Saturday, 4 August 2012

Scotney Castle

Today we packed up a picnic and some waterproofs and headed off for the impossibly beautiful Scotney Castle which is run by the National Trust. We are members of the National Trust as we are very lucky to be close to four properties and a reasonable jaunt from quite a few others. We get value for our money!

Scotney Castle estate is a sort of architectural "buy one get one free" as it has both a medieval ruined castle and a more recent nineteenth century mansion. You are allowed to picnic in the walled garden which is still being developed and has gained some chickens and flower beds since our last visit. The sun came out and I went a little mad with the camera...

I love dahlias! Their petals always look so perfect and their colours so jewel-like.

 Apparently cornflowers aren't just blue.

This is a Large White butterfly according to my ancient "Observer's Book of Butterflies".

 DD took this one. She is starting to love photography.

After lunch we wondered around the mansion. The last owners were feline obsessed; the children counted over 140 cat references around the house. Then we slowly meandered down to the castle and walked around the moat. It really is a very impressive place; straight out of a fairy tale.

On our way out we discovered some craft demonstrations. DS made a candle, although all he did was roll up some prepared beeswax - it took him less than five minutes. I had a long chat with the spinner-lady. As much as I like the idea, I don't think I have room for a spinning wheel! I did discover that alpaca wool, being lanolin-free, is good for those allergy-ridden people (like DD) who can't tolerate sheep's wool next to their skin. Hmmm, I might have to find some! We all had a very interesting demonstration from an "encaustic" artist. This involves melting wax with an iron onto a a flat surface. The demonstrator very kindly made one for each child.

This is called a "mandala".

Both children have been strictly warned not to try this at home!

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