High Weald

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These blogs have been written by members of the High Weald AONB Unit staff.  You can find out more about these staff by visiting the AONB team page.

Stay near the glorious High Weald gardens of Kent and Sussex

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Look at a map of National Trust properties and you’ll see a big cluster in the High Weald. Most of these properties have gardens and in several, the garden is the main attraction.   

National Trust owned ‘Gardening Meccas’ of the High Weald include Wakehurst Place (‘Kew in The Country’) Sheffield Park Garden (known for stunning autumn colours) Nymans (both a horticulturalist's dream and peaceful country garden) Scotney Castle (one of England’s most romantic gardens) and internationally renowned Sissinghurst Castle Garden, created by Vita Sackville-West.

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But the story doesn’t end there. Outside of National Trust ownership are many other great gardens: Borde Hill, Great Dixter, Groombridge Place, Hever Castle, High Beeches, Marle Place, Pashley Manor, Penshurst Place and Bedgebury National Pinetum – to name but a few!

Why so many great gardens? Well, though not so good for arable farming, the Weald's heavy clays are great for growing trees, the poorer, more sandier soils are easy to work and the acidic soils provide perfect growing conditions for plants such as azalea, magnolia and camellia. 

We also have a relatively mild climate. And we have an inspirational landscape for garden designers to work with. For example, the Himalayan Glade at Wakehurst makes use of a dramatic, steep sided ravine called a ‘gill’. Even remnants of our industrial past – such as pits, quarries and mill ponds – now provide ‘picturesque’ garden features!

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The area's gardens are a highlight on the High Weald's interactive map this month. If you are planning a visit to the area from further afield many accommodation providers listed on the High Weald section of the Our Land website are keen gardeners and will love to show off their gardens to you and recommend their favourite gardens to visit in the area!

This High Weald rural B&B near Sharpthorne and West Hoathly is at Courtlands Nurseries – surely an ideal location for garden enthusiasts! The two acre walled kitchen garden and nursery with glasshouses have been lovingly restored by the owners, creating colourful borders full of shrubs, roses, bulbs and herbs as well as extensive vegetable and soft fruit areas. Courtlands Nurseries is ideally placed for visiting numerous National Trust properties and other gardens nearby, as well as the Bluebell Steam Railway.

Nymans, Sheffield Park, Wakehurst and High Beeches Gardens are all just ten minutes away from Lindfield B&B near Haywards Heath.

High Weald 4 star rural B&B near Haywards Heath, Broxmead Paddock is a cosy rural B&B close to Nymans Gardens, Borde Hill Gardens and High Beeches Gardens (all a five minute drive away).

Cranbrook cottage B&B is a wonderful Garden Cottage, situated in stunning grounds of the 16th Century Godwin House. World famous Sissinghurst Castle Gardens is just a mile away. 

High Weald farmstay & self catering cottages at Goudhurst offers one bedroomed accommodation in charming detached cottages with parking close to the door. This is an excellent base for visiting nearby Bedgebury Pinetum and the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Marle Place.

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Visit ‘Our Land’ High Weald holidays to find out more about experiences to treasure in the area. 

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