Hever Castle starts sensory garden tours

Hever Castle & Gardens has extended its range of garden tours to include a specialist sensory tour.

People supported by Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Kent Association for the Blind and the Macular Society were among the first to experience the new sensory tour last week, ahead of Hever in Bloom (June 26-July 1).

Mary Simmonds (pictured centre), who is supported by the Macular Society, said of the tour: “It was smashing. I would never have come here by myself.

“I would not have been able to get around and if I came with family they wouldn’t know the place and have the knowledge. It wouldn’t be the same.”

The gardening team has undergone training from Kent Association for the Blind in order to start offering the first tours as part of this year’s Hever in Bloom event.

The senses are the theme of this year’s Hever in Bloom with a focus on the scent and flavours of the garden.

Visitors to this year’s event will be able to enjoy the rose displays in the gardens and in the castle itself.

They will be able to take a free scented tour of the garden with one of the gardening team at Hever, enjoy tastings, demonstrations and rose-flavoured cakes on sale in the restaurants.

After Hever in Bloom, the new tours will be private guided ones and aimed at those with a visual impairment. They will be offered when the roses are in bloom and at other selected times throughout the year.

hevercastle.co.uk/visit/groups/