Visit Kent and Sussex for a Great Day out

kent and sussex

Sussex and Kent in England’s South East corner is a region full of diversity and one popular with groups for a day trip, short break or holiday for many reasons.

It helps that it is one of the warmest and sunniest regions in the UK and has great travel and transport links. But perhaps key to its popularity is that there is so much to see, do and >enjoy and it is that wide range of choice which draws visitors of all ages and interests back time and time again.
With the beautiful South Downs National Park at its heart, West Sussex is a great place to visit and explore at any time of year.
The Amberley Museum is a 36-acre open-air attraction providing visitors opportunity to explore the South’s working past in a former quarry and lime works. There are over 40 exhibit areas to discover including a narrow-gauge railway, historic buses, rural crafts and extensive communications displays.
Borde Hill Garden is a beautiful Grade II heritage garden set in 200 acres of park and woodland with magnificent views across the Ouse Valley and Susses High Weald. Created by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke, there are many different “living garden rooms” each offering a distinctive character and style with sub-tropical dells and stunning old-fashioned roses.
Another property set in the High Weald of West Sussex is Nymans, a Grade II listed National Trust garden for all seasons set around a romantic house and ruins. It has been home to several generations of the Messel family since 1895 and the estate was created by the family and their gardeners over several decades. The result is a garden consisting of a series of experimental designs with spectacular planting and all-year-round beauty that continues to delight visitors year after year.

A visit to the restored Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens at Lower Beeding near Horsham offers chance to enjoy its beautiful-landscaped Grade I listed gardens which were first planted in 1801. Having nearly been lost forever, restoration to this magnificent Grade I listed garden began when the present owner, Penny Streeter OBE, acquired the estate in 2017. The hard work certainly paid off as the result today is outstanding displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias, and bluebell which visitors can now enjoy as part of exploring the 240 acres of this acclaimed estate.

With 27 acres of woodland, water gardens, and a collection of rare, exotic and award-winning plants, High Beeches Garden is one of Sussex’s finest gardens. Home to a plant collection that includes specimens from many parts of the world, this hidden gem is something of a botanical treasure trove with so much to see, explore and enjoy. Groups of 15 or more are welcome with guided tours also available to book in advance.

Bordered by West Sussex and the counties of Kent and Surrey, East Sussex is in no way overshadowed by its neighbours.

Set amongst its rolling countryside is the delightful Merriments Gardens, consisting of a beautiful four-acre RHS Partner Garden, plant centre, shop and restaurant. It is a bold, modern, hilltop garden which has been richly and imaginatively planted with deep curved borders and colour themed using a rich mix of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses and many unusual annuals. The extensive Nursery offers many of the unusual plants growing in the garden for sale, plus a lot more.

Groups are welcome and as well as discounted entrance rates they have the offer of refreshments and lunch packages in the Merriments’ Terrace Restaurant.

Heading over the county border into Kent, the Kent and East Sussex Railway (K&ESR) in Tenterden is a fine example of one of England’s light railways. Originally it was part of a larger system which operated between Headcorn and Robertsbridge and was the very first ‘light railway’ to be constructed. Today it is visited by over 90,000 who are drawn to this delightful attraction in an
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The railway follows the wide unspoilt Rother Valley for much of the journey and the small rural stations are typical of light-railways of the period. The award-winning Railway Museum at Tenterden Town Station is where you can discover more about Colonel Stephens, the entrepreneur who built and operated the railway. The Model Railway Room at Tenterden. Is the place to find informative display all about the fascinating story of how the K&ESR was preserved.

Groups can enjoy light refreshments in their unique station setting or take them on board the train, and do not forget to pick up that perfect souvenir of your visit from the Gift Shop.

There is even chance to explore the beauty of the local countryside with one of the downloadable Rail Trail walks that are available or combine a train ride with a visit to nearby Bodiam Castle.