english summer adventures – going local: first stop lamberhurst

Welcome beautiful summer, sunshine and warm days. We have been lucky here in England lately when it comes to weather, and I’ve been enjoying it to the max by working in my garden, and by going on lovely day-trips around South-East England.

Hopefully this wonderful weather continues and we can roam further away to other counties too.  Grandly, I decided to name my summer theme the English Summer Adventures – and I have high hopes for visiting lots of castles, gardens, ruins and little villages – as well as enjoying some tasty cream teas and Sunday roasts!

Scotney Castle 1

This series will kick off at Scotney Castle and Bayham Old Manor, which are just a couple of miles from each other near the border of Kent and Sussex. Scotney is one of my favourite places with 600 acres of rolling hills, pretty gardens, an impressive manor and a folly – a beautiful castle that was ruined just for the views! I visited Scotney with my three children last winter and we loved it, and in full summer bloom on a sunny day it was ever prettier than before. Scotney Castle 2

The property has a lovely tea house and a shop in the picturesque coach house building – I just love houses with clock towers on them, being surrounded by endless greens and pretty plants!Scotney Castle 3

The views from the manor house over the valley and down to the folly are impressive with all different shades of green blending with reds and blooming flowers. No cars in sight, just the forests and valleys stretching to the horizon…

Scotney Castle, Kent

The ruins are the ultimate romantic picnic spot at this property – the moat filled with floating lilies, blooming climbers all over the ruins and with flowers planted everywhere. Scotney Castle, Kent

The castle ruins are a mix of styles, including Tudor. Lovely little footpaths wind from the ruins around the estate and beyond, across meadows with grazing sheep. This is a place where one can easily spend a day: first exploring the manor house, then the gardens and the castle ruins, stop for a lunch or cream tea at the tea house, exploring the childrens’ discovery area with little ones before taking a long, peaceful walk around the large estate.

Scotney Castle, Kent

Follow the little river flowing from the moat to discover wooden bridges, covered walkways, more informal gardens and some sculptures. A calm piece of heaven for all senses!Bayham Abbey

Whereas Scotney Castle belongs to the National Trust, nearby Bayham Old Abbey is part of the other national organization, the English Heritage. The location is also picturesque, being surrounded by fields and meadows, a little river flowing at the back of the area. This was my first visit to the Bayham, but I have actually written about the property next door to this before: the Bayham manor, or rather an old monastery has been divided into wings and are private residences, one of which was for sale last year. Pretty amazing-looking houses and the views from it I’d say!

Bayham Old Abbey, Kent

Founded 1207, this abbey has a long history. Despite the old age there is quite a lot to see in terms of different parts of the abbey from old altar to arched walkways. I wouldn’t recommend driving a long just to see this place alone, but combining it with another larger destinations such as the Scotney Castle makes it a perfect little stop for a piece of English history!

Bayham Old Abbey, Kent

An impressive arch leading to a stone altar, on top of which a large tree has been growing for a more than a hundred years. The area is easy to explore as it’s covered in soft grass everywhere, and therefore makes it very child-friendly also.

‘Map of Bayham Old Abbey and Scotney Castle in Kent, some 50 miles from London’

English Summer Adventures 2014

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