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, recapture a little of this floral tradition; give mothers a day out at a beautiful National Trust garden in Sussex, and the chance to spend some precious family time together.
Enjoy spring colour and scent in abundance, delicious lunch- and tea-time treats, and outdoor trails for kids.
Here are our top Mother’s Day spots in Sussex:
Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath
Spring flower heaven and the garden in art: 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. Snap up your own piece of Nymans in the plant centre.
Artist Mariusz Kaldowski returns to the gallery this spring with a new exhibition full of light, colour and atmosphere, depicting the unique beauty of Nymans’ international plant collection throughout the seasons.
Spring menus: Nymans has introduced a spring menu, so indulge in a freshly prepared seasonal lunch or tea in the pretty café.
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.
Petworth House and Park, Petworth, 01798 342207
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 are 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.
Afternoon tea: Round off your visit with a traditional afternoon tea, or maybe a ‘gardener’s tea’ of fresh savoury scones.
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 for 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.
Uppark House and Garden, near Petersfield, 01730 825415
Romantic views: With panoramic views over the South Downs, it’s not surprising that aristocratic owner Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh proposed to his dairy maid here!
Discover the dairy where she worked, stroll through the peaceful grounds, restored in the early 19th-century Picturesque style, and relax on the lawns to soak up the scene.
Delicious treats: Tuck into savoury and sweet treats in the East Pavilion restaurant, including a fabulous selection of cakes. There are plenty of tables outside, so you can take tea and enjoy the vista at the same time.
Fun for kids: Kids can tick off some ’50 things to do before you’re 11¼’* challenges whilst at Uppark. How about a spot of den building, kite flying or hill rolling?
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 and picture contributed by TheNational Trust.