Scotney – Fairytale Moated Castle in 770 acres of beautiful grounds

Scotney is not one but two houses. The views from the big country house down the hillside gardens prepare you for the Medieval Castle. However, wandering down along the winding paths it is only when you walk around the moated lake that it hits you just how pretty it is. Country house, romantic garden, 14th century moated castle - all in a beautiful wooded estate.

The children had a great day running around. There are lots of interesting routes around the gardens, the old quarry and in and around the ruined old castle and house. Along with the playground and tearoom there was more than enough to occupy us all.

Crammed with paintings, textiles, furniture and books the grand country house feels like the owner has just popped out to the shops. The National Trust purposely left the contents of this house exactly as it was when given to them 10 years ago. It is homely and lived in - a nice way to view a special property.  The fantastic wallpapers, wood panelling and beautiful furniture were lost on the little ones as they darted from one room to the next and back out the door.

The one thing I couldn’t quite get over for the whole day was that the ruin in the garden was actually a complete Medieval castle that the owner deliberately ‘ruined’ in the 1800’s to turn it into a folly. He bashed up a 14th century moated castle to create some rich man’s eye candy!!!

If you can’t take good pictures here your camera must be broken! Today I handed the photo taking duties over to my eldest - at 8 he is eager to get his hands on my camera and we spent a large part of the day experimenting and talking pictures. With the castle reflecting so clearly into its surrounding lake and the ivy creeping up its stonework, it really is a beautiful subject.

The best time to visit here would definitely be when all the enormous rhododendrons and azaleas are out on show.  It was a bit of a tease seeing them all gearing up for summer but not putting on a show for us. However, this is one of only a handful of places that the National Trust open up in the winter, and at this time of year it was a very welcome trip out.

Scotney Castle
Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 8JN
Family ticket - £32.50 or free with National Trust membership
Open all year 10:00 – 17:00 (time slots need to be booked for the country house)