Plan your group visit to Scotney Castle

We welcome groups of 15 people or more to Scotney Castle and it couldn't be easier to organise. Start to plan your visit today to this beautiful house in the Kent countryside, complete with a ruined castle, gardens and a wide estate to explore.

Scotney is not one but two houses, united by art and nature. Surrounded by the moat at the bottom of the valley are the romantic ruins of the medieval castle. At the top of the hill is the new house, built in 1837-43 by Edward Hussey III.

The carefully contrived views between new and old represent almost the last, and perhaps the most perfect, expression of the Picturesque landscape style.

The Old Castle and rhododendrons in late summer at Scotney Castle, Kent
A view from the bastion at Scotney Castle overlooking the old castle and rhododendrons
The Old Castle and rhododendrons in late summer at Scotney Castle, Kent

Built by Edward Hussey III, he spent many happy years at Scotney Castle, but only two more generations of the family lived here afterwards. The house still has a welcoming atmosphere and a sense that the family have only just left the room. Filled with books and paintings, many of which were created by the Hussey's and their friends, it's this personable charm and sociable atmosphere that make the house what it is today.

Scotney Castle was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1970 by Edward's grandson, Christopher. Faithful to the Hussey family motto, 'Vix ea nostra voco': I scarcely call these things our own, Edward was one of the first to recognise that the historic country houses of Britain were threatened by social and financial change. He argued that they were worth preserving as a unique aspect of national life.

" ...you see in the valley below, a castle, partly ruined on an island in a lake...it formed the perfect picture...the very scene to me, so far from being a happy co-incidence, must have been planned on picturesque principals."

Planning a group visit to Scotney Castle

Groups of 15 people or more are eligible for group rates. All groups must book in advance and pay in one transaction on arrival. National Trust members are included in the group numbers and will need to show their cards on arrival for scanning.

If you are bringing a group smaller than 15 people, but will be arriving in a coach or minibus, please let us know so we can plan for your arrival.  

What to expect on your visit to Scotney Castle

To enjoy all that Scotney Castle has to offer, we recommend you allow three hours for your group visit. Prior to your visit we offer a complimentary familiarisation visit to the group leader. On arrival you will be greeted at your coach by a member of our reception team and we offer complimentary admission to the group leader and coach driver, who will also recieve a free refreshment voucher.

The house at Scotney Castle, Kent
The house at Scotney Castle, Kent
The house at Scotney Castle, Kent

Entry to the house is on a timed ticket basis. To ensure you can make the most of your day, we will reserve tickets for your group for a time specified on your booking confirmation. Garden tours are also available for pre-booking at an additional charge, plus we have regular volunteer walks around the estate. Please indicate on your booking form if you would be interested in a paid garden tour.

Where to go for a bite to eat

Your visit wouldn't be complete without a trip to the tea-room for some well-earnt refreshments. The tea-room serves hot and cold lunches, sandwiches, soup, handmade cakes and biscuits and of course, freshly-baked scones, including our popular scone of the month. We offer a range of items to cater for different dietary needs, so please discuss your requirements with a member of the team. 

On busy days, you will also find other outlets open around the property serving grab and go food and drink options, as well as ice creams and snacks. You will be advised on what is open on the day of your visit. There are also plenty of benches and picnic benches around the site if you wish to bring a picnic.

Take home a souvenir

Pop into the shop to take home a souvenir of your visit or pick up a gift for someone special. From cards, books and toys to home furnishings, accessories and seasonal items, it'll be hard to go home empty handed. Our well-stocked plant centre may also tempt you if you'd like to create your own picturesque garden at home.

Browse the shop at Scotney Castle and take home a souvenir of your visit
Scotney Castle shop general view
Browse the shop at Scotney Castle and take home a souvenir of your visit

When you're ready to book or would like to discuss dates, please call our Business Support team on 01892 893820 (option 4) or email scotneycastle@nationaltrust.org.uk. We recommend you book at least three months in advance as our group slots book up early.