These days, we often celebrate Mother’s Day with shop bought gifts of chocolates and flowers, but traditionally, children gave their mothers fresh posies, gathered from the hedgerows as they walked the long journey home from their working environments.
This year, why not recapture a little of this floral tradition, and give mothers a day out at a beautiful National Trust garden in West Sussex, and the chance to spend some precious family time together. Enjoy spring colour and scent in abundance, as well as delicious lunch- and tea-time treats, craft fairs and art exhibitions.
Here are our top Mother’s Day spots in Sussex:
Petworth House and Park, Petworth, 01798 342207
l Glorious springtime strolls - This magnificent 17th-century country estate is an idyllic location in spring, and the perfect place for a stroll. Take a gentle walk through the Pleasure Grounds, which in spring is covered in swathes of yellow and cream daffodils. If you want to walk a little further, take a ramble out into the adjoining picturesque parkland, which inspired some of our greatest landscape painters including Turner and Constable.
l Afternoon tea- Round off your visit with a traditional afternoon tea, or maybe a ‘gardener’s tea’ of fresh savoury scones.
l Messing around for kids - There are some fantastic ’50 things to do before you’re 11¼’* tasks to try at Petworth. Some of the ancient trees in the park are hollow; in fact small explorers may be able to fit inside a few! Perfect your hill rolling technique and race a friend as you roll down Lawn Hill, or find your way across the grounds with a map and compass.
Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath
l Spring flower heaven - This is a true spring garden, set around a romantic house and ruins, with glorious views over the High Weald. There is plenty for mums to enjoy in March – thousands of daffodils are on show, alongside over 60 varieties of frothy magnolia, and cherry blossom – a mouth-watering sight.
Browse the garden’s secondhand book shop, or snap up some a piece of Nymans in the plant centre. An exhibition of botanical art in the house reveals how contemporary artists are inspired by the international plant collection in these famous gardens.
l Spring menus
Nymans has introduced a spring menu, so indulge in a freshly prepared seasonal lunch or tea in the pretty café.
l Exploring for kids
Nymans is a big place and packed with nooks, crannies and varying terrains – perfect for the young explorer! Take a look at the family explorer map to find the best places for an adventure. Try out a natural play trail and delve into a bamboo jungle before crossing balancing beams! Venture into the woods to search for geocaching treasure, or hunt for bugs – check out the bug hotel to see who’s moved in.
For more information on National Trust events, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events.
For more information on ’50 things to do before you’re 11¼’ visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things.
Report contributed by the National Trust. Picture by John Millar.