May Day Festival at Hever Castle
From 5th – 7th May
Celebrate May Day at Hever Castle & Gardens over the early May Bank Holiday. The May Day Festival runs from 5 to 7 May with a host of customs and activities for all the family to enjoy.
Join the Lord and Lady of the May on the Castle Forecourt and see the crowning of the May Queen. Visitors are invited to dance around the Maypole with brightly coloured ribbons intertwined. This age old custom is followed by demonstrations of May Day Dancing accompanied by 16th century music and a playlet about the traditional story of the battle of the seasons.
Meet the mythical Jack-in-the-Green and follow the Green Man from folklore in a traditonal May Day procession through the gardens as he wakes up the plants for summer with the help of children and their magical May bells (2.30pm). There’s also a Green Man trail through the Castle and children can have their face painted* (*additional charge).
At this time of year the award winning gardens and grounds are a feast for the eyes, with delicate blossom of pear, apple and cherry trees to lift the spirits. Stroll through the Pergola Walk where the walls are bedecked with an array of Wisteria and admire the colourful bedding plants in the Italian Gardens.
Visitors aged 7-14 can explore the new Tudor Towers adventure playground with its own moat, drawbridge and three turrets. It features three slides and two poles and lots of interactive elements including musical instruments, a roof maze and hidden boxes to find.
With the days getting warmer, adventurous children can risk a soaking as they navigate the Water Maze while more fun awaits in the Yew Maze – how long will it take you to find your way out? Boats are also available for hire from the Edwardian boathouse. To round off the day, head for the award-winning restaurants where delicious lunches and afternoon teas will be served. Or bring a picnic to eat in the designated picnic spots – the perfect way to celebrate the coming of summer.