A beautiful walk through fairytale Scotney

View of the house and old castle ruins in autumn at Scotney Castle, Kent

Scotney Castle, its grounds and parklands are especially lovely in the autumn - Credit: ©National Trust Images/Jo Hatcher

With its charming country house, romantic garden, 14th-century moated castle and beautiful wooded estate, National Trust favourite Scotney Castle makes for a truly idyllic pit-stop for walkers setting out on this month’s four-mile rural route through Lamberhurst. Our resident walking expert, Alannah Crouch, is our guide.

Information:

Distance: 6.6km

Duration: 2+ hours 

Terrain: Stiles, variety of terrains including grass which can get muddy on wet days 

Parking: Lamberhurst Parking & Toilets, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8DB

Refreshments: The Chequers pub for a cosy after walk meal

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The Walk:

1) Start in the pretty village at The Chequers pub. From the car park walk across the playing field until you From the public pathway a gap in the hedgerow straight ahead will bring you out into a crop field. 

2) Here, turn immediately left to follow the hedgerow as it curves around to the right up ahead. Cross a pedestrian bridge on your left leading into a large meadow. Here, when you reach the tree up ahead turn right to follow the route into a narrow pathway lined on either side by greenery.

3) Walk on before crossing another pedestrian bridge leading you into a large expanse of crop fields. Head on, crossing a stile from the first field into the second, and passing through a wooden gate (with a National Trust sign fixed onto it) into a third. Carry straight on, following the Hop Trail sign. 

4) Walk straight crossing a small lane, leading to the wooden gate with a grass pathway beyond. Follow this until you reach pretty woodland and pass a small re-creation of Kent’s hop picker huts.

5) Past these, follow the pathway until you reach another wooden signpost for ‘Parkland Trail, Scotney Castle’ marked in blue and continue following these blue signs. Do keep your eyes peeled on your right as you'll soon spot Scotney’s fairytale moated castle, particularly spectacular during the early autumn - and make a detour to explore it if you like. 

6) With the wooden gate that allows access to Scotney sitting in front of you, turn left and walk straight along the grass until you see a clearing in the hedgerow on your right-hand side. Cross the lane and enter a stretch of woodland ahead, which will shortly bring you to another wooden gate leading into an open field. 

7) Walk straight through this field, entering the next through a further wooden gate, before turning right to walk downhill through a large field offering lovely open views. Only a matter of time before you're back at Lamberhurst Golf Club. Retrace your steps from back to The Chequers, where you'll probably feel you've earned your pint!