8th Sep 2013 - England day trips
Sissinghurst Castle and Scotney Castle - Kent
Martin and I took the opportunity with my mother being here from New Zealand to go to a few places that we had not previously seen and using our free memberships if possible.
Sissinghurst Castle was a lovely 1-1.5 hour drive from our home. It is a National Trust property. £10.80 admission for adults. Lots of car parking. Free for us with our membership. Really loved our few hours here and would be a lovely place to bring a picnic and spend the entire day. It was a nice enough day and we started in a wonderful way sitting in the sun with a latte. Lots of varied history to this place and various interesting exhibitions to explain it all.
Most recent history is that of Vita and Harold - think they were the last owners. A married couple who has a very interesting open marriage with same sex encounters yet appeared to have loved each other and have a good marriage in a unique way. The exhibition was well set out in one of the outer buildings.
Early history is that it started off as a pig farm around 1235 and then was built upon over the centuries. By 1500 the baker family owned it and they had various connections to royalty including Edward 1, Queen Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth 1.
Then the Seven Years war from 1756-1763 where it was a prisoner of war camp and housed over 1000 French prisoners. the history of this revealed as you walk up and up and up the Tower stairs - well worth the agony for the amazing views over the Kent countryside at the top. Truly a lovely setting
Continued on for a lovely walk around the gardens - flowers were still out and then further out to the orchard area and then down to the pond area and back up through the paddocks.
Then we set off to Scotney Castle - about 30 minutes drive from Sissinghurst. Again a National Trust property and £13 for house and gardens. Had lunch at the small cafe here - unfortunately it was raining and no inside space so huddled around an outside table and umbrella. Also a lot of wasps which were quite annoying. I dont mind them so much but when they mess with my cream tea well that is a different story. Then I lost my last scone carefully prepared with cream and jam to the ground when a wasp flew into my hair and got stuck.
The main house wasnt the most interesting for me and I got around it fairly quickly - felt it was just more of the same that I had seen before and I have never been much good with 'old' furniture and a lot of the decor of this type of house. Others would marvel but not for me. Owned by the Hussey family until the National Trust took over.
Lots of grounds to wander about and the quarry was just beautiful. Evidently called one of the most romantic gardens in England at one time. A walk downhill (poor Mum) and then a glimpse of a wonderful surprise - the old castle surrounded by water in absolutely picturesque surroundings. This I loved and although we continued the walk right around the small lake / moat i was delighted by the old castle. It felt like I was in history and I loved going inside and picturing how people actually lived centuries ago. Truly a special place and the sort of setting you might even contemplate getting married in :)
Another wonderful day out .........
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