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Local Tourist Attractions

For inclusion here, fill in the form below or post a request to
Webmaster, Greenman Farm, Wadhurst, Sussex TN5 6LE

Organised by County: Sussex, Kent, Surrey.  If you are looking for somehere to stay, there are many suggestions here

The following is a selection of buildings and gardens open to the public in reasonable reach of Wadhurst; other suggestions welcome - just fill in the form. Distances shown are from the centre of Wadhurst; further details [location plans, opening hours and entrance fees] can be found by clicking on the links or by going to one of the following sites:

National Trust
English Heritage
Hudson's Guide
Sussex Country - Wealden District Council site
National Gardens Scheme for private gardens open in the region
Index of Historic Parks and Gardens in East Sussex

For tourist suggestions, organised by distance - click here

Sussex  Go to  Kent, Surrey

ALFRISTON CLERGY HOUSE The Tye Alfriston   [28 miles]
Bought in 1896 for the princely sum of 10, this was the first building to be acquired by the Trust. A 14th-century timber-framed and thatched hall house, it is little altered and characteristic of the Wealden vernacular style. The interior contains a fine medieval hall and exhibition and there is a charming cottage garden, with many typical countryside flowers, once common but rarely seen today 

ANNE OF CLEVES HOUSE Lewes [25 miles]
A 16th century timber-framed Wealden hall-house that formed part of Anne's divorce settlement from Henry VIII in 1541. The house contains wide-ranging collections of Sussex interest, including Sussex pottery, and the bedroom and kitchen are furnished to reflect an earlier period. Other displays feature Lewes from the 16th century to the present day and the Wealden ironwork gallery has artefacts from firebacks and cannon to boot-scrapers and chimney backs, illustrating this influential Sussex industry.

ASHDOWN FOREST CENTRE Wych Cross, Forest Row [20 miles]
The Forest Centre acts as both an information centre for visitors and also an office for the Conservators of Ashdown Forest. The Information Centre often has exhibitions of all sorts including local artists, photographers and other events.

BATEMAN'S Burwash   [6 miles]
The home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902-36, the interior of this beautiful Jacobean house reflects the author's strong associations with the East. There are many Oriental rugs and artefacts, and most of the rooms - including his book-lined study - are much as Kipling left them. The delightful grounds run down to the small River Dudwell, where there is a watermill, and contain roses, wild flowers and herbs. Kipling's Rolls-Royce is also on display 

BAYHAM ABBEY RUINS Lamberhurst   [4 miles]
These riverside ruins are of a house of the White Canons, founded c1208 and preserved in the 18th century, when the surroundings were landscaped to provide a delightful setting. Tel: 01892 890381 for opening times.

BEWL WATER       [4 miles]
This reservoir is the largest area of open water in south east England. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of the High Weald, Bewl Water is host to a huge variety of wildlife and is one of the region's most popular attractions
The reservoir boasts many features for visitors.

BLUEBELL RAILWAY - Sheffield Park     [23 miles]
The Bluebell Line was the UK's first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation for posterity of a country branch line, its steam locomotives, coaches and goods stock, signalling systems, stations and operating practices

BODIAM CASTLE Bodiam   [11 miles]
One of the most famous and evocative castles in Britain, Bodiam was built in 1385, both as a defence and a comfortable home. The exterior is virtually complete and the ramparts rise dramatically above the moat below. Enough of the interior survives to give an impression of castle life, and there are spiral staircases and battlements to explore. An audiovisual presentation and small museum provide social and historical background

BORDE HILL GARDENS Cuckfield   [28 miles]
Borde Hill is a garden of contrasts that captures the imagination and delights the senses. It is set in 200 acres of a traditional country estate in the area of outstanding natural beauty lying between the town of Haywards Heath and the village of Cuckfield in mid Sussex.

CHARLESTON Lewes   [30 miles]
Charleston was the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. The interior was painted by the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, and together with their collection of post-impressionist art, forms a unique example of their decorative style. The house is open to visitors and hosts the annual Charleston Festival.

