Saturday, October 24, 2015

Out and about in Kent and Sussex #1 - Scotney Castle

Are you glad it's the weekend? I have had a particularly hectic week (thus no blog posts since Tuesday!) and am extremely pleased to have reached Saturday morning. The fact we get an extra hour of sleep tomorrow, with the end of daylight savings, is a bonus.

Scotney Castle, Kent
With being grateful for this weekend, I thought I would share one of our weekend outings from earlier this month. I have previously posted Out and About posts for Perth and London, but this is my first for our new county (we are on the border of Kent and East Sussex).

Scotney Castle is a National Trust property about 10 miles south of Tunbridge Wells. Like many National Trust properties, there is a lot to the estate. The original Scotney Castle, pictured above, is a 14th century semi-ruined castle set in beautiful gardens and woodland. There's lots to explore just with that, but you can also tour the newer country house that was built to replace the castle around 1840.

View from the 'new' house to the old castle

The estate was owned by the Hussey family from 1778. They built the new country house and the final owners, Christopher and Betty Hussey, lived there until their deaths (Christopher in the 1970s and Betty more recently, in 2006). After Christopher's death, some parts of the house were divided into apartments and one was used as a country retreat by Margaret Thatcher.

Scotney castle

The newer house holds many historical details of the Hussey family and was enjoyable to walk through. However, I was most attached to the old castle and the gardens. We visited on a perfect autumn day and everything seemed impossibly beautiful. I feel so fortunate to live in this part of the world.

Country views

Another novel feature of the grounds is an old ice house, which is a listed building on account of the thatched roof. You can peek inside and look down into the huge drop into the depths of the earth. Ice houses were crucial in the days before refrigerators, but I am glad we don't rely on them now.

Old thatched ice house

If you are ever in the Kent vicinity, Scotney Castle is well worth a visit. The estate is open year round (other than Christmas Day) but opening hours for the house vary - details are on the National Trust website. If you are National Trust members (which we are, and find very good value) then entry is free, otherwise it costs £13 per adult and £6.50 per child.

We didn't test the tea rooms but they are positioned to give attractive views and there are indoor and outdoor seating options. There are also well-maintained toilets, a small gift shop, and plenty of picnic spots.

Scotney Castle is located at Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 8JN. Full details are at .

Have you enjoyed any local attractions lately?


  1. I love estates where there has been continuous residence for many generations - Scotney castle sounds just lovely and it would be a great break to go and wander in the grounds - hope you get to go back given it is in your 'hood.

  2. I am glad it's the weekend. I am so tired and have a busy weekend too. Scotney Castle looks gorgeous - love your photos.

    1. I hope you get some rest in amongst your busy weekend - it sounds like you need it! And thank you :-)

  3. it all looks beautiful! I only ever visited London and never ventured out beyond but I'd love to next time.

  4. What beautiful photos and just goes to show how much there is to see on our own door step. A good remind of how great Britain is.

  5. Wow! It's so gorgeous =) What a fun and memorable outing. They should fix up old castles and set them up as bed and breakfasts that people can stay in - how fun would that be?
    My apartment is not much bigger than that cute, little ice house ;p

    1. Ha, I know - city apartments just can't compare to the space on these old estates!

      Some castles have been turned into accommodation places and I think they do a good trade in weddings and the like too :-)

  6. Always glad when it's the weekend :-) Beautiful pictures. It looks so very different over there compared to here.


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