I have slowly started to visit some of the places on our Summer days out bucket list, one of which is High Beeches Gardens. Now before I start I am going to own up to being disappointed, so I have been in two minds whether or not to write this. However I have because I want to be honest with my readers, and I do think we probably visited at the wrong time of year.
We arrived at lunchtime and went to the tea room first as the gardens don’t open until 1pm. There are picnic benches which you can use before you go into the gardens if you bring your own. They do not allow picnics in the gardens themselves. The tea room is a good size and has a lovely outside eating area. We opted to eat inside because the garden is reached by steps. The decor is a little dated, however the service was very good. For the first time in a long time someone carried a tray to our table for us and basically waited on us hand and foot. They offer tea and cake (of course) but also various sandwiches, jacket potatoes and a couple of options for hot meals. I had a slice of chocolate and fudge cake, it was homemade and delicious.
We dropped the buggy back into he car and went into the gardens. The gardens themselves are not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs so Kipper went in a sling. Its also reasonably hilly so if you have a young toddler be warned you are going to do a lot of carrying. Although there are plenty of benches around for you to catch your breath. First the positive it is extremely tranquil and would be a lovely place to sit and read or have some down time. However for me gardens are all about flowers, to be fair it sells itself as woodland and water garden so I should have anticipated that there may not be a lot of colour. I can imagine that when the rhododendrons are out there is a feast of colour and will make sure our next visit is the right time of year.
As you come into the gardens you are presented with a wild flower meadow which is home to some wild orchids. Again these are now out of season and with the weather we have been having the meadow looked a little dry. Never the less Monkey enjoyed looking around and was fascinated by the stretches of water, we did have trouble locating the waterfall. At four Monkey found the hills hard work, so there was probably parts of the garden we didn’t get to.
There is a bird trail which consists of little wire birds hidden amongst the trees and plants, put on specifically for the children. We struggled to find them and only managed one in the end. I think in total we were probably in the garden for around an hour and a half before he gave up walking up hills and asked to go home.
So my recommendation would be save this one for ‘me time‘ and leave the kiddies at home. Try to visit when the rhododendrons are out and definitely check out the home made bakes in the tea room.
Things you need to know:
- The gardens are open 1-5pm every day except Wednesdays, April to November with the last admission at 4.30pm
- The Tea Room opens at 10am
- Prices are £7.50 for adults and children under 14 are free, during July and August entry is free for RHS members during the week
- Address – High Beeches Lane, West Sussex, RH17 6HQ
- You can find out more information on their website – www.highbeeches.com
Have you visited any gardens recently? I would love to hear all about them in the comments below.
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