FIRLE PLACE Firle [29 miles]
Firle Place is a large Tudor house behind facades remodelled in the 18th century. The principal rooms are grouped around a square outer courtyard. At the back is the Hall and behind this is a smaller, inner courtyard with the family rooms and kitchens set around it. The Hall is still the home of the Gage family and its great treasure, Sir Anthony Van Dyck's group portrait of Count John of Nassau-Siegen and his Family. The south side overlooks wooded slopes that rise to Firle Beacon. The parkland surrounding Firle Place is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the foot of the South Downs.

A military supply base established at the time of the Roman Invasion of Britain in AD43, the Roman Palace is one of the most important British archaeological discoveries of the last century.

Glyndebourne, one of the most famous opera houses in the world is now in its sixtieth year and the performances still retain their very high standard. Set in the glorious English countryside it is the perfect setting for some of the most moving and passionate pieces of classical music. The usual festival itinerary includes arriving a couple of hours early, setting up a picnic rug or table and enjoying the delights of the grounds before the performance starts. It gives you the opportunity to chat to like-minded music lovers, inspect the programme or even visit the shop.During the Festival season, evening dress (black tie/long or short dress) is customary. If you wish to change, there are facilities available in the Plashett Building at the foot of the car park. For further information : 01273 815 000 or E-mail

GLYNDE PLACE [23 miles]
A magnificent Elizabethan manor house set in the heart of the South Downs. Glynde Place was built in 1589 from local flint and stone from Normandy and extensively added to in the 18thC. There is a collection of Old Masters, family portraits, furniture, embroidery and silver all belonging to the family who has lived there for over 400 years

The Manor of Dixter is first noted in 1220 and structural additions were made again in 1464. In 1910 the English architect Edwin Lutyens restored Great Dixter and designed the gardens. Today, the gardens are cultivated by author and lecturer Christopher Lloyd. The garden is composed of a series of small gardens including a fine topiary garden, rose garden, kitchen garden - an attractive mingling of vegetables and flowers - a large orchard with many pockets of wild flowers and a magnificent herbaceous border in summer, truly a joy for any gardener to visit

HAMMERWOOD PARK East Grinstead   [16 miles]
Hammerwood built in 1792 as an Apollo's hunting lodge by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of The Capitol and The White House. Hammerwood represents a landmark in both English Greek Revival and American architecture. Owned by Led Zeppelin in the 1970s and rescued from dereliction in 1982

HASTINGS    [21 miles]
Known world-wide as the site of the Battle of Hastings 1066. William the Conquerer's victory over the English King Harold at Hastings changed the entire course of history of Britain. This south-east coastal town, population 84,000, boasts over a thousand years of this history. The town offers plenty for the visitor - shops, restaurants, historic buildings - particularly in the Old Town, a ruined castle, pier and - of course - the sea

Kent & East Sussex Railway    [11 miles to Bodiam Stn]
Travel in Edwardian style by steam train through Weald and Marsh. From the ancient market town of Tenterden to the magical castle at Bodiam 

LAMB HOUSE, West Street, Rye   [22 miles]
A delightful brick-fronted house, dating from the early 18th century and typical of the attractive town of Rye. This was the home of writer Henry James from 1898 to 1916, and later of author E. F. Benson. Some of James's personal possessions can be seen, and there is a charming walled garden

LEONARDSLEE GARDENS Horsham   [36 miles]
The many miles of walks provide never ending delights and a changing landscape throughout the seasons. There are plenty of quiet spots where you can sit and enjoy one of England's greenest and most pleasant landscapes. The walks extend round the peaceful lakes and waterfalls where wildlife thrives.

LEWES CASTLE [25 miles]
From its high towers visitors can see both the town and the distant views of downs, river and forest. The best way to appreciate this view is to visit Barbican House Museum first and watch 'The Story of Lewes Town', a sound and light show based on a scale model of the town. The castle was begun soon after 1066 by William de Warenne as his stronghold in Sussex but not completed until 300 years later with the building of the magnificent Barbican.

