Autumn is a magical time to experience the majesty of nature, and an English country garden is the perfect setting in which to take it in. Home to some of Britain's most impressive examples, West Sussex boasts a splendid array of beautiful gardens for the public to enjoy. With crunchy leaves under foot and shiny conkers laid waiting to be found, it is a day out that the whole family can enjoy. Read on to discover the very best local gardens to visit in order to witness this glorious seasonal spectacle...
Borde Hill Garden
Haywards Heath, West Sussex
A beautiful and botanically rich heritage garden set within over 200 acres of traditional parkland, Borde Hill captivates visitors with fine parkland, lakes and outstanding views across the Sussex High Weald. Boasting ten individual gardens, each with their own distinctive character and planting that evolves in colour with the changing seasons. Their diverse calendar of events and on site botanical shop means there is something for the whole family to enjoy on a day trip to this stunning local garden.
Open: Daily from 10am - 5pm to pre-booked ticket holders only.
Location: Selsfield Rd, Haywards Heath, RH17 6TN
Ardingly, West Sussex
The Sussex based sister of the infamous Kew Gardens in London, Wakehurst Place is home to the charities world renowned Millennium Seed Bank. Set in over 500 acres of our counties finest countryside, this wild botanic garden houses an impressive collection of plants from all over the world. With new landscapes unfolding around each and every corner, quench your thirst for wanderlust as you wander through the trees of Australasia and into the spectacular eastern landscapes of the Himalaya.
Open: Daily 10am – 6pm (last entry 4:30pm)
Location: Selsfield Rd, West Sussex, RH17 6TN
High Beeches Gardens
Handcross, West Sussex
The colours of autumn have already arrived in this 27 acres of local woodland and water gardens. A botanical treasure trove that is home to an extensive assembly of rare and award-winning plants, the High Beeches Gardens Conservation Trust was formed in 1987 to care for this exotic collection. As well as encouraging the native flora, fauna, fungi and insects which are to be found across our county, the trust aims to provide its visitors a moment of peace and calm during these extraordinary times.
Open: Daily from 1pm - 5pm (last entry 4:30pm). Closed on Wednesdays.
Location: High Beeches Lane, Sussex, RH17 6HQ
Knepp Garden Estate
West Grinstead, West Sussex
A pioneering project set within the heart of mid-Sussex, you can visit one of the largest rewilding projects in lowland Britain. Set in a 3,500 acre estate, Kneep Castle has been returning its surrounding land to its natural state since 2001. Using grazing animals as the drivers of habitat creation, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife over the years. Offering visitors an exciting choice of Safaris to understand more about this remarkable project, their specialist guides will take you on a trip to explore the sizable gardens and local hotspots for their sensational wildlife.
Open: Safaries are run year round, please see the website for dates and times.
Location: West Grinstead, Nr. Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 8LJ
Sussex Prairie Gardens
Henfield, West Sussex
An extraordinary garden created by ordinary people, after just one year of planting Pauline and her family opened their gates to the public back in 2009. Since then, this newcomer has flourished into a mature naturalistic garden and has been crowned 'Britain's largest Prairie'. With eight acres of stunning garden to roam around, visitors are encouraged to wander in amongst the mighty plants to further enjoy the experience. And with the addition of a ever-changing gallery of sculpture and artwork, returning visitors will always find something new to enjoy at this charming local Prairie.
Open: Daily from 1pm - 5pm. Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.
Location: Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road, near Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9AT
Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens
Horsham, West Sussex
Autumn is a season to savour and celebrate at Leonardslee Gardens, with numerous walks to explore the Grade I Listed Parkland and Forest area. The whole family will enjoy trying to spot one of their rare colony of wallabies or majestic resident deer that call this woodland their home. As the character of the gardens changes with fiery reds, golds, yellows and oranges bursting across trees, the breathtaking vistas and reflections on the lakes are a photographers dream. Provide the perfect backdrop for some season family pictures this Autumnal wonderland is the perfect place to welcome in the season.
Open: Daily from 9am - 5pm. Last entry 3:30pm
Location: Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, Horsham, RH13 6PP
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