The spectacular gardens of Sussex

Date Posted: 01/05/2013

Wall Garden Nymans - West Sussex

Pictured: Visitors in the Wall Garden at Nymans, west Sussex. (Photo credit: National Trust Images, John Millar).

The National Trust shares its garden highlights for green-fingered groups visiting the historic south-eastern county of Sussex.

Sussex is home to some spectacular National Trust gardens, and group travel organisers have the option of including just one in a morning or afternoon itinerary.

Alternatively, you could opt for a combined visit to ensure you satisfy your special interest group.


Discover the newly restored Rock Garden at Nymans in west Sussex, originally constructed around 1900 and inspired by Laurence Michael Parsons’ watercolour that hangs in the house today.

Before restoration work began in 2010 this had been an overgrown and densely planted part of Nymans.

Now however, it has benefited from a new design created by gardener Nicole, and cleverly incorporates original plants and modern cultivars that complement the further landscape.

Groups can also embark on a tour of the wider gardens too, and admire the experimental design, rare plants, summerhouses and dramatic ruins.

Nymans offers flexible dining, allowing your group to sample some of the regular changing, seasonal menus of hot lunches, soup, sandwiches and homemade treats.

Sheffield Park and Garden

A 30-minute coach trip from Nymans’ is Sheffield Park and Garden.

This informal landscape garden was laid out in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown and then further developed by its owner, Arthur G. Soames, in the 20th century.

Come and admire beautiful floral displays visible throughout the year; from daffodils in spring and azaleas in summer to glowing foliage colours in autumn. Winter walks can also be enjoyed.

Group organisers can take their pick from a whole bunch of enjoyable garden tours. Subjects include the history of the garden, champion trees, and horticulture; all brought to life by the team of experienced and enthusiastic garden stewards.

South front of the house at Standen, west Sussex

Pictured: South front of the house at Standen. (Photo credit: National Trust Images, John Miller).

Wakehurst Place

Just 10-minutes drive down the road is Wakehurst Place.

Open throughout the year, Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and is the National Trust’s most-visited property.

Internationally significant for its beautiful botanic gardens and tree collections, Wakehurst is also renowned for its science-based plant conservation and research.

During your group trip, enjoy visiting woodland and lakes, formal gardens, the Elizabethan mansion (five unfurnished rooms) and Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank that conserves ten per cent of the world’s plant species. The new target is 25 per cent by 2020.

GTOs should note that Wakehurst Place is funded, administered and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and as such there is also no National Trust catering available.


The story of family life set against a backdrop of the Arts and Crafts Movement is revealed at Standen.

In the 20th century the garden was of a very influential design but over time had fallen into neglect. Finally in 2012, restoration of the gardens began and this year sees the massive garden restoration project continue with lots of work to see and get involved with. Guided ‘Restoration Tours’ are also available.

During your visit you could also take a tour of one of the finest Arts and Crafts properties in the care of the National Trust.

Explore the significant contents of the house and learn about the people at the forefront of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

For further group travel information contact:


Sheffield Park and Garden:

Wakehurst Place:


Group travel organisers seeking more information about inspiring days out in the UK can order their free copy of the 2013 National Trust Groups Guide by calling 0844-800 2329, or email

Visit to find out more about group visits to National Trust properties across the country.

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