Sunday 16 August 2015

The Best National Trust Scones 2013-2015

If you want to know which National Trust properties serve the very best scones, then you have come to the right place, my friend. Sit back, relax, and chill as I thrill (or something).

This National Trust Scone Blog is two years old today. I created the blog because I was spectacularly failing to visit any NT properties, having signed up for membership in February 2013. And then when I did eventually drag myself 1.5 miles down the road to Osterley House, I literally could not have told you one single thing about the place five minutes after I left it. So I created the blog to force myself to learn something.

Since then I have:
  • Visited 93 properties!
  • Eaten 117 scones!
  • Awarded 32 of those scones 5 stars!
So if you're looking for a show-stopping National Trust scone, here are the 32 properties with 5-star scones, in reverse order of visits:

  • Tredegar House - fantastic scones AND they keep a Dalek in the stables (Doctor Who is filmed there)! 
  • Anglesey Abbey - they have a working flour mill! You can buy bags of flour that you transform into scones that won't be as good as the ones here!
  • Montacute House - they filmed Wolf Hall here! If only Anne Boleyn had been able to bake scones like these, it could all have turned out differently.
  • Goddards - brilliant scones at the house once owned by Noel Terry, of Chocolate Orange fame! There used to be a Terry's Chocolate Apple as well! 
  • Beningbrough Hall - spectacular works of art (and a few pictures on loan from the National Portrait Gallery as well, boom, boom!)
  • Sissinghurst Castle - did you see the scones, Orlando? They were great - and fantastic gardens too, in the former home of Vita Sackville-West!
  • South Foreland Lighthouse - excellent sconeage in this 'shining' example of a National Trust property HA HA! 
  • The White Cliffs of Dover - I didn't see any bluebirds overhead but I did see two very, very good scones. And lots of ferries.
  • Speke Hall - it has the River Mersey, it has a priest hole, it has a baker on Twitter, it has fantastic scones, I LOVED it.
  • Studland Beach - famous for the UK's most popular naturist beach, for inspiring Noddy's Toytown, and now for very good scones.
  • A la Ronde - a round house full of trinkets AND fantastic scones, what more do you want from life? 
  • Upton House and Gardens - a lot of pictures, an outdoor swimming pool, and truly excellent scones.
  • Treasurer's House, York - they had a Christmas pudding scone with brandy butter that I literally still dream about. 
  • Hinton Ampner - lots of sheep and fantastic scones.
  • Uppark - burned to the ground a few years ago while it was open to visitors, but now restored and serving very excellent scones.
  • Stowe - it costs £30,000 a year to attend Stowe school - I'd rather spend that on scones, personally. 
  • Charlecote Park - William Shakespeare was once caught stealing a scone from Charlecote Park. Did I say scone? I meant deer. 
  • Bateman's - "Well I'm the king of the sconers/the tea-room VIP", as Rudyard Kipling would have written if he'd had scones at Batemans. 
  • Claremont Landscape Garden - more of a park than a garden but who's counting - the scones were fantastic.
  • Standen - tests proved that the Standen scone was genetically closer to a cloud than a baked foodstuff.
  • Nymans - another place that burned down (before the National Trust was involved), now serving amazing scones.
  • Waddesdon Manor - they have a mechanical elephant that flaps its ears at Waddesdon but as an attraction it's no match for the top-class scones.
  • Scotney Castle - the scones were EPIC. Scotney also had a Banana and Walnut Scone of the Month and Richard Gere, who filmed Yanks there.
  • Dunwich Heath - they had 20 TYPES OF SCONE at the Sconeathon we attended! Sticky Toffee, Chocolate Orange, Apple & Cinnamon, Malteser... 
  • Morden Hall Park - big, warm, and glazed. 'Morden enough' to warrant a five out of five (ha ha ha! Sorry.) 
  • Sutton House - Sir Ralph Sadleir of Wolf Hall fame built Sutton House - go along and see them bring out the sconies.
  • Quarry Bank Mill - amazing scones in one of the most fascinating NT properties ever - you can even buy a tea towel made in the cotton mill!
  • Flatford Bridge Cottage - we helped bake the scones at Flatford but we gave them 5 because they were mince pie scones and they were ruddy delicious. 
  • Winkworth Arboretum - they keep the excellent scones in a bread bin, which is a very good idea if the quality is anything to go by.
  • Houghton Mill - the Scone Blogger was very hungover but she soldiered on and tried the scone made from home-milled flour, which was DELICIOUS.
  • Brownsea Island - we didn't see any red squirrels, which shows that they don't have very good taste as there was a Sconeathon on the day we visited 
  • Bodiam Castle - our very first 5 out of 5, setting the benchmark for all  
I've worked out that there are 550+ National Trust properties and around 220 of them have tea-rooms. With 93 properties visited, I am 42% of the way there. Eek.

I'd like to thank all of the lovely Sconepals that have supported this odyssey so far. We shall be victorious.

Finally: please leave a comment below and let me know where you've had your favourite National Trust scone. I need guidance on where to start for the last 127.


  1. You can't beat a dunwich scone! Raspberry and White Chocolate all the way!

  2. Dunwich scones are almost mythical to me - I often wonder if I dreamt them.

  3. I must eat the gluten free scones. My vote goes to Cragside.