On a rainy Sunday morning, we headed off on a random adventure to Scotney castle. We had looked at the national trust map the night before and chose Scotney castle for it’s proximity to London. Scotney castle has 770 acres of land to be explored as well as the ruins of a moated castle, a well-maintained country house, beautiful, well-manicured gardens that also happen to be a site of special scientific interest.
Breakdown - click to jump straight to that topic
How to get there
Scotney castle hides amongst the trees along the A21 highway. To arrive at the entrance, you have to make the journey down a leafy, somewhat bumpy drive which opens up to a parking lot and the beginning of brick wall structures.
Your most comfortable and cheapest mode of transport to get here will be by car and will take just over an hour to drive to from central London. The postcode is TN3 8JN. I have heard that parking can be an issue on busier days with a long wait to park so be conscious of that, it’s also £3.00 per car to park unless you are a national trust member then its free.
Unfortunately, Scotney castle is not located near any train stations. The closest station would be Wadhurst and can be reached via a train from charring cross. The train prices average from £16-£23. From there you would have to take a taxi costing around £15.
History behind Scotney Castle
When visiting Scotney castle, you will find plenty of areas to explore. First to explore will be the country house and then a short walk later, the castle although they were built oppositely.
The house dates back to 1837, built by Edward Hussey III. Hussey positioned the house to overlook both the castle and the estate and added some beautiful gardens to accentuate the natural surroundings of the home.
The castle has a long history, dating back to 1137 with the castle itself being built from 1378 onwards. In 1778 it was bought by the Hussey family and remained in the family until 1970 and is now looked after by the national trust.
As it was the family house of the Hussey family when walking around the country house, their family history is well depicted. As you meander along, there are family photos on the wall and personal items left around the house which gives you a real sense for their past. If you would like to see more pictures
It has been recently found that Arthur Hussey was a commander in WWI, they have found a trunk with fascinating artefacts from his time in the war, and you can also see it in their exhibit.
Rumour has it that the castle itself was brought down by a member of the Hussey household to add an aesthetic to the property, as it was not in use and he wanted to go for the ‘ruins’ feel.
The castle was also said to be the hiding place of Richard Blount, a Catholic priest and the so-called “priest-hole” can be seen when visiting. Catholicism at one time was persecuted in England hence the need for a hiding place as anyone seen to be practising in the Catholic church was sentenced to death. It is said that priest Blount hid in the hole for ten days straight and successfully evaded the guards.
What to do at Scotney Castle
Scotney Castle is full of many activities no matter the season. I do feel to get the whole experience warmer weather would be ideal. The estate is open all year with events taking place throughout.
On the grounds you have several activities, first off is the country house which can be explored in depth. The castle ruins are a short stroll away and can be explored as well.
There are several estate nature walks and trails that pass through fields, woodland and farms. A Walk Through Time – Sissinghurst Walk is a circular 10 mile (16km) walk that passes through the estate.
Scotty castle is close to a well-known cycle route called the Wealden cycle trail and is said to take you through some breathtaking landscapes. If you fancy a bike ride, Scotney castle is a good stop off point.
The entrance and ticket hall is also the visitor centre and souvenir shop, and I believe they have a map for kids to explore the surrounding areas. Finally, if the weather is decent, you can take a stroll in their vegetable garden and even get your hands on some for a small price. There is also a picnic area on the estate which is a lovely stop off if you brought some snacks or lunch.
There is a cafe on site available that serves a range of food. I find these cafes all tend to offer the same style as your quiches and sandwiches. The on-site cafe is always going to be more expensive than average too due to the monopoly they have. To save some money, weather permitting have yourself a small picnic.
Seating indoors is limited, if the weather happens to turn and you’re looking for refuge from the rain you might be hard pressed to find it. There is a large outdoor seating area with umbrellas overhead which did offer us some shelter from the freak rainstorm.
The 20 second breakdown
Address – Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 8JN
Opening times – Gardens, estate walks, shop and cafe are open from 10.00-17.00. The house is open from 11.00 -17.00. Last entry is one hour before closing.
|Ticket Type||Gift Aid||Standard|
|Group Adult-Minimum group size 15||N/A||£12.10|
Getting there – It’s best to get to Scotney castle by car but can be reached from London charring cross to Wadhurst then a taxi from there.
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Happy reading but mostly happy exploring.