East Sussex Dog Friendly Gardens

The following gardens in East Sussex all welcome dogs, but please be aware that they should be kept on a short lead at all times.

Alpines, Uckfield

A 1 acre garden put together by the owners to incorporate the ornamental and the edible. Offers riot of colour and scent over many months, especially early summer with large and rampant mixed borders, small orchard, wildflower meadow, fruit cage, vegetable garden, wildlife pond and bog garden. Pretty Victorian style greenhouse. Lots of spots to sit.

96 Ashford Road, Hastings

Small (100ft x 52ft) Japanese inspired front and back garden. Full of interesting planting with many acers, azaleas and bamboos. Over 100 different hostas, many miniature ones. Also, an attractive Japanese Tea House. New Japanese bridge and pond in lower garden.

Banks Farm, Lewes

9 acre garden set in rural countryside. Extensive lawns and shrub beds merge with the more naturalistic woodland garden set around the lake. An orchard, vegetable garden, ponds and a wide variety of plant species add to an interesting and very tranquil garden.

Bateman's, Burwash

Bateman’s is an idyllic spot; a family home loved by Rudyard Kipling. Nestled in a shallow valley, the house and garden were a joy and an inspiration to him, from the formal borders and clipped yew hedges to romantic meadows with the meandering river flowing through.

The Beeches, Lewes

C18 walled garden with cut flowers, vegetables, salads and fruit. Separate orchard and rose garden. Herbaceous borders, a hot border and extensive lawns. A hazel walk is being developed and a short woodland walk. An old ditch has been made into a flowing stream with gunnera, ferns, tree ferns, hostas and a few flowers going into a pond.

Borde Hill Garden, Haywards Heath

Tranquil and picturesque, Borde Hill has been planted with passion by five generations of the Stephenson Clarke family. With rare and fine rhododendrons, magnolias, rose borders and champion trees, exploring the 13 outdoor rooms is like travelling around the world in one garden.

Brickyard Farm Cottage, Battle

A 4 acre garden started 24 yrs ago; stunning views, remarkable brick and stone follies, colourful mixed beds with alstroemeria and roses. Pine rockery surrounds pond. Topiary garden, pinetum, and a rhododendron and azalea walk leads to a planted parterre. Fruit and vegetables in cages. Orchard.

Broad Street House, Winchelsea

A big garden, under constant development with wonderful views down the Brede Valley. The garden features a wide variety of trees, a good number of flower beds, a natural pond much loved by wildlife, with a waterfall and viewing bridge. At the beginning of last year, the owners added a large waterfall with associated woodland planting to the front of the property.

The Clinches, Bexhill-On-Sea

An informal garden, developed rather than planned, surrounds the house (not open). It has different rooms and hidey holes and well-stocked borders, water features and Gaudi inspired steps. Significant trees surround the garden inc a large eucalyptus snow gum which provides a central feature.

5 Coastguard Cottages, Cuckmere Haven

This iconic garden at Coastguard Cottages overlooking the Seven Sisters will be known to many from a distance, but this garden is rarely seen. Nestled on the cliff top in the South Downs National Park with sea views. Planted with native plants and spring bulbs in April and poppies, herbs and acanthus in June it is a perfect setting for the owners sculpture and pottery display. An embryonic vegetable plot and beehives contribute to attracting wildlife to the garden. Note steep cliff drop, children to be supervised at all times.

Cupani Garden, Seaford

Cupani is a tranquil haven with a delightful mix of trees, shrubs and perennial border. Courtyard garden, gazebo, summerhouse, water features, sweet pea obelisks and a huge range of plants. See TripAdvisor reviews. The garden has undergone major renovations in 2023/2024 and now inc a gravel garden, some more tropical planting and the old cutting garden has been replaced with planted troughs.

De Wilp, Bexhill-On-Sea

Beautifully planted beds around a lawn with a variety of colourful herbaceous perennials inc delphiniums, roses, dahlia, cannas, datura, echiums. Summer bedding provides additional colour in hanging baskets and pots. Trees provide a backdrop and structure to the colourful planting. Shrubs and vegetables provide additional interest. The walkway to the garden is full of hostas and succulents.

Driftwood, Seaford

Monty Don introduced Driftwood on BBC Gardeners’ World in 2016 saying “a small garden by the sea, full of character with inspired planting and design”. Sunday Telegraph said, “Geoff’s enthusiasm is catching, he and his amazing garden deserve every visitor that makes their way up his enchanting garden path”.