MARLIPINS MUSEUM Shoreham [42 miles]
Housed in one of the oldest and most attractive lay buildings in Sussex. Its distinctive chequer board facade is well loved by artists and shows that cross Channel links are nothing new, as it blends Sussex flint with Norman Caen stone. Inside, museum displays show the history of the area, from prehistoric burials to the dashing early aviators of Shoreham Airport. The old clock from St Mary's ticks away beside displays of Sussex pottery and wartime papers, or records of Charles II's escape from Shoreham to France after his defeat in 1651.

MERRIMENTS GARDENS Hurst Green   [9 miles]
The garden at Merriments is approximately 4 acres (1.7 hectares) and occupies a gentle southerly slope. This garden is made up of a series of borders each of which reflects a different aspect of the garden, or is itself themed for colour or texture. It is laid out in such a way that each themed area blends into the next to create satisfying and harmonious whole

Boasting England's longest medieval water-filled moat, Michelham Priory's "Island of History" reflects its nearly 800 year existence. The house dates back to 1229 when the Priory was founded and was lived in by Augustinian canons until the Dissolution in 1537. After this time, the Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed and the house underwent various transformations including the addition of an extensive Tudor wing. The range of furniture and artefacts on display trace the property's religious origins through its life as a working farm and its development as a country house. Exhibits include tapestries, furniture (including some made in the 1920's/1930's specifically for the then owner), kitchen equipment and a fully furnished 18th Century child's bedroom.

MONK'S HOUSE, Rodmell, Lewes   [30 miles]
A small weather-boarded house, the home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf until Leonard's death in 1969. The rooms reflect the life and times of the literary circle in which they moved.

NEWHAVEN FORT Newhaven [33 miles]
Newhaven Fort was built in the 1860's to deter invaders. Today it offers a warm welcome to anyone looking for a totally different and fascinating day out. The massive walls, ramparts and guns and many other original features all fire the imagination with other exciting glimpses into England's dramatic wartime past. To really get to grips with the times, sights, sounds and even smells of the period you'll find a host of displays, exciting 'real-life' sets and audio-visual presentations.

NYMANS GARDEN Haywards Heath   [33 miles]
One of the great gardens of the Sussex Weald, with rare and beautiful plants, shrubs and trees from all round the world. Walled garden, hidden sunken garden, pinetum and laurel walk. Library, drawing room and forecourt garden also open.

PASHLEY MANOR GARDENS Ticehurst [5 miles]
The Gardens offer a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees, fountains, springs and large ponds. This is a quintessentially English Garden of a very individual character with exceptional views to the surrounding valleyed fields. Many eras of English history are reflected here, typifying the tradition of the English Country House and its garden 

Special Events:
Tulip Festival 23rd April to 3rd May
Sculpture in Particular 22nd - 31st May
Special Rose Weekend 11th - 13th June
Kitchen Garden Weekend 18th - 20th June
Sussex Guild Craft Show 28th to 30th August
We open on 1st April and close on 30th September 2010.

THE PRIEST HOUSE West Hoathly [26 miles]
Standing in the beautiful surroundings of a traditional cottage garden on the edge of Ashdown Forest, the Priest House is an early 15th century timber-framed hall-house with a dramatic roof of Horsham stone. It was probably built for the Priory of St Pancras in Lewes and in Elizabethan times was modernised into a substantial Yeomen's dwelling. It is now a museum containing a fascinating array of domestic country furniture, kitchen equipment, needlework and household items. Outside there is a formal herb garden containing over 150 culinary, medicinal and folklore herbs.

RYE [22 miles]
The ancient Cinque Port Town of Rye sits on a sandstone hill commanding breathtaking views of Romney Marsh and the sea, guarding the coast from foreign invasion for centuries. Originally granted to the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy in 1027, Rye was finally reclaimed by Henry III in 1247 in exchange for other lands. Incorporated into the confederacy of the Cinque Ports in 1289 and once a sea port, the town played a vital role in both the defence against invaders and as a trading centre. Its cobbled streets and medieval houses once echoed to the sounds of smugglers and revenue men and fine trading vessels were to be found unloading at the warehouses on the quay.

