Do I dare return to Tonbridge?

…only when there is still some light.

My last post about the terror of a Tunbridge Wells photographer, lost in the wilds of Tonbridge caused quite a stir.

In the midst of all the conversation, I spent a happy half hour watching the Sun go down over Haysden Lake:

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Is Tonbridge nicer than Tunbridge Wells?

SDIM0834Occasionally, my wife, who works there, tries to persuade me that Tonbridge is actually a nicer town!

Sometimes I lower myself to getting into a debate about this, before deciding wisely that she is actually subconsciously comparing her workplace with Crawley, where she grew up.

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On one of the few sunny mornings recently she persuaded me once and for all to resolve the debate by going to take some pictures in the area around the castle so that readers of this blog could decide.

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I don’t think many of you will wrestle with this question, but I’ll admit it does look quite nice when I use my particularly blurred old lens.

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But then I hit the terrifying urban decay of the riverside:

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As you can imagine, I went into full photographic retreat, first by taking some increasingly blurred close ups of wildlife and then scuttling home in shock.

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Scotney and its blurred flowers

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I’ve been meaning to blog from Scotney for ages. Of all the local castles, I think it was always my favourite, probably because it seems so unbelievable. Did anyone really dream that this fairytale concoction could be a proper defensive structure? Of course what we see now is a ruin and I have no idea whether it once looked as kickass as Bodiam.

Typically, I would be able to answer this if I ever read a guide book rather than preferring these days just to explore with my camera.

Scotney proves perfect with the new old Russian lens I used before in the cemetery and in Bedgebury. Once again, what I love is the strange blurs (or bokeh) that I can create in my close ups of flowers.

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One of the strangest things for me at Scotney over the last few years has been to see it grow. Until a few years ago, the big house at the top was inhabited and out of bounds, but when the last owner died, she gifted this too to the National Trust:

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Nevertheless, it is always the old castle with its moat and gardens that draws me back:

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