Wakehurst Place on the High Weald of Sussex is more than 3,000 acres of botanical gardens, where you can enjoy splendid examples of rare species, marvel at the work of the Millennium Seed Bank or simply enjoy a walk in the woods. The plants are laid out geographically, so you can go around the world in 80 minutes if you follow the 3.6km (2.3-mile) route.

Something for grown-ups

Gardeners will be in heaven, as will walkers and nature lovers. There are guided tours daily at 11.30am (and 2pm at weekends). It is home to 15,000 different types of plant, including five species that are extinct in the wild and 300 that are on the danger list.

Something for children

A map and a numbered trail seem to have a strangely energising effect on the whingiest child, who will want to charge off and find the next wooden marking post. Quiz trails are available, and special activities are organised during school holidays.


The Stables serves lunch and afternoon tea. The Seed Café, where you can enjoy sandwiches and cakes on the terrace, is at the visitor's centre.


A large area of paved paths is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.


Opens at 10am every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Closes 4.30pm to end of February; 6pm from March. Entry costs £8 for adults, £7 concessions, free for children and National Trust members.

How to get there

Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6TN (01444 894000; rbgkew.org.uk).

By car: on the B2028 just south of Turners Hill. Free parking.

Train: nearest station is Haywards Heath.