Eastbourne Central Garden Trail

A garden that last opened for NGS in 2005, Chelmsford Lodge, returns to join three other gardens that have regularly opened, to create a central Eastbourne walking trail. Three other gorgeous town gardens make up the trail.

Fairlight End, Hastings

Gardens Illustrated said ‘The 18th century house is at the highest point in the garden with views down the slope over abundant borders and velvety lawns that are punctuated by clusters of specimen trees and shrubs. Beyond and below are the wildflower meadows and the ponds with a backdrop of the gloriously unspoilt Wealden landscape’.

Fairlight Hall, Hastings

A restored stunning garden in East Sussex. The formal gardens extend over 9 acres and surround the Victorian Gothic mansion (not open). Features semitropical woodland avenues, a huge contemporary walled garden with amphitheatre and two 110 metre perennial borders above and below ha-ha with far-reaching views across Rye Bay.

Farleys Sculpture Garden, Chiddingly, nr Lewes

Designed as different themed rooms for sculpture, Farleys garden presents our permanent collection of works chosen by photographer Lee Miller and surrealist artist Roland Penrose alongside works by contemporary guest sculptors. Over the yrs, giants, goddesses, mythical African creatures and Roland’s own work has populated the garden in the company of work by their artist friends.

Forest Ridge, Balcombe

A charming 4½ acre Victorian garden with far-reaching views, boasting the oldest Atlantic cedar in Sussex. The owners themselves are undertaking a major garden restoration: felling, planting and redesigning areas. Within the garden there is formal and informal planting, woodland dell and mini arboretum. Azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias abound, rare and unusual species. A garden to watch over the coming yrs as the new plantings develop and the newly designed areas grow and flourish. A garden to explore!

The Garden House, Brighton

One of Brighton’s secret gardens. We aim to provide year-round interest with trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders and annuals, fruit and vegetables, two glasshouses, a pond and rockery. A friendly garden, always changing with a touch of magic to delight visitors, above all it is a slice of the country in the midst of a bustling city.

Hellingly Parish Trail, Hailsham

Eight gardens in a delightful Sussex village, inc a pretty walled cottage garden with summerhouse and sunny terrace, a garden entered via a bridge over a large pond perfect for wildlife with countryside views and a courtyard, a family garden full of perennials, herbaceous plants, organic vegetables and flowers, a newly remodelled garden bursting with lavender, roses, alliums in a former Victorian school overlooking C12 Church of St Peter and St Paul, another two gardens in the heart of the village, one with a rose-filled front garden leading to a densely planted mature back garden next door to an extensive garden still in development with beautiful trees and roses. On the outskirts an inspiring new-build garden has areas for sun, shade, vegetables, fruit trees, amid sounds of trickling water, and on the other side of the village, a unique garden incorporates the River Cuckmere, a sluice gate and a lush mix of perennials and mature trees.

Holly House, Haywards Heath

An acre of English garden providing views and cameos of plants and trees round every corner with many different areas giving constant interest. A fish pond and a wildlife pond beside a grassy area with many shrubs and flower beds. Among the trees and winding paths there is a cottage garden which is a profusion of colour and peace.

Hoopers Farm, Mayfield

Large south facing garden with colour themed mixed herbaceous planting. Mature trees, flowering shrubs, rose beds and rose arbour, rock garden, secret garden and vegetable plot. New planted area with lots of late season colour. Recent enhancement of lawn area into wildflower meadow. Lovely views.

The Hundred House, Framfield

Delightful garden with panoramic views, set in the grounds of the historic The Hundred House (not open). Fine stone ha-ha. 1½ acre garden with mixed herbaceous borders, productive vegetable garden, greenhouse, ancient yew tree, pond area with some subtropical plants, secret woodland copse and orchard. Beech hedge, field walk and silver birch (Jacquemontii) grove.

36 Jellicoe Close, Eastbourne

A new front and rear garden created over the last 5 yrs on shingle/beach reclaimed land. Mediterranean, cottage style garden with wildlife, ecology and sustainability at its heart. It is packed with trees, shrubs, perennial plants and a few exotics. There are winding paths, a gazebo and a potter’s studio at the rear. Note that this is a very small garden, but the pottery studio is also open.

