After a few days We were thinking of places we hadn’t been to that weren’t too far away and we settled on Scotney Castle.
It was about 40 minutes drive and despite being a beautiful Sunday after a few days of rain, we managed not to get too caught up in the traffic the notoriously busy roads that head down towards the south coast. The kids were happy – another new place to go, with the promise of a lunch out and maybe ice creams later.Scotney Castle is actually 2 separate ‘castles’ – an old semi ruined castle with moat, dating back to around 1380 and a modern manor house built in the 1830’s when the owners found the old castle wasn’t practical to live in anymore. Shockingly, when the new house was built, the owners decided that the old castle would look better as a garden feature, and deliberately part ruined it for effect.
It’s an utterly beautiful effect, however, as the old castle is possibly one of the most delightful places I’ve ever seen and the ruins do give it a fairytale feel, but by modern conservation standards, the wrecking of a historical castle seems horrifying!
The more modern house is complete, however, being donated to the National Trust in 1970 and being used even for government duties in the 80’s. It’s now all open to the public and although not stuffed full of ancient character like some National Trust houses, it’s still interesting to see how the very rich lived!
Making our way out of the house and into the gardens, you can catch glimpses of the fairytale castle in the valley below. The effect is beguiling, and you do see the reasoning behind the conversion from castle to garden folly..
The kids an around in the old quarry, exploring all the little paths through the gardens and rhododendrons whilst I took a leisurely walk down to the castle and drank in the view.
A thoroughly worthwhile day in everyone’s opinion – kids had fun, learned a bit of history and there was even a walled garden to explore at the end.
Would have been an amazing place to grow up as a kid!