The Garden at Scotney Castle

Scotney Old Castle reflected in the moat during summer

Scotney Castle’s garden is like a landscape painting with drama and romance. From a stunning vista of the old castle glimpsed through a swathe of rhododendrons and azaleas in spring to colourful reflections in the moat throughout autumn.

A landscape with drama and romance

From the early 18th century, British landscape gardeners had been creating gardens inspired by pictures, but by 1800 a backlash had set in. Critics considered the grassy vistas designed by Capability Brown too smooth and tidy. Scotney's picturesque garden is a last fling in this backlash style of gardening.


A fairytale feel

The garden has naturalistic planting which is seemingly untouched by human hand and its cloud-like planting of rhododendrons and azaleas creates a fairytale feel, with the ruins of the Old Castle at its centre. Wisteria and old English roses adorn its sandstone walls, whilst the surrounding herbaceous beds are always throwing out new colours throughout the seasons.


A view from the bastion at Scotney Castle overlooking the old castle and rhododendrons

Reinstating the view at Scotney Castle 

In 2018 we were fortunate to secure funding to clear a lot of the overgrown Rhododendron ponticum and reduce the Kalmias in size. This enabled us to start to open up the picturesque views towards the Old Castle, as well as reinstate the grass paths that originally ran through the middle of the beds.

A family with a pushchair enjoying a walk through a wooded area with daffodils

Visiting Scotney Castle with a family

Scotney has plenty to offer families throughout the year, from bracing walks in the winter to picnics in the summer. Trails bring the house and garden to life for children and there's plenty to explore in our natural play area and wilderness camp.