Scotney Castle is situated southeast of Lamberhurst, along the A21. The nearest “big” town is Tunbridge Wells, where we stayed.
The construction of the castle began in 1378. The builder was Roger Ashburnham. The building was never finished. As off 1580 consecutive owners renovated the castle, each in the predominant style of their age. But the moat always remained an integral part of the castle.
In 1830 Edward Hussey decided to build a new castle altogether. This time it was built in the Victorian style. The architect was Anthony Salvin. In addition to the castle he also designed the garden. The most important plants in the garden are azaleas and rhododendrons. They were Hussey’s favourite flowers, because they bloom in early Summer. The ruins of the old castle form the centrepiece of this garden
While the old castle stood at the bottom of the valley, the new castle was built on top of the hill to ensure a wonderful view from one building to the other.
Upon his death, Christopher Hussey left the estate to the National Trust. It is now this organization’s regional headquarters. Occasionally apartments are rented out. Margaret Thatcher was a tenant in the 1970s and 1980s.
As I have already mentioned that the estate consists of two castles. Due to a lack of time we only visited the old one and of course the gardens.
There are 780 acres of woodland and parkland to explore. (Map) This can be done individually or by following guided tours. These guided walks take place all year around. Visitors can choose between tours around the estate and themed walks.
Visiting Scotney Castle
The estate is accessible all year around, except for December 24 and December 25. Opening hours are from 10.00 to 17.00, but the house only opens at 11.00 o’clock. Be sure to be on time if you want to visit the house, because the number of tickets is limited.
Tickets cost £13 for adults and £6.50 for children.
Children will have a great time at Scotney Castle. There are special activities throughout the year. “Den building” being one of them.
At lunchtime you can choose between eating at the tearoom or at the designated picnic area.
Overall Scotney Castle is certainly worth a day-trip. Make sure you have enough time to visit the whole estate. And don’t forget to bring your camera. The old castle is very photogenic.
More information about Scotney Castle is available via this link.
You can find more of my photos here.
Disclaimer: I own the copyright to all photos in this post.