Sussex Prairies Garden
Sussex Prairies Garden
4.5
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
exciting prairie garden of approx 8 acres planted in the naturalistic style using 50,000 plants of over 1000 different varieties.Expect layers of colour , texture and architectural splendour. Permanent sculpture collection and exhibited sculpture. Rare breed pigs, Cosy teashop and garden room artist in residence exhibition, small shop. Woodchip pathways inside borders not accessible but plenty of flat garden for both wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Accessible WC. Dogs welcome on a short lead. Please see website for opening days and dates .
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  • Philipmn
    Horsham, United Kingdom68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A truly beautiful surprise !
    I'm not quite sure what I was expecting to be absolutely honest however my expectations were exceeded in every way. A truly stunning place especially at this time of year. Being able to walk the paths between the plants was especially nice and the Indian Bazar was really lovely with some beautiful products to buy. I can definitely recommend this beautiful place with no hesitation at all !
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Nigel H
    Horsham, United Kingdom15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A delight
    I've been meaning to come here for ages, and finally got around to it. What a delight it is. An imaginative, spectacular lay out of unusual plants, friendly staff, nice tea shop. Dog friendly (although yesterday was too hot for my boy). Highly recommended.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 17, 2023
  • MONSTER-REVIEWS
    Horsham, United Kingdom46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning peaceful and beautiful
    This place is stunning and beautiful. It’s proved some great ideas for our garden. It’s all wonderful kept plenty to look at and the staff are all very friendly helping and knowledgeable. The cafe is pricey but aren’t they all when it comes to places like this. But the coffee was great and the cakes amazing so it is what it is. I have bought 40 plus plants from their nursery and they are great value and very healthy better then any where else. Highly recommended
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 28, 2023
  • Rosie F
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best garden we've ever visited.
    One of the prettiest gardens we've ever been to. Love the fact that you can walk through the planting along narrow winding paths. Even the entrance is exciting - weaving through tall, jungle like plants. So much to see other than the plants - interesting sculpture dotted amongst the planting, refreshments available, lots of places to sit and have a picnic, interesting RIBA shortlisted house to admire from outside, art gallery, shop. Really made to feel that the creators wanted to share their space with you.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 4, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles263 reviews
Excellent
196
Very good
46
Average
14
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Thewanderingwinos
Brighton, UK651 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
First real trip out since lock down, we chose here as it seemed a good option to get out whilst still remaining safe. £9 is a lot for one person to get in, £18 for two, then tea £2, cake another couple of quid and plants on average about £7.50, personally I think things are overpriced here, I would have been more inclined to buy a drink or a plant if prices were more reasonable. I think £5 each is more realistic for visiting this type of non-formal garden.
I really like this naturalistic sort of garden, there were lots of interesting plants and grasses with things well labeled with what they are and whether they are available in the shop. Staff were very friendly and helpful and the garden is made for social distancing with wide avenues and lots of alternative paths. We spent a couple of hours here, lots of seats dotted around so you can sit and chat, a nice shaded café area, pigs and sheep, a pond with dragonflies flitting around, there is not much for kids to ‘do’ here but tons of space for running around and letting of steam, and hedges for hide-and-seek. If I came here again I would be more inclined to buy a yearly ticket which for £20 is much better value, however you are not going to buy that straight away without seeing what the garden is like first. So overall a nice day out if the weather is good but if you go as a family group and want a full experience including café and plants then it starts to get expensive. Also we paid for our tickets online so that we didn’t have to queue to get in, but there was no separate queue for people who had done this so we had to still queue anyway, which defeated the object of paying online, so a bit of a pointless exercise, we might just as well have just paid there.
Written June 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review, and your feedback. As with most gardens, we offer an "upgrade," to a season ticket with a refund of your day ticket. That way you can try before you buy! We take your point about a separate queue for prepaid tickets being a good idea. If we can do that, we will. The cost of our teas and cake is comparable to other gardens in England, in fact cheaper than most! Our cakes are homemade and we pride ourselves in their quality. It's just a pity that the current restrictions mean that we have to sell them through a take-away hatch and you can't actually see them! We look forward to welcome you again, please make yourself known to Pauline on the gate kiosk.
Written June 18, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

VANAAD
11 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
As a local person who has known about Sussex Prairies for a long time but never taken the opportunity to visit.....in times of lockdown we vowed to take time to enjoy those natural beautiful things around us and support our local community. Although the gardens were thoughtfully planted and attracted beautiful butterflies, it was totally overpriced at £9.00 per person, entrance fee, £2.50 per person for a drink, total cost for a couple of hours over £20.00, for an eight acre gardens..... Leonardslee up the road is £12.50 for a 350 acre garden walk!!
Such a shame as it could be a little haven but in such difficult times certainly overpriced and underwhelmed with the gardens considering the price!
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review, and for visiting our garden. You clearly enjoyed your visit as you say the "the garden was thoughtfully planted and attracted beautiful butterflies." Rating gardens on a cost per acre basis is a novel approach, but can I ask for a level playing field? You compare entrance to Sussex Prairies for two persons, plus drinks, to entry for one to the beautiful Leonards Lee gardens! Our Season Tickets, at only £20 per adult, is specifically aimed at local people like yourself and works out at 20 pence per day, or less than 1 pence per acre per day if you prefer! Entry to the vast and impressive Borde Hill Gardens near Haywards Heath is also included, making our cost per acre an off the scale bargain! I am sorry and a little puzzled that you find £2 for a cup of tea, expensive. The prices of all our drinks and cakes are comparable with other Sussex gardens, and in some instances, cheaper. I hope I can tempt you back to our thoughtfully planted and beautiful garden, and maybe convince you to buy a season ticket! Best wishes Paul McBride Head Gardener
Written July 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Seaside828751
Patching, UK3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
This isn't a garden; it is a collection of plants. It isn't a prairie either; it is a number of borders. It is what it claims to be; the source of plants for a garden design business. It IS spectacular for the first few minutes, then you realise it has little variation, surprise or extra "wow factor". Would strongly recommend going instead to Borde Hill which is a real garden (visited two weeks before). With covid-19, catering here is limited, toilets rudimentary. I was hoping for so much more
Written August 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review. You raise an interesting philosophical question, what indeed, is a garden? The Oxford dictionary defines a garden thus “An enclosed piece of ground devoted to the cultivation of plants.” On that basis I rather think Sussex Prairie Garden makes the grade! I agree that we don’