Advantages: Beautiful views and historic site
disadvantages: no audio available.
This year I have visited Scotney Castle Garden and Estate twice because it’s the nearest tourist site that belongs to National trust. It is only 15 minutes drive from my home to there.
Scotney Castle Garden and Estate is located to the south of Tunbridge Wells and is surrounded by kentish country views.
Scotney Castle is a brown colour building which has three levels. It is a typical Victorian country house. It was a home of the Hussey family from the late 18th century.
As a National Trust property the house is open from March to December. It has a small cark parking for 30 cars roughly. From the car park to the left you can see two adjacent toilets. One of them is newly built.
However walking along a short distance you can see a small gate that is not open to public. Passing by it you come in the main entrance of Scotney Castle. Inside the castle you can see old furniture, paintings and many antiques from different countries. Because of lack of staff now you can just visit part of rooms. There are volunteers in every open room to explain the displays. It has a special display in one guest room to tell how Victorians protected their properties when they went out for long period.
The garden is very big compared to the castle. In 1835 Edward Hussey III converted the garden in an Elizabethan style. The space of the garden is not flat. It separates into smaller gardens with different plants. It may take you up and down several times. Do remember you just have one entry/exit point. Despite the vibrant colours you can stand in the top of the garden and have a look over spacious Kentish farmland. The rockery garden is the central view point, but it could be very wet and muddy after a rainy day.
To me Scotney Castle Garden and Estate is like a home the owner just left yesterday. The owners left many personal things there. From the displays I can catch the hobbies of them. I think the owner liked cats very much. In every room you can see cat’s paintings and gadgets.
However I did not think the owner wished visitors to stay very long. There is a little space to stop and take break. Too many displays inside and too narrow footpaths outside made me want leave as soon as possible although I did like the views I saw there.
Last but not least you can visit other sites, which are near to Scotney Castle, such as Sissinghurst castle Garden, Bodiam Castle, they belong to National Trust too. Bayham Old Abbey is just five minutes of driving time from Scotney Castle, but it belongs to English Heritage.
Summary: an enjoyable day out.