We've visited the National Trust site Sheffield Park a couple of times before and both times had a lovely visit, but recently with the kids away my husband and I decided to visit again and see what the colours and plant life were like in the summer months (we visited at the beginning of August).
Sheffield Park is acres of landscaped gardens, surrounded by parkland and woodland. There is a gorgeous looking stately home there too, but that is a private residence and you can only see if from afar.
So far my favourite time to visit has been Autumn as there is an abundance of colour across the gardens and we could see this developing in August. The colours at this time of year mostly seem to come from the trees and foliage. There isn't really many floral plants there.
I do love the four lakes, they are probably my favourite feature and there is a nice variety of styles and bridges that you can cross and get great pictures on. You can really see the influence of Capability Brown.
Even on a beautiful warm day when the car park was very busy, we were able to wander about without any crowds. You could always find a patch of lawn to have your picnic or to read a book and relax. There are also plenty of benches about if you prefer those.
|Giant Magnolia Tree|
It looked as if there were lots of fun activities going on for children over the summer holiday, specifically on Wednesdays, things like den building and bug hunting. There is also the woodland play trail always available and my kids loved to join in with the 50 things before you're 11 3/4 activities when they were younger.
There are some really lovely shady woodland walks and these are flanked by rhododendrons which must be so colourful earlier in the year, but at this time of year, I bet they are great fun for the kids to run through and play in. I also noticed some very cool cocoon style hanging chairs that you could relax in the shady woods in.
I was interested to see that there were lots of signs by the big trees saying that Sheffield Park is a Living Museum and please keep the kids off the trees. I bet this is hard for the kids as they see those low branches and really want to climb them, but the signs explain that the trees are vulnerable to damage.
There was one enormous tree that had a sign encouraging kids to try and climb it and I thought that was really good.
We headed over to the Coach House Tearoom for some lunch. I had a jacket potato with cheese and salad, my husband had an egg mayonnaise sandwich and we had a drink each, one hot and one cold. The cost was about £13 for us both and I thought this was fine, and the food and drink was tasty and fresh.
There is plenty of seating inside, in two rooms and on a balcony. The rooms have real character and are a very nice venue for some friends. There was also a very nice area outside that was completely shady and this is where we saw some families sitting, with the children playing close by.
Address: Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3QX
Telephone Number: 01825 790231
Parking: Plentiful and free
Opening Hours: The gardens, tea room and shop are generally open 10-5pm in the summer season and 10-4pm in the winter. Do check before you travel as there can be slight changes.
Prices: £13.10 for an adult, £6.50 for a child or £32.00 for a family and of course NT members go in as part of their membership, as do RHS members.
Are Dogs allowed: Yes into the formal gardens after 1.30pm each day and any time in the parkland.
We also visited in 2014 and 2016 with the kids and I wrote about it over here.
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