The Jungle Garden, Saltdean

A fun jungle garden, created in 2012, but completely revamped in 2021. Measuring 65ft x 36ft but appearing larger with winding paths that lead you through lush jungle and insect friendly planting, listen out for jungle sounds and watch out for Tyson, the tiger! Tea and home-made cakes served overlooking the jungle. Exquisite planting of exotic plants.

Kent Close Communal Garden, Winchelsea

A recently restored communal garden. Colourful borders with spring bulbs, seasonal shrubs and pot displays. Part of Winchelsea’s Secret Gardens group.

Kerpses, Herstmonceux

A medium sized cottage garden planted to attract wildlife. Many beds containing roses and colourful nectar rich plants. Two wildlife ponds, vegetable plot, and adjoining small field currently being developed as an orchard. Bees kept. Opens as part of Herstmonceux Parish Trail.

King John's Lodge, Etchingham

4 acre romantic garden for all seasons. An ongoing family project since 1987 with new areas completed in 2020. From the eclectic shop, nursery and tearoom, stroll past wildlife pond through orchard with bulbs, meadow, rose walk and fruit according to the season. Historic house (not open) has broad lawn, fountain, herbaceous border, pond and ha-ha.

King's Leap, Winchelsea

Large cottage style garden comprising mixed beds, woodland border and rockery, all packed with plants for year-round colour and interest. Opens as part of the Winchelsea’s Secret Gardens group.

Kitchenham Farm, Battle

1 acre country house garden set amongst traditional farm buildings with stunning views over the Sussex countryside. Series of borders around the house and Oast House (not open). Lawns and mixed herbaceous borders inc roses and delphiniums. A ha-ha separates the garden from the fields and sheep. The garden adjoins a working farm.

Knightsbridge House, nr Hailsham

Mature landscaped garden set in 5 acres of tranquil countryside surrounding Georgian house (not open). Several garden rooms, spectacular herbaceous borders planted in contemporary style. Lots of late season colour with grasses and some magnificent specimen trees; also partly walled garden.

Legsheath Farm, nr Forest Row

Legsheath was first mentioned in Duchy of Lancaster records in 1545. It was associated with the role of Master of the Ashdown Forest. Set high in the Weald with far-reaching views of East Grinstead and Weirwood Reservoir. The garden covers 11 acres with a spring fed stream feeding ponds. There is a magnificent davidia, rare shrubs, embothrium and many different varieties of meconopsis and abutilons.

Limekiln Farm, Chalvington nr Hailsham

The garden was designed in the 1930s when the house was owned by Charles Stewart Taylor, MP for Eastbourne. It has not changed in basic layout since then. The planting aims to reflect the age of the C17 property (not open) and original garden design. The house and garden are mentioned in Virginia Woolf’s diaries of 1929, depicting a particular charm and peace that still exists today.

Marchants Hardy Plants, Lewes

Atmospheric 2 acre garden and plant nursery with striking backdrop of the South Downs. Featured on Carol Klein’s Great British Gardens TV series, the garden is imaginatively designed and sensitively planted with a rich tapestry of unusual herbaceous plants, and graceful grasses add to the interest.

Mayfield Gardens, Mayfield

Mayfield is a beautiful Wealden village with tearooms, an old pub and many interesting historical connections. The gardens to visit are all within walking distance of the village centre. They vary in size and style with a wide range of shrubs, herbaceous and annual planting and inc wildflower meadows, wildlife ponds, fruit and vegetable plots and a childrens’ play area. There are far-reaching, panoramic views over the beautiful High Weald.

Merrie Harriers Barn, Herstmonceux

A now fully established garden with sweeping lawns down to beautiful open Sussex countryside, herbaceous beds and trees, and a large pond with bulrushes. Plentiful insect life inc dragonflies and damselflies; bee-friendly planting is key to the garden. Seating areas to enjoy the delightful vista. Opens as part of Herstmonceux Parish Trail.

Mountfield Court, Robertsbridge

3 acre wild woodland garden with bluebell lined walkways through exceptional rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and other flowering shrubs. Fine trees and outstanding views. Stunning paved herb garden.

The Oast, Mayfield

A south facing, gently sloping 1 acre garden with a lovely view, herbaceous borders and a ½ acre wildflower meadow. There is an interesting and varied selection of hardy and half-hardy plants, trees and shrubs, vegetables and fruit. Lots of colour with imaginative planting, a fine display of tulips and spring flowers.