SAINT HILL MANOR East Grinstead   [21 miles]
A late Georgian house (1792) with a Victorian garden - loggia, terrace, rose garden, lawn, a lake and woods.  Its history is summarised here

SHEFFIELD PARK GARDEN, Sheffield Park   [24 miles]
A magnificent landscape garden, laid out in the 18th century by Capability' Brown and further developed in the early years of this century by its owner, Arthur G. Soames. The centrepiece is the original four lakes, linked by cascades and waterfalls. There are dramatic shows of daffodils and bluebells in spring, and the rhododendrons, azaleas and stream garden are spectacular in early summer. Autumn brings stunning colours from the many rare trees and shrubs

STANDEN East Grinstead   [22 miles]
A family house of the 1890s, designed by Philip Webb, friend of William Morris, and a showpiece of the Arts & Crafts Movement. It is decorated throughout with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers, complemented by contemporary paintings, tapestries and furniture. The house retains many of its original electrical fittings. The beautiful hillside garden gives fine views over the Sussex countryside and there are delightful woodland walks

WADHURST CASTLE [click on this link - and then Search on the new site]
A modest early C19 park of 58ha, accompanying a castellated villa, built on the outskirts of Wadhurst.

WEALD & DOWNLAND OPEN AIR MUSEUM Singleton   [58 miles]
Set in 50 acres of beautiful Sussex countryside is a fascinating collection of over 40 historic buildings dating from the 15th century, many with period gardens, together with farm animals, woodland walks and a picturesque lake. Rescued from destruction, the buildings have been carefully dismantled, conserved and rebuilt to their original form and bring to life the homes, farmsteads and rural industries of the last 500 years.

WILDERNESS WOOD Hadlow Down    [11 miles]
Wilderness Wood is 61 acres of beautiful and peaceful woodland to explore, with trails, playground, picnic places, exhibitions and refreshments; great fun for children, and eye-opening for grown-ups. It's a friendly and informal place , and there's something to enjoy at all seasons, from bluebell time to the Christmas tree harvest. You can buy garden products made from harvested wood and Sussex garden furniture direct from the workshop. Open all year round from 10:00 to dusk.

Kent    Go to SussexSurrey, top

AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM Brook Kent   nr Ashford    [35 miles]
A perfect example of a 14th century timber framed barn, housing an extensive collection of agricultural machinery, tools and equipment. The adjacent oast house, built in 1815, is possibly unique in having four fireplaces; upstairs there is a large display of items used in the past. Open 14:00 - 17:00 Wednesday & Saturday May to September. Nearby is Brook Church - also well worth a visit with its medieval wall paintings and cool white interior.

BEDGEBURY NATIONAL PINETUM Goudhurst       [9 miles]
Bedgebury Pinetum has the finest collection of conifers in the world providing enjoyment to visitors who come to appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of this unique attraction, which nestles quietly among lakes and valleys in the Kent countryside. Open 365 days a year, there is plenty to enjoy around the seasons. A shop and information centre is open daily and refreshments are also available

CHARTWELL Westerham   [20 miles]
The home of Sir Winston Churchill from 1924 until the end of his life. A delightful home, with stunning views over the Weald, which became the place from which Sir Winston drew inspiration. The rooms and gardens remain much as he left them, with pictures, maps and personal mementoes strongly evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of this great statesman. The beautiful terraced gardens contain the lakes he dug, the water garden where Sir Winston fed his fish, and his garden studio in which many of his paintings can be seen.

EMMETTS GARDEN Ide Hill, Sevenoaks   [19 miles]
Influenced by William Robinson, this charming and informal garden - with the highest treetop in Kent - was laid out in the late 19th century, with many exotic and rare trees and shrubs from across the world. There are glorious shows of daffodils a nd bluebells, azaleas, rhododendrons, acers and cornus in autumn and also a rose garden and rock garden.

FINCHCOCKS Goudhurst   [6 miles]
The fine early Georgian manor of Finchcocks is now a musical centre of international repute. It was acquired in 1970 by Richard Burnett, leading exponent of the early piano, and it now houses his magnificent collection of nearly one hundred historical keyboard instruments.

