will be no drop-in Father Christmas for 2022.

CASTLE included with all Christmas tickets.

In the Castle you will be met with beautiful traditionally decorated rooms, welcoming log fires and twinkling Christmas trees.

Audio Guides will not be available during the Christmas experience.

The castle opens at 12:00 and last entry is at 19:30.


THE FESTIVE FOREST CHRISTMAS TRAIL
included with all Christmas tickets

This Christmas at Hever Castle, explore the 'Festive Forest' with Red the squirrel and meet his joyful woodland friends as Red receives thoughtful seasonal gifts along the way and discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas Trail is open 11:30 – 20:15.

FAIRGROUND available with all Christmas tickets, additional charges apply

In front of the Castle, ride the gallopers then head to the big wheel and have a go at hook a duck. We recommend pre-purchasing tickets for rides and stalls (£9 for 5 or £18 for 10). These will be available to book from 5 October. Subject to availability, it will be possible to purchase tickets from the Ticket Hut opposite the Information Hut. The Ticket Hut will accept cash and card. Prices: £2 each, £9 for 5 or £18 for 10.

Big Wheel Restrictions:

  • Anyone under 36in/92 cm can’t ride the big wheel
  • You must be 48in/121cm tall to ride on the big wheel without an adult
  • No single riders, 3 people per chair is the maximum

These restrictions are for your safety and there are no exceptions.

The fairground consists of Gallopers, Hook a Duck and a Big Wheel.

The fairground is open 12:00 – 20:00.


CHARACTERS 
available from the 19 Nov – 4 Dec and daily from the 7 – 24 Dec and 27 Dec - 2 Jan.

As well as exploring the captivating displays on the trail, meet characters from the Festive Forest as you wander through the gardens.

The characters are in the grounds 12:00 – 20:00.

HUSKIES available weekends only not including Christmas Eve 12:00 – 20:00.

Meet the huskies and take your photo as a memento (suggested £2 donation towards Siberian Husky Welfare Association).


OWLS available daily, excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

See some of the owls from Willow’s Birds of Prey centre in their aviary and learn a little about these magnificent birds or meet them up close and take a photo as a memento (suggested £2 donation will go to the Willow Bird of prey centre).

The owls will be in the grounds 12:00 – 20:00. Or on days when we close at 18:00 they will be in the grounds 12:00 – 17:30.

Photo opportunities will take place at:

12:00 – 13:00

15:00 – 16:00 or 15:00 – 16:30 on days we close at 18:00

18:00 – 19:30


EATING, DRINKING & SHOPPING additional charges apply

Appreciate relaxed Christmas shopping in the Gift Shops, and sample delicious festive food in the restaurants and kiosks.

A list of food and drink outlets available in the grounds during the Christmas experience is available here.

For pre visit dining, The Waterside Bar, Restaurant & Terrace is situated at Hever Golf & Wellbeing, just one mile from the Castle & Gardens entrance. Festive lunches are available on select dates. Pre-booking is advisable.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS 

The Play Areas, Yew Maze, Garden Exhibition and Military Museum will all be open daytime only until 16:00.

Lake Walk will all be open daytime only until 15:15.

The Miniature Model Houses will be open until 20:00. 

