It's azalea season and the colours are magnificent. If you're self-catering in Sussex I can highly recommend a trip to one of the gorgeous gardens where azaleas and rhododendrons are strutting their stuff at this time of year. The spring flowers are fabulous too: how about a ranger-guided stroll around Batemans, the former home of Rudyard Kipling at Burwash?
Sadly the outstanding azalea collection at Leonardslee was sold to private owners a few years ago and hasn't been open to the public since, but the Loder family who originally planted it also established the High Beeches garden at nearby Handcross, which is stunning at this time of year (and has a terrific tea room!). And in a couple of months or so the wildflower meadow at High Beeches will be at its best - there's always something to see.
Wakehurst Place, near Haywards Heath, also boasts worthy (slight understatement) azalea beds in its Japanese Garden as well as the fascinating RHS seed collection and stunning views of the surrounding Sussex landscape. Another garden well worth a visit in that area is Borde Hill, where the collection includes dwarf rhododendrons. Basically azaleas and rhododendrons, as well as camellias, thrive on the clay soil of Sussex! It's a bit late now for camellias, but if you're staying in one of our Sussex holiday cottages next spring do put Nymans, also near Handcross, on your to-do list for something truly special.
Sussex is full of fabulous gardens to visit from spring through to autumn, and some even in winter. The park at Petworth House is in a league of its own - a Capability Brown landscaped deer park, where you can stroll and picnic, whether or not you plan to see inside the house with its unrivalled collection of Turner paintings; and a stroll round the quaint, picturesque town of Petworth with its pretty buildings and antique shops is always a delight.
Our holiday cottages and luxury apartments are ideally placed for a visit to the many beautiful gardens in Sussex, so we hope to welcome you soon - please click here to browse our selection.