Ocklynge Manor, Eastbourne

A hidden oasis behind an ancient flint wall. Informal and tranquil, ½ acre chalk garden with sunny and shaded places to sit. Use of architectural and unusual trees. Rhododendrons, azaleas and acers in raised beds. Garden evolved over 20 yrs, maintained by owners. Georgian house (not open), former home of Mabel Lucie Attwell.

Offham House, Lewes

Romantic garden with fountains, flowering trees, arboretum, double herbaceous border and long peony bed. 1676 Queen Anne house (not open) with well knapped flint facade. Herb garden and walled kitchen garden with glasshouses, cold frames, chickens, guinea fowl, sheep and ducks. A selection of pelargoniums and other plants for sale.

Orchard Cottage, Bexhill-on-Sea Trail

A truly interesting plantswoman’s small garden. Winner of Best ECO Award 2012. One plot has been imaginatively laid out with a clever use of trellis supporting a variety of climbers. Small paths lead to various areas of densely planted herbaceous borders featuring, ferns, clematis, hellebores, geraniums, salvia, and some unusual plants. A Ginko tree is being trained into an espalier (I hope).

Orchard Cottage, Crowborough

Mature 1½ acre plantaholic’s garden with a large variety of trees and shrubs, perennials and bulbs, many unusual. Gardened organically. Mainly colour themed beds, planted informally. Small woodland, meadow and deep pond to encourage wildlife. Kitchen garden with raised beds. Hardy Plant Society member.

Pangdean Farm, Pyecombe

This delightful, sunny walled garden dating from the C17 nestles in the South Downs National Park. Featuring a herb garden that supplies the kitchen, an extensive herbaceous border providing interest over a long period, roses, water feature and a 400 yr old James I mulberry tree. It is very much the late Sue Currie’s garden: whenever she entered her garden she smiled!

Parklands Road Allotments, Hassocks

The allotments comprise of 55 plots where you will find both traditional and some exotic crops. It is obvious that the allotmenteers enjoy their space and the spectacular view of the Downs with its Jack and Jill windmills atop. Between South Downs National Park and area of ancient woodland with Downland streamside walk.

Pembury House, Clayton

Depending on the vagaries of the season, hellebores and snowdrops are at their best in Feb and March. It is a country garden, tidy but not manicured. New work always going on. Winding paths give a choice of walks through 3 acres of garden, which is in and enjoys views of the South Downs National Park. Suitable footwear, macs and winter woollies advised. A German visitor observed ‘this is the perfect woodland garden’. Year-round interest.

The Priest House, West Hoathly

C15 timber framed farmhouse with cottage garden on acid clay. Large collection of culinary and medicinal herbs in a small formal herb garden and mixed with perennials and shrubs in exuberant borders. Long established yew topiary and espalier apple trees provide structural elements. Traditional fernery and stumpery, recently enlarged with a small, secluded shrubbery and gravel garden.

Seaford Gardens, Seaford

11 gardens open over the course of June in the town of Seaford. See dates for each garden.

Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield

Magnificent, landscaped garden laid out in C18 by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton covering 120 acres (40 hectares). Further development in the early yrs of this century by its owner Arthur G Soames. Centrepiece is original lakes with many rare trees and shrubs. Beautiful at all times of the yr, but noted for its spring and autumn colours. National Collection of Ghent azaleas.

Skyscape, Brighton

250ft south facing rear garden on a sloping site with fantastic views of the South Downs and the sea. Garden created by owners over past 12 yrs. Orchard, flower beds, wildlife ponds and planting with bees in mind. Small, protected apiary in orchard.

13 Thornbank Crescent, Bexhill-On-Sea

13 Thornbank Crescent slopes down to a stream bank with a mature silver birch and a magnificent cherry plum. This organic garden has a mix of vegetables and flowers with over 50 different varieties of heritage fruit trees inc the Bexhill apple Lady Hopetown, a Sussex cooker Crawley Beauty and a Medlar. In a garden planned to attract wildlife the pond is home to frogs, newts and damselflies.

Waterworks & Friends, Broad Oak & Brede

An opportunity to visit two unique gardens and discover the Brede Steam Giants 35ft Edwardian water pumping engines, and Grade II listed pump house located behind 4 Waterworks Cottages.

The Windmill, Herstmonceux

The Windmill at Windmill Hill built in 1815 is the largest fully restored post mill in the UK. Visitors may take guided tours of the mill, there are stunning views from the top. There is disabled access to the ground floor and a virtual tour for those who are unable or do not wish to climb the long ladder.

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