There’s no point in denying it, a certain chill has started to fill the air, telling us that autumn is on its way. While we mourn the passing of summer, it’s worth embracing the coming season and thinking of all the cosy things associated with this time of year.
Scotney Castle in Kent is an absolute master of this and will be holding its Hops and Honey Weekend on September 8th and 9th. As the only National Trust property with a working hop farm, it’s a fascinating place to spend some time this September.
Step into the walled garden
The walled garden will be filled with stallholders selling wonderful local and seasonal produce throughout the weekend. Enjoy a hog roast, delicious artisan beer and sample the sweet honey from the estate. There will also be a wide selection of craft items available to purchase.
Take a guided tour of Little Scotney Farm
Little Scotney Farm is the pride of the estate and a hive of activity, including the cultivation of hops. September is harvest time and you can find out more about the crop, how it's grown and what happens to it when it's picked by going on a guided tour.
Visitors can step inside the oast, see the processes that take place in the stripping shed and even see the hops growing in the gardens. No exploration of hops would be complete without sampling the ale brewed at Little Scotney Farm – the perfect end to your tour.
Climb a big tree
If you spent your childhood climbing trees, then you can share some of that excitement with your own kids during the Hops and Honey Weekend. Two instructors from the Big Tree Climbing Company will be on hand at Scotney Castle to show them how it’s done.
Safely secured in a harness, they will learn about using ropes, knots and karabiners to get themselves up into the canopy. There will also be the chance to undertake some branch walking once they’ve scaled the very large tree.
Take the stress out of travelling to Scotney Castle with a coach
Once you’ve decided to make your way to Scotney Castle for the Hops and Honey Weekend, why not invite other families to join you? The kids will love having more children to play with and you adults can take the stress out of the journey by hiring a coach to transport everyone there and back easily.
Photo credit: iStock/utreht