Annual Members

  • Tickets go on sale to Annual Members on 21 September 2022 at 11am, one week before they go on sale to the general public on 28 September 2022. Sales will be suspended between 10:30 and 10:59 on 28 September 
  • When booking, to validate your membership card, please enter your valid Hever Castle membership number/s.
  • You will also need to produce a valid membership card on entry. Failure to provide a valid membership card will mean that you will be charged the full rate on entry.
  • If you have just joined as a member or renewed your membership you will need to wait up to 24 hours before making your Christmas ticket booking.
  • Daytime Castle & Gardens tickets - free for all Annual Members for time slots for arrivals between 11:30 – 14:45
  • Twilight Castle & Gardens tickets - discounted for Annual Members for time slots for arrivals between 16:00 – 18:00
  • Daytime Father Christmas (includes Castle & Gardens) - there is a charge of £14 per child for Father Christmas to Annual Members and admission is free for time slots for arrivals between 11:30 – 14:30
  • Twilight Father Christmas (includes Castle & Gardens) - there is a charge of £14 per child for Father Christmas to Annual Members and admission is discounted for time slots for arrivals between 16:00 – 17:30
  • The Castle is included in your Christmas visit for all Annual Members (both Garden Only members and Castle & Garden members. You may select Father Christmas tickets or Castle & Garden tickets. There is no additional charge for the Castle upgrade this Christmas.
  • Annual Members can’t book for non-members, except those under 5 years, during the Annual Member booking window.
  • You can only check out once during the Annual Member booking window so if you wish to purchase more than one date/time then these tickets should be added to your basket before checking out (max 12 tickets per booking). Further bookings can be made from 11:00 on 28 September 2022.
  • If you have a child who is currently 4 years old but who will turn 5 before our Christmas visit:
    • If you select the 0-4 years child option at the time of booking they will receive a gift for a child under 5 in the Grotto.
    • Alternatively, select Child 5-17 years option and they will receive a gift for a child 5 or over in the Grotto. If you are wishing to benefit from member prices and book during the priority booking window you will need to take out Annual Membership now for your child, then select the Annual Membership Child 5-17 years option. You will need to wait up to 24 hours after starting your membership to book your Christmas tickets.

Other Ticket Types

During the Christmas experience we are unable to offer concession or family tickets due to the additional expenses and resources that the Christmas experience requires.

Choose between these experiences:

  • Castle & Gardens Only - You can book Daytime or Twilight tickets
  • With Father Christmas (includes Castle & Gardens) - You can book Daytime or Twilight tickets. 
    Adults accompanying children visiting Father Christmas should also use this option to book.

Carers and Access Guide

Standard charges apply to visitors with accessible needs, general admission for carers is free of charge. For carers in your party, please select the Carer ticket when making your booking. Proof of disability will be requested on arrival, which may include a Blue Badge, statement of special educational needs from LEA or NHS, a letter from a medical professional on NHS headed paper, a DLA or PIP letter from the Department of Work & Pensions, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. Failure to provide proof will mean that you will be charged the full rate on entry.

Accessible parking for blue badge holders is available. Please see the access guide for more information.

Our access guide can be found here.

B&B and Medley Court Guests

If you have booked to stay in the luxury Bed and Breakfast or our holiday cottage Medley Court during the Christmas experience then you will be given admission tickets on arrival. After making your room reservation you will be sent an email containing details for how to pre-book to visit Father Christmas should you wish to do so at an additional charge of £14 per child. Father Christmas Christmas tickets are limited and are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Please email stay@hevercastle.co.uk with any questions.

Existing Ticket Holders

If you are already in receipt of some complimentary tickets for Hever Castle & Gardens, these are not valid for Twilight Christmas (for arrival after 16:00), but you can use them for Daytime Christmas tickets. Please select the ‘Existing Ticket Holder’ ticket type when making your booking. You will need to produce your physical tickets when you visit with their separate unique 4 or 5 digit reference, along with your booking confirmation. Visitors that do not bring their complimentary tickets will be charged the full rate on entry.

These tickets cannot be used until 11am on 28 September 2022.

Partner Offers

Tesco Clubcard VouchersRHSHistoric Houses and Gardeners’ World offers are not valid during the Christmas event.

Cancellations, Exchanges, Transfers and Refunds

Tickets cannot be resold, exchanged, transferred to another date or refunded once tickets have been purchased unless the event is cancelled or covered by refund protection purchased.

Any refunds due to event cancellation will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

Please be sure that you choose the correct date and time slot time when making your booking. Tickets are non-transferable. This is highlighted during the booking process.

Refund Protection – Booking Protect

Refund Protection (via our partner Booking Protect) is available when purchasing tickets for Christmas at Hever Castle. This option is only available at the time of booking, you cannot add it to your order after you have paid. The cost is automatically calculated based on the total amount of your order. This will cover the cost of your tickets should you not be able to attend for a variety of reasons but please read the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing, these are available to read here. Hever Castle cannot advise on the suitability of these enhanced refund terms.

Please note that Booking Protect considers COVID to be an ‘illness’ and are able to offer a refund in the event that you or a member of your immediate family tests positive for COVID over the dates of the booking and can evidence this with the requested documentation - either the positive Covid result displaying name, date and result (reported via the Government website or a private test provider), or a doctor's note on headed and signed paper excluding them from the event.