GROOMBRIDGE PLACE Groombridge   [8 miles]
A step through the door of the walled formal gardens at Groombridge Place is a step back in time, back into the seventeenth century, for much of what you see here today has been lovingly preserved and maintained for over three hundred years. Along these very paths wandered generations of families who created these exquisite gardens and left them for you to enjoy

HALL PLACE Bourne Road, Bexley   [33 miles]
A fine Grade 1 Listed country house built in 1540 for Sir John Champneis, a Lord Mayor of London, and extended in the 17th century. The house is set in beautiful formal gardens on the banks of the River Cray. Now owned by Bexley Council, some of its rooms are open to the public. A magnificent Great Hall contains an 18th century chamber organ built by George England. Hall Place houses Bexley Museum, galleries that offer a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year. The house is also the venue for concerts, lectures and private functions. Open daily in summer and Monday - Saturday in winter.

HAWKINGE BATTLE OF BRITAIN MUSEUM nr Folkestone   [46 miles]
Spitfires, Hurricanes, Messerschmidts, uniforms, flying kit displayed in the original operations block, armoury and hangars. Over 600 display cases telling the stories of airmen from both sides. Tues - Sun 10:00 - 17:00 Easter - September. Phone 01303 893 140.

A unique combination of a working watermill with dynamic museum of functional mill machinery with emphasis on the history, developement and multiple uses of water power.
MILL OPENING HOURS Easter to October 31st Including Bank Holiday Mondays Closed Mondays 1O:00 to 17:00

HEVER CASTLE Hever   [16 miles]
What the visitor sees today in the Castle and in the surrounding gardens and grounds is the result of the wealth and imagination of William Waldorf Astor, who bought Hever Castle in 1903. It was he who restored the Castle, built the Tudor Village which lies behind it and created the magnificent Gardens and lake. The Gardens as we see them today were laid out in their entirety between 1904 and 1908. Although the work was completed by 1908, it is only now that the Gardens have reached their full maturity. The Gardens at Hever Castle are a delight at any season of the year

IGHTHAM MOTE Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks   [18 miles]
A superb moated manor house, nestling in a sunken valley and dating from 1340 onwards. A comprehensive ongoing programme of repair was begun in 1988. The main features of the house span many centuries and include the Great Hall, old chapel and crypt, Tudor chapel with painted ceiling, drawing room with Jacobean fireplace, frieze and 18th-century wallpaper, and the Robinson Library. There is an extensive garden and interesting walks in the surrounding woodland.

Kent & East Sussex Railway    [19 miles to Tenterden Stn]
Travel in Edwardian style by steam train through Weald and Marsh. From the ancient market town of Tenterden to the magical castle at Bodiam ; also Col Stephen's Railway Museum in Tenterden.

KNOLE Sevenoaks   [18 miles]
One of the great treasure houses of England, set in a magnificent deer park. The original 15th-century house was enlarged and embellished in 1603 by the 1st Earl of Dorset, one of Queen Elizabeth's favourites', and has remained unaltered ever since - a rare survival. The thirteen state rooms open to the public contain magnificent collections: 17th-century royal Stuart furniture, including three state beds, silver furniture and the prototype of the famous Knole Settee, outstanding tapestries and textiles, and important portraits by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Lely, Kneller and Reynolds.

LEEDS CASTLE Leeds   [22 miles]
Shrouded in mist, mystery and legend, Leeds Castle rises from its own lake amidst one of England's most picturesque counties; the survivor of 1000 years emerges into the 21st century pre-eminent among the great buildings of the British Isles.

MARLE PLACE Brenchley [9 miles]
A peaceful, privately owned Wealden garden, ten acres of formal planting and many more acres of woodland and orchard. Situated close to Scotney and Sissinghurst Castles. It is a plantman and artists garden, featuring a Victorian gazebo, Edwardian rockery and walled fragrant garden. A restored 19th century greenhouse with orchid collection, a mosaic terrace and ornamental ponds. The 17th century house with a massive chimney is of architectural interest, but not open.

