Being close to home, we visit fairly frequently. There is always something of interest, at all times of year, right through from the darkest and dankest days of winter. The gardeners must work enormously hard to make sure there are masses of flowers in every season.
The more formal gardens (though I use the term "formal" loosely, everywhere here is relaxed), are on a ridge, leading through various themes (heritage rose garden, dell garden, walled garden) to the mansion. Much of the mansion was burnt down in a fire in the 1950s, but some rooms were saved and are open on certain days. Near the mansion, there are extensive views southwards across the Weald to the South Downs. In recent years, the National Trust has also opened up the woodlands which form the bulk of the estate. These plunge steeply down into the valley. Amongst these woods, is the tallest tree in Sussex.
For those who can't walk very far, there are volunteer driven buggies, one which takes you round the gardens, and if it's not too muddy, another that takes you into the woodlands. The guides are informative, and are happy to stop so that you can get out and take photographs, admire the view etc. There is no charge for this service.
There is a self service restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. We've found the hot meals are okay, but steer clear of the cakes and scones, which have (in our experience) always been virtually inedible, dry and stale. The shop is said to have one of the most extensive ranges for sale within the National Trust.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.