the herbaceous borders in nyman's gardens.

The Best Gardens in Sussex

The best gardens in Sussex are within easy reach of Steyning. A great opportunity locally! I have listed the nearest first:

Sussex Prairie Garden

An 8 acre garden planted in a naturalistic style, with swathes of grasses and perennials surrounded by mature oak trees.

sussex prairie garden

Near Henfield and just a 15 minute drive from Steyning. Open from 1st June

Parham House Gardens

Set in an ancient deer park, the seven acre gardens were created in the 18th century. The 4 acre walled garden is especially attractive with wide herbaceous borders, a rose garden, a cut flower garden, a vegetable garden, an orchard and a 1920’s Wendy House.

sussex gardens parham
Inside the walled garden

Near Storrington, just a 20 minute drive from Steyning. You can also catch the 100 bus, then walk through the deer park to the house and gardens. Open from Easter Sunday.

Arundel Castle Gardens

The gardens at Arundel were based on the early-17th-century garden belonging to the 14th Earl, Thomas Howard, at Arundel House in London.

The stunning walled gardens include the renowned Collector Earl’s Garden, the Stumpery, the hot and cool herbaceous borders, the cut flower garden and the organic kitchen garden. The sheltered location makes it possible for many of the tender perennials such as Cannas, Salvias, Bananas and Palms to remain in the ground throughout the winter.

Spring Tulips at ‘Oberon’s Palace’

Arundel is in West Sussex, a 30 minute drive from Steyning. Open from April to November.

Gardens Near Steyning: Denman’s

Denman’s Garden features dry riverbeds, gravel gardens, a walled garden, a conservatory, and unusual plants from around the world. It was the former home of the late John Brookes – one of Britain’s most influential landscape designers. The contemporary 4-acre garden was converted from market garden to ornamental garden by plantswoman Joyce Robinson, who started the gravel gardens in 1970.

Denman’s Garden

Near Fontwell in West Sussex. A 35 minute drive from Steyning. Open all year. Admission is £9 per adult and £7 for children and seniors.

West Dean Gardens

Beautifully designed gardens with an Edwardian pergola, Victorian glasshouses and a walled garden. I particularly recommend a visit here.

sussex gardens west dean
Part of the Walled Garden

North of Chichester in West Sussex. A 50 minute journey from Steyning. Open all year.

Borde Hill Gardens

Borde Hill Garden is planted in “living garden rooms”, each offering a different character and style. Each time I have been there, during the summer months, there has been a wonderful display of sculptures amongst the plants. I just love this garden! It is, without any doubt, one of the best in Sussex.

Near Haywards Heath. A 35 minute journey from Steyning by car. Open from 10th February 2024

Read more about Borde Hill

Gardens Near Steyning: Wakehurst

Explore their wild botanic garden, home to the Millennium Seed Bank and over 500 acres of the world’s plants. Plenty to see and do here. The seed bank exhibition is especially interesting.

wakehurst place garden sussex

Near Ardingly in West Sussex – a 45 minute drive heading north, from Steyning. Open all year.

Sheffield Park Gardens

This is a most attractive informal landscape garden, which used to be my mother’s favourite. Owned by the National Trust, it was originally laid out in the 18th century by Capability Brown, and further developed in the early 20th century. It is especially popular in autumn when people go to see the marvellous autumn colours.

sheffield park gardens sussex

5 miles east of Haywards Heath, in East Sussex. A 45 minute journey by car from Steyning. Open all year.

I also strongly recommend a visit to Highdown Gardens, which is close by, just outside Worthing. Others I love are Pashley Manor and the well known Great Dixter in East Sussex, but these both involve longer journeys.

Looking for local accommodation? Check out Rosebud Holiday Cottage 

Read about more things to see and do in Sussex

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