MINSTER MUSEUM - Craft & Animal Centre     [60 miles]
A splendid day out for all the family - in the Old Tithe Barn a fine collection of agricultural machinery and domestic equipment: a varied animal and bird collection - farm animals and exotics: birds of prey - you can often see them fly. Extensive picnic grounds. Open April - September - visit the website or phone 01843 822 312 for full details. Combine your visit with a walk round Minster - Church and Abbey are both worth seeing.

OLD SOAR MANOR Plaxtol, Borough Green   [17 miles]
The solar block of a late 13th-century knight's dwelling.

PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst   [12 miles]
Set in the rural Weald of Kent surrounded by picturesque countryside and ancient parkland, Penshurst Place and Gardens has changed little over the centuries. This mediaeval masterpiece has been the home to the Sidney family since 1552 and is an important part of the nation's heritage.

QUEBEC HOUSE Westerham   [21 miles]
General Wolfe spent his early years in this gabled, red-brick 17th-century house. The low-ceilinged, panelled rooms contain memorabilia relating to his family and career and the Tudor stable block houses an exhibition about the Battle of Quebec (1759).

The RED HOUSE Bexleyheath   [40 miles]
Commissioned by William Morris in 1859 and designed by Philip Webb, Red House is of enormous international significance in the history of domestic architecture and garden design. The unique building is constructed of warm red brick, under a steep red-tiled roof, with an emphasis on natural materials and a strong Gothic influence. The garden was designed to "clothe" the house with a series of sub-divided areas which still clearly exist today. Inside, the house retains many of the original features and fixed items of furniture designed by Morris and Webb, as well as wall paintings and stained glass by Rossetti and Burne-Jones. Pre-booked guided tours only

SCOTNEY CASTLE GARDEN Lamberhurst   [4 miles]
One of England's most romantic gardens, designed in the picturesque style around the ruins of a 14th-century moated castle. There are rhododendrons and azaleas in profusion, with wisteria and roses rambling over the old ruins. Wonderful vistas and viewpoints abound, and there are beautiful woodland and estate walks.

SISSINGHURST CASTLE and GARDEN: Sissinghurst   [13 miles]
One of the world's most celebrated gardens, the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson. Developed around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion with a central red-brick prospect tower, a series of small, enclosed compartments, intimate in scale and romantic in atmosphere, provide outstanding design and colour through the season. The study, where Vita worked, and Long Library are also open to visitors.

SMALLHYTHE PLACE Smallhythe, Tenterden   [20 miles]
An early 16th-century half-timbered house, home of the Victorian actress Ellen Terry from 1899 to 1928, and containing many personal and theatrical mementoes. The charming cottage grounds include her rose garden and the Barn Theatre, which is open most days by courtesy of the Barn Theatre Society.

SPA VALLEY RAILWAY  Tunbridge Wells   [4 miles]
Trains run from the West Station   [Sainsburys] to Groombridge, calling at High Rocks, through picturesque countryside. Full service details on the website; trains are normally steam-hauled with a few diesel operated - all by volunteers. Services start in March and build up to peak levels in August, then falling to the end of October; a special timetable operates in December.

SPRIVERS GARDEN Horsmonden   [7 miles]
A small formal garden with walled and hedged compartments, herbaceous borders and a rose garden.

WORKING HORSE TRUST Forge Wood Farm Eridge Kent    [7 miles]
Open only occasionally - phone 01892 750 105 for details - the Trust demonstraters and promotes the sympathetic use of Heavy Horses in countryside management - to show how well Heavy Horses still fit in with modern-day activities. As well as creating a productive farm, activities include pond restoration, hedgerow & tree planting; wildflower meadow creation; and woodland management and habitat restoration.

Surrey  Go to Sussex, Kent, top

POLESDEN LACEY Great Bookham, nr Dorking   [40 miles]
In an exceptional setting on the North Downs, this originally Regency house was extensively remodelled in 1906-9 by the Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville, a well-known Edwardian hostess. Her collection of fine paintings, furniture, porcelain and silver are displayed in the reception rooms and galleries, as they were at the time of her celebrated house parties. There are extensive grounds, a walled rose garden, lawns and landscape walks. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother spent part of their honeymoon here in 1923