Just over a year ago, I wrote a post about Scotney Castle and how we’ve found it a lovely place to visit at all times of the year. And the other day, when we woke up to a relatively mild and mostly sunny day, I thought it could be nice to go back to Scotney, to see what might be flowering in their gardens this January.
However, as we arrived we spotted some friendly looking cows just outside the main property, and I suggested that we could go and explore the surrounding estate instead, as we’d never done that before. We went to the visitors desk first, to find out more about what possible routes there are to take, and we got ourselves a map as well. The shorter walk around, marked in blue on the map here, seemed very doable for us. We do enjoy a walk, but we’re certainly not long-distance hikers.
So, we set off on our walk, which started by stepping out into the field where the friendly-looking cows were. Penguin wasn’t keen to go right up to the cows (the breed of which we’ve since learnt is Sussex Cattle), but was happy to be around them as long as he could keep a comfortable distance.
A couple of the cows were ‘hiding’ behind trees, which reminded us of a scene in one of our favourite storybooks! (Book illustration below by Sven Nordqvist)
The sunny skies had an increasing amount of clouds in them by now, but we were still hopefull to avoid the light rain that had been forecasted for later that afternoon.
As we walked on, we found that the path had in parts become a mud pit, so we had to venture out in the field next to it for a bit. Not a problem for us really, but I don’t think I could recommend this walk for anyone using mobility aids, at least not in these conditions.
We then spotted a large tree which had had severe damage to its bark, so you got a really good idea of how the bark functions as a protective outer layer, similar to our skin.
Soon after that we saw a dead tree which had none of it’s bark left at all. There were also young trees there, which they had put protective tubes and cages around, so that the grazing sheep wouldn’t be able to nibble on them, and further on we found a large trunk of a tree that had recently been felled.
So plenty of opportunities for learning about the anatomy and life cycle of a tree, in a hands-on and multisensory way (kinesthetic, tactile, visual, olfactory and auditory).
The fresh tree trunk was great for climbing and balancing on, and as a bonus it happened to be located at a spot where you have a nice view of the old castle ruins, as well as a good glimpse of the not quite as old manor house. So we lingered on that spot for a little while. As we continued our walk, a fine mist of rain started to fall. Luckily we were all in good spirits and didn’t really mind the rain.
Trodding across the fields on the estate gave us a good opportunity to check out footprints as well as excrement left buy first cows and then sheep. And at one point, lifting my eyes off the ground, I noticed a single oak leaf floating around in the sky. We stopped and watched as it danced around, very slowly making its way to the ground, almost as if we were watching it in slow motion…
The blue path which we were following crosses the river Bewl in two places. The second bridge was quite a thin and somewhat temporary looking construction, but very sturdy. We went across it and then up a hill, and by now rain was more of a drizzle than a fine mist. Penguin was full of beans though, running uphill, then turning to run back down again, waving around and full of cheeky smiles.
For the final part of the walk, we decided to follow the country lane which runs between Scotney Castle and the Little Scotney Farm, rather than the blue path we’d been following before. This gave us an ever so slightly shorter route. Along the road we found two large ponds (or small reservoirs? I’m not sure what the correct definition would be?), which of course was a big plus for us as we (Penguin in particular) love watching water.
Reaching the end of our walk, we considered going into the castle gardens as well, but all three of us were now muddy and wet, and starting to feel cold. So when Penguin seemed more keen on heading back home than doing any more exploring, that was absolutely fine by us.
We felt very happy and contented with our countryside walk, and I’m confident that the Scotney Castle estate will be a great site for further explorations in the future.
Thank you for reading! For more inspiration for days out, particularly in the South East of England, please take a look HERE x
Linking up with: