There was a very familiar feeling as I entered the Sheffield Park and Gardens main entrance, yes, the National Trust shop. As with the majority of these site, the branded clothing, tempting treats and those nature books located on the back left wall. This is all very comforting and nice but I do feel a bit of ‘Site Specific’ would not go a miss, considering right behind this entrance is an amazing garden.
Exiting the main entrance, the first thing that struck me was the feeling of peace, considering the car park was full, I expected huge queues and people everywhere, this was not the case at all. Everyone had vanished into the dense, woody, bushy gardens. I wandered down the main path that leads straight from the entrance. I was surrounded on all sides by huge ancient trees, one in particular stuck out. A giant, probably 60 feet or more, sequoia, I had to touch this tree. For something so big and strong, it was soft, like touching a rough rubber mat, I had to know what this monster tree would feel like, not quite what I expected at all.
Around the next corner I got more surprises. Not one, but two lakes with a cute black metal footbridge dividing the two nicely in half. Both lakes having patches of green water lily pads with bright pink and white water lilies glowing among them. The lakes are football pitch sized with with lovely cut grass paddocks on the shores separated by flower or shrub patches. This is perfect picnic country and all I had with me is a bottle of water and few Jaffa cakes, this was a very little picnic for me, but in perfect surroundings. I must mention the ducks, the very friendly ducks, and if you have bread, I did not, they will be your best friends, or at least until the bread is gone.
Sheffield Park is really worth exploring, look deeply in the shrubs and undergrowth, it is amazing what you can find growing or even crawling up a tree.
This image was captured while wandering off track near the pine tree area. A very nice surprise.
This time of year in the gardens the colours are changing, the ground is becoming a bit soggy but if you look hard enough, there are some amazing little finds.
I quite like these gardens, not my favorite as the fairly limited variety of plants and small grounds but I would say, bring decent footwear as the ground can be boggy in parts and bring a picnic. Then wander off to find the lakes, grab a good spot in the sun and enjoy a nice lunch and prepare for a few ducks that expect to be fed.
The Other Stuff
Exploring Time: 2 to 3 hours
Price: Free to National trust members and RHS or £11.20 for adults and £5.50 for children, Free Parking
Address: Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3QX