Leonardslee Gardens, near Horsham
Muddy says: Fabulous gardens and lakes (plus the odd albino wallaby) make for a full day out. Treat yourself to fine dining or afternoon tea with a view in the Interlude Restaurant.
Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens near Horsham reopened to the public in spring 2019 following a nine year closure and the largest UK garden restoration project for two decades. The picturesque site spreads across a valley and includes lakes, woods, lawns and a large rock garden.
Fabulous rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias are among some of the blooms in the Grade 1 listed 240 acre estate. It was first established by rich 19th century plant hunters so has flora from around the world… and a bit of forna too – with a colony of wallabies, including rare albinos.
Don’t miss the gorgeous Dolls House Museum recreating an entire Edwardian village in one room.
Look out too for events throughout the year and become a member to get discounted entry.
Food & Drink
In the mansion house on site is fine dining Restaurant Interlude – which gained a Michelin star within months of opening. With beautiful views over the valley, it serves up tasting menus and afternoon teas.
There’s also a courtyard cafe and a shop where you can buy picnic ingredients and hire a hamper. Regular tea tastings take place on Wednesdays. You can also enjoy a tour of the estate’s new vineyard and taste wines from the Benguela Cove estate in South Africa, owned by the same family.