If you have purchased Refund Protection during the booking process (via our partner Booking Protect), then you may cancel your booking subject to the terms and conditions that are on your Refund Protection confirmation. Any questions about Refund Protection should be directed to Booking Protect

Click here if you have purchased Refund Protection and wish to make a refund request (refunds will be issued by Booking Protect via a bank transfer regardless of the original payment method).

Adverse Weather Plan and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will not be offered in the event of poor weather. If you have purchased Refund Protection during the booking process (via our partner Booking Protect), then you may cancel your booking subject to the terms and conditions that are on your Refund Protection confirmation. Any questions about Refund Protection should be directed to Booking Protect

If Hever Castle determines that the weather on site presents a hazard and a risk to safety and a decision is made to cancel the event, you will be notified by email and you will be informed of the re-booking process if this is feasible. If an alternative date cannot be offered or attended, then a refund will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any refunds will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

Booking Tickets – Reminders, Queuing, Charges, Issues and Errors

Q: I have booked for the wrong day – can I transfer over to another day?

A: No, we are unable to offer exchanges or refunds once tickets have been purchased. It is noted at the point of booking that you need to make sure that you have chosen the right date and time slot at the time of making your booking.

Q: I have lost my ticket, what can I do?

A: Enter your email address here and we will re-send all of your tickets for upcoming events. 

If your ticket email did not arrive the usual culprit is a mistyped email address, but remember to check your junk mail folder too. If you can provide the details you used when purchasing your tickets here we’ll search for them.

Q: Why are you using a queueing system?

A: Due to high levels of demand and our limited inventory we need to ensure that there is a fair process in place for all those who wish to purchase tickets, whilst providing additional safeguards.

The queuing system provides the following benefits:

• It provides a fair system for allowing purchasers to book tickets. Once you are in the queue your place is held and no one can jump in front of you
• It helps manage the number of purchasers on the site at one time so that you have a seamless buying experience
• It prevents ticket touts and opportunistic buyers from flooding the ticketing system and buying up all the best tickets before real purchasers have the opportunity

Q: What can I expect while in the queue?

A: Once you enter the queue you will be assigned a queue position. While in the queue you will be told your position and your estimated waiting time. The speed of the queue (and your estimated wait time) might increase or decrease during your wait – this is perfectly normal. While we will try to minimise your time in the queue, your wait time is impacted by the people in the queue in front of you. Things such as how quickly people are completing their purchases or if people who are in front of you decide to leave the queue will impact how quickly you progress through the queue. Once you have reached the front of the queue you will be transferred to the ticketing pages where you can complete your purchase. Please note that if you navigate away from these pages and re-start your journey may have to queue again.

Q: Why is there a booking charge?

Due to the high cost, it is necessary to pass on booking costs for special events like Christmas to our visitors as many other attractions do with experiences of a similar nature.

Q: My tickets haven’t arrived by email, what should I do?

A: The usual culprit is a mistyped email address but remember to check your junk mail folder too. If you provide the details you used when purchasing your tickets we’ll search for them here.

Q: I want to move my booking

A: Tickets are non-transferable. This is highlighted throughout the booking process and in the Important Information which you have to accept before completing your purchase.

Q: I want to cancel my booking and get a refund

A: We are not able to offer any changes, exchanges or refunds once tickets have been purchased unless the event is cancelled. Any refunds made due to event cancellation will be less any booking fees, donations or refund protection charges incurred.

Please be sure that you choose the correct date and time slot time when making your booking. Tickets are non-transferable. This is highlighted throughout the booking process.

It is recommended that Refund Protection (via our partner Booking Protect) is considered when purchasing tickets for Christmas at Hever Castle. This option is only available at the time of booking, you cannot add it to your order after you have paid. The cost is automatically calculated based on the total amount of your order. This will cover the cost of your tickets should you not be able to attend for a variety of reasons but please read the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing, these are available to read here. Hever Castle cannot advise on the suitability of these enhanced refund terms.

If you have purchased Refund Protection during the booking process (via our partner Booking Protect), then you may cancel your booking subject to the terms and conditions that are on your Refund Protection confirmation. Any questions about Refund Protection should be directed to Booking Protect

Click here if you wish to make a refund request (refunds will be issued by Booking Protect via a bank transfer regardless of the original payment method).

Q: I want to buy extra tickets for a date/time that is sold out

A: It is not possible to buy extra tickets for dates or times that are sold out. Ticket numbers are limited.

Q: No tickets are loading on my screen, why is this?

A: If you are using Internet Explorer this might be the cause. This browser is no longer supported anymore due to Microsoft not supporting it and security issues, so you will need to use another browser such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Dogs

We welcome dogs in the grounds, both during the day and for the twilight experience, as long as they’re kept on a lead at all times.

With the exception of assistance dogs, dogs are not allowed inside the Grotto, near the Huskies, cafés, restaurants, shops, Castle or play areas.

There is a stand where dogs can be tied and left in the Castle Courtyard if you wish to visit the castle, but this is not supervised, and they are left at your own risk.

Accessibility

Standard charges apply to visitors with accessible needs, general admission for carers is free of charge. For carers in your party, please select the Carer ticket when making your booking. Proof of disability will be requested on arrival, which may include a Blue Badge, statement of special educational needs from LEA or NHS, a letter from a medical professional on NHS headed paper, a DLA or PIP letter from the Department of Work & Pensions, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. Failure to provide proof will mean that you will be charged the full rate on entry.

Our access guide and access page can be found here.

SEN and BSL Interpreted Christmas sessions are to be confirmed.

Groups

If you would like to make an inquiry for a booking of 15 or more persons for Christmas 2022 or 2023 please email groups@hevercastle.co.uk.

Other FAQs

Q: What is the difference between Daytime and Twilight tickets?

A: Those booking Twilight Christmas tickets will enjoy the experience at night with the castle and gardens illuminated from 16:00 – 20:30. Visitors attending the daytime experience must arrive at the time slot booked, lights go on at 16:00 and final exit is at 18:00.

Q: If I have booked for the Daytime experience, can I stay for the Twilight experience?

A: Yes, those booking Daytime arrival times are welcome to stay but must arrive at their allotted arrival time to the grounds. Last exit for day visitors is 18:00. Visitors cannot leave the grounds to return later unless they have another booking. If you miss your slot you may be asked to try again later but may risk not being able to enter the grounds at all.

Q: Can I just visit the Gardens Only if I want to?

A: There are no Gardens Only tickets for 2022 as the Castle is a free addition this Christmas. During this time there are no Castle upgrade fees for Garden Only annual members and 2022 Castle & Gardens Christmas tickets are at the same price as 2021 Garden Only Christmas tickets prices.

Of course, if you don't want to visit the Castle during Christmas then that's absolutely fine as there is plenty more to do!

If you are a Garden Only annual member and you wish to visit the Gardens Only then pre-booking is not necessary mid-week outside of school holidays, just show your annual membership card at the entrance.

Q: Can children who are not booked to see Father Christmas enter the grotto?

A: If no one in your party is booked to see Father Christmas then you cannot enter the grotto.

Only children that have booked to see Father Christmas will be on his list and receive a gift at the time of meeting him. If you have a child in your party who does not wish to be received by Father Christmas they may enter the grotto but will not receive a gift.

Q: I’m meeting friends and family. How can I make sure we all meet up together?

A: Please note that there is more than one car park. On arrival you will be met by staff to guide you to the car park that is open for use. If you have accessible needs, please notify a member of staff. If you are meeting friends and family unfortunately we cannot guarantee that you will be located in the same car park. Please make sure that all members of your party have a copy of your booking reference. Should you arrive at different car parks you can then access through different entrances and meet at an agreed location.

Q: What is this year’s theme?

A: The theme for Christmas 2022 is the ‘Festive Forest’. On the Christmas Trail you will discover a new story of Christmas created by our talented Design Manager Caz Pagden. The charming trails sees Red the squirrel meeting his joyful woodland friends as Red receives thoughtful seasonal gifts and discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Characters from the story will also be in the grounds (weekends from the 19 Nov – 4 Dec and daily from the 7 – 24 Dec and 27 Dec – 2 Jan).

The Castle will be dressed traditionally.

Location

Hever Castle
Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG United Kingdom