Parks & Gardens
Title: Wakehurst Place
Description: Set in 200 acres and occupied from as far back as the 12th century, Wakehurst Place near Ardingly is managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Ornamental plantings, woodlands and formal gardens are set around an Elizabethan mansion containing a gift shop and restaurant.
Address: Selsfield Road, , Ardingly, West Sussex
Post Code: RH17 6TN
Started by Gerald Loder in 1903 (although occupied from the twelfth century) and owned by the National Trust since 1965, Wakehurst Place covers an area of 200 acres (80 hectares). The rich soil, undulating slopes and high rainfall provide conditions suitable for a wide range of flora and fauna. Indeed, the grounds were let to the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, as soon as Wakehurst Place was transferred to the National Trust ownership.
The famous gardens really are fantastic all year round, with lawns, rare trees and flowering shrubs, a number of old hammer ponds and lakes set in Wealden forest, a "Himalayan Glade" with it's rhododendrons, and outcrops of Sussex sandstone.
The house retains some of its sixteenth-century fašade and parts of the inside, which feature Jacobean woodwork and an exhibition, are now open to the public.