Around the beautiful South Downs we have some exceptional houses and gardens for you to go a view at your pleasure, if you like to find out about how people used to live, see gorgeous buildings and beautiful architecture, wonderful gardens filled with spectacular flowers and trees here is a few places you may want to put on your list to visit.
If you are in Eastbourne you can visit the Carpet and Seafront gardens. It is the centre piece of Eastbourne’s promenade, made up of bright displays of plants, cactus and fountains. The Carpet gardens show a mix of traditional bedding plants alongside tropical style plants. You will see shrubs from all over the world including Mexico, New Zealand and the Mediterranean, due to Eastbourne’s mild climate these plants and shrubs are able to thrive in this environment plus it is free entry so why not head down and view the beauty for yourself.
In Petersfield there is also a free garden for you to go and explore. It is a private garden that has been opened to the public to allow everyone the opportunity to view the wonderful 17th century style garden. The reason behind the name is that the plants grown here were considered to contain medicinal properties these include herb beds. They also have a topiary walk and an informal orchard with wild flowers and a beautiful rose arch. In the 17th century many new plants where introduced from the New World and the borders are plants with many plants familiar with the period.
We also have a few National Trust sites throughout the South Downs one being the Woolbeding Garden. The garden has distinctive garden rooms including The Well Garden, The Herb Garden, The fountain Garden which merge into the rural landscape. Colour and design are the main factors here at Woolbeding and you could easily lose yourself for a few hours whilst you explore all the surroundings, take yourself off on the long walk round the circular route and you will see the ruined Abbey, the yellow bridge across the water with unexpected follies you will find something around every corner.
Another of the National Trust site is Uppark House and Garden, a 17th Century House with intimate gardens and woodland surrounding. If you visit the house itself you will see the Georgian interior and how it illustrates the life of Upstairs and Downstairs! You can even bring along your 4 legged friend as they are welcome in most areas of the garden (not the house so if you wanted to explore that you may want to attend in a group) You can take time to learn about the history of Uppark or just enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds.
Petworth House and Park is another stunning example from the National Trust of a beautiful 17th century building surrounded by the 700-acre Deer Park! Within the house you can view grand room’s fill with artwork, sculptures. and historical pieces. While downstairs the servant’s quarters show a rather different tale giving you an in site into the life of a servant. If you head outside to the Deer Park you will witness 700-acres of rolling hills with huge ponds for you to explore and take in, alongside this you will see wonderful monuments like the iconic Rotunda and Doric Temple which are sure to add some excitement to the views you come across.
Now any avid readers out there will know that the wonderful Jane Austin’s home was in Hampshire just a stone thrown from the South Downs and you can visit her home and gardens and witness where some of the magical writing actually happened. It is a Grade 1 listed building and holds many important objects of Jane Austin. You can freely explore the home whilst learning about her life with exhibitions and displays and some hands-on activities too. The cottage style garden is a beautiful place to take some time out and relax with benches and you are welcome to bring along a picnic to have on the lawns.
Sitting at the foot of the South Downs is West Dean Gardens. You can explore a huge range of historical features just by taking a stroll around the site, as you wander around you will be witness to working Victorian Glasshouses, a walled kitchen a sunken garden and even some fibreglass sculptural trees to give year-round interest. West Dean Gardens also allows dogs on a short lead and they have their own Gardens Restaurant to finish of your walk successfully.
Now to finish off I’d like to tell you about Parham House and Gardens, it is an Elizabethan house with award winning gardens. As you walk through the house you will discover rare collections, precious paintings and gorgeous furniture, whilst the garden shows off an impressive 4 acre walled garden with a glass house, vegetable garden and even a 1920’s Wendy House. Outside of the walled garden you will find the pleasure grounds with a glorious lake and a beautiful brick maze.
I hope within this you have found yourself some new places of interest and I hope you love taking in the beauty and tranquility that these houses and gardens give off in abundance!