In the first of an occasional series taking a close look at the many popular places to visit in Sussex, Head of Digital Steve Payne visits High Beeches Garden near Handcross.
Amazingly, despite living in the county for more than 30 years I’ve never looked round High Beeches.
I broke my duck recently on a seemingly rare warm and sunny afternoon with the flowers in full bloom and the ponds a hive of activity.
You start the visit at the Gate Lodge entrance which houses lots of information about the gardens.
High Beeches Gardens comprises 27 acres of rare plants, trees and shrubs.
It was declared ‘Outstanding’ by English Heritage as an exceptionally well preserved example of a landscaped woodland garden, dating from the early 20th century.
The centenary was back in 2007 and it has now been home to the Boscawen/Bray gardening dynasty for almost 50 years. Before that, it was the original home of the Loder family; members of whom went on to found other great Sussex gardens at Wakehurst (Kew) and Leonardslee.
High Beeches house was destroyed by fire during the second world war when an aeroplane crashed into it.
Today, there are various trails that lead the visitor through daffodils and bluebells, while azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias abd many other plants add vibrant splashes of colour.
You just need to be aware that some of the paths are quite steep and uneven.
There is a wide variety of trees to admire and what is described as ‘the best acid natural flower meadow in Sussex’.
Plus there’s the chance to enjoy the gentle sound of running water as small streams feed into ponds that host all manner of wildlife.
Wander to the top of the garden and you are rewarded with a fantastic view stretching across the county.
Once you have enjoyed all the garden has to offer, the nearby tearoom provides all manner of welcome refreshments.
The garden is open until November 3, every day 1pm -5pm, except Wednesdays. Last admission 4.30pm.
For group visits High Beeches is happy to open outside normal opening hours and out of season. Please note: they aren’t able to accept credit cards
Address: High Beeches Gardens, High Beeches Lane, Handcross, RH17 6HQ
Telephone: 01444 400589
Adult - Gift Aid: £7.20
Adult - Standard: £6.50
Accompanied Children under 14 - free
Season Ticket for 12 months - £22
Group Rates - For Pre-booked groups of 20 + visiting during normal opening hours - £5.50 per person
Pre-booked groups are welcome to visit outside normal opening hours for a small additional charge
Guided Tours - £10 per person. Minimum of £50 and must be pre-booked.
Children aged under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.
The licenced restaurant has full disabled access.
No dogs in the garden please, except Assistance Dogs