Scotney Castle is a country house in Kent, with gorgeous gardens and ruins, set in a lovely estate. The house is perched at the top of sloping gardens leading down to the ruined and rather damp-looking,14th century moated castle it was built to replace. The Old Castle nestles on an island in a small lake.
The National Trust is gradually opening up new rooms and facilities so it is an interesting time to visit and talk to the staff and volunteers there. The gardens are beautifully laid out so they provide plenty of interesting vistas, with ruins, a steep-sided quarry garden, rhododendrons, azaleas, a walled garden that is being restored by volunteers. And the estate offers more walks and trails.
The house was built in 1835-1843 and was designed by architect Anthony Salvin for the Hussey family who lived there until first the garden and estate in 1970 and then the house in 2006 were left to the National Trust.
Scotney Castle is near Lamberhurst, a short drive from London, and is signposted from the A21. It is free to National Trust members and prices for non-members range from £9.10 for access to the garden only to £32.50 for a whole family for the house and gardens. National Trust membership gives you free access not only to Scotney Castle but to all National Trust properties, so can be very good value. Scotney Caste has a pleasant cafe and gift shop.