Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Enjoying the Parkland at National Trust Sheffield Park during Lockdown

Sheep at Sheffield Park

As lockdown started to ease in the UK the National Trust started to open up some of its larger estates for people to be able to enjoy the outdoor space whilst also observing social distancing. We headed over to Sheffield Park in East Sussex a few weeks back on a Wednesday afternoon, taking advantage of my husband being on furlough at that time.

Then, only the wider estate/ parkland was open, but now they have opened up the formal gardens too and you have to book online to be able to visit and ensure your parking space and entry. Tickets are being released each Friday for all their sites across the UK that are open and they are the only way you can gain access. You need to book at least the day before, but I'd recommend looking on a Friday as it gets super busy and sites are selling out quickly. I had to wait in the Eventbrite queue for about 40 minutes last week to get tickets for a different East Sussex site.

I wanted to share some photos from our time walking the 250 acres of parkland, as it is really beautiful and just perfect for families to get some fresh air. Dogs are welcome on short leads but you need to be mindful of the sheep and cattle that are in the fields you'll pass through. Normally the kids can enjoy the natural play trail but it's closed at the moment.

Art trail at Sheffield Park


There is a great natural art trail that you can follow down to the River Ouse and two wooden bridges that the kids seem to enjoy crossing back and forth on. There is a restoration project at the moment to restore the section of the River Ouse that passes through the estate, and I can imagine when it is business, as usual, you can see the work taking place as we saw lots of bricks there as if work had stopped quite suddenly.

River Ouse bridge at Sheffield Park


There are various trails that you can take around the parkland, but we just chose to see where our feet took us and we managed to do a nice large circle around the parkland and saw a great variety of scenery. It really is a classically English parkland setting and you can see the influence of Capability Brown there. It is a stunning place.





The walk down to the River Ouse is downhill and then, of course, you have to walk back up a steep hill to get back tot he car parking. Generally, the ground is flat underfoot but some of the grass is a bit long and there can be uneven parts and animal holes, so wear good shoes and keep your eyes open.

Sheffield Park and Gardens are wonderful at any time of the yar but for me, in terms of glorious colour, you should have a summer or Autumn visit to the formal gardens. We also visited in 2014 and 2016 with the kids and I wrote about it over here, and shared some pictures from a summer visit in 2019, over here.


Useful Information
Address: Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3QX
Email: sheffieldpark@nationaltrust.org.uk
Telephone Number: 01825 790231
Parking: Plentiful and free (although you have to book to park right now)
Opening Hours: The gardens are generally open 10-5pm in the summer season and the wider parkland is open dawn until dusk. Do check before you travel as there can be slight changes, especially at the moment. 
Prices: Prices are slightly reduced currently, at £1 for 0an adult, £5 for a child or £25 for a family and of course NT members go in as part of their membership. 
Are Dogs allowed: Yes, at any time currently, as long as they are on a short lead and you clean up after them.
Food & Drink: The outside takeaway has reopened and you can get drinks and light snacks to take away and enjoy in the grounds. Or You can bring a picnic, but BBQs are not allowed.  

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Art trail at Sheffield Park pin


 

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