Wakehurst Place – A Botanical Delight

Wakehurst Place Gardens is One of the Most Visited National Trust Properties:

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Wakehurst Place - Water Garden

Wakehurst Place is a National Trust property in Ardingly in West Sussex.  Managed and funded by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wakehurst Place Gardens is one of the most visited National Trust properties.  At this country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, visitors can see formal gardens, natural woodlands, nature reserves and Wakehurst’s 16th-century mansion.

Gardens in Sussex

Wakehurst is a delight for garden enthusiasts, nature lovers and anyone looking for a garden visit in Sussex.  Its Himalayan Glade showcases Wakehurst’s collection of Asian plants, in the Bloomer’s Valley are trees from South America and the Mediterranean, the Southern Hemisphere Garden has plants from Australia (including a Wollemi Pine), New Zealand and South Africa.  In all, there are 465 acres of ornamental gardens and temperate woodlands to explore, as well as the Elizabethan Mansion which is one of the popular Sussex wedding venues . Wakehurst is also a place of learning for children and there are plenty of activities to keep the young ones entertained.

Millenium Seed Bank

Wakehurst Place is no ordinary botanic garden.  This beautiful country estate is also home to the  Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed collection in the world. The Seed Bank already holds seeds from 10% of the world’s wild flowering plant species (around 30,000) and its target is to increase this to 25% by 2020, quite impressive. At the Millenium Seed Bank you can see scientists at work and learn about how Kew is helping to preserve the world’s most endangered plants.

The Largest Growing Christmas Tree in England

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Millenium Seed Bank - Courtesy VisitBritain

Wakehurst is also home to a giant redwood – the largest growing Christmas tree in England. The tree stands at a whopping 36-metre tall and each Christmas, from Advent until the Twelfth Night, it is lit with around 1,800 lights . The Big Tree Switch On is an event to look forward to.

Wakehurst Place is open to the public all year round so visitors get to see the thousands of plants and trees in all their seasonal variation. Highlights in the winter garden include dogwoods, witch hazels and rhododendrons. During January and February drifts of 100,000 snowdrops are in flower, together with many cyclamen.

The gardens are open daily 10:00 – 18:00 in summer and 10:00 – 16:30 in winter (except 24–25 December).  Admission is £11.50 and children under 17 accompanied by an adult enter free.

How to Get to Wakehurst Place:

By Train

Haywards Heath, the closest railway station to Wakehurst Place, is approximately six miles away. From the station you can take a bus, the nearest stop is Perrymount Road (as you come out of the station and turn right). For details of trainlines and timetables see www.thetrainline.com.

By Bus

Bus 81 (Monday – Saturday) serves Haywards Heath
Bus 82 (Monday – Saturday) serves Crawley, Three Bridges and Haywards Heath.  Please note there are no buses on Sundays or Bank Holidays.  For further information about bus timetables see www.metrobus.co.uk.

By Car

Wakehurst Place is on the B2028 just south of Turners Hill and north of the village of Ardingly. The South of England Agricultural Showground is just a little further south.

Wakehurst Place
Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6TN
Tel: +44 1444 894067
Website: www.kew.org

Map of Sussex:

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