Autumn colour at Scotney Castle

When autumn arrives, the garden and estate at Scotney Castle bursts into colour, its oranges, yellows and reds create a bright picture across the landscape. Learn more about seasonal highlights and the best time to see them at their peak.

The garden and estate at Scotney Castle are all part of a designed landscape, put together and shaped to form the perfect picture. At the heart of it all sits the romantic folly of Scotney Castle. During autumn it is surrounded by vibrant reds and oranges. Whether you view it from the Bastion view point or up close from across the moat, autumn is the perfect time to just admire the view. 

The view from the Bastion over the landscape in autumn
View of Scotney Castle from the Bastion view in autumn
The view from the Bastion over the landscape in autumn

Gardener's highlights 

On making your way down to the castle you must take in the colours in the quarry. Here you can see the exposed sandstone with different shades of oranges and yellows from Azaleas and red from the large Japanese acer that towers above. 

As you explore the garden further you will be met by the mature Japanese Acer on the edge of the moat, with bright red leaves creating vibrant reflections in the water. The boathouse next door is surrounded by a carpet of orange, crimson and yellow leaves from the large Sweet Gum that surrounds it. 

The boathouse island is brought to life by the red and orange of the Liquidambar
View of the Liquidambar styraciflua next to the boathouse.
The boathouse island is brought to life by the red and orange of the Liquidambar

At the castle itself the herbaceous beds are starting to go over but you can still see plants such as sedums and the ruined walls clothed in an amazing Chinese bittersweet as well as the bronze coloured Royal Ferns that line the edges of the moat. 

One final stop on your way out the garden has to be to the west glade where you are met with various deciduous conifers such as Swamp Cypress and the Dawn Redwood. You will also notice the large Tulip trees which turn a beautiful orange, as well as the red leaves of the Black Tupelo forming a dense red carpet beneath them.

Time for a walk

Take an outsiders view of the garden from the parkland trail, which loops around the estate. 

Keep an eye to your left as you head downhill, for gaps in the golden tree canopies opening up views of the bridge by the moat. Catch a glimpse of our gardeners' highlights above for a stunning photo opportunity.

The entire walk is about 2 miles, remember to bring some sturdy footwear. Maps can be purchased from visitor reception to help find your way, or simply follow the blue way markers on our estate. We have 4 walking trails on the estate in total and details of all of these can be found on the map.  

If you would like some more information you can join one of our volunteer estate guides for an autumn colour guided walk. Guided walks run most days at 11:30am and 2pm, please ask at visitor reception for details.

" The beech avenue at Kilndown is breath-taking, and can be visited by following our red marked estate walking route"
- Paul Micklewright, Garden and estate manager


Whether you have walked in the garden, explored the estate or taken part in one of four guided estate walks everyone deserves a treat in our tea-room. Call in for seasonal cakes, scones, coffee or a selection of light lunches 

You're welcome to bring your dog with you, as long as you keep them on a lead. We only allow short, fixed length leads inside the garden. If you don't have your own we have some that you can borrow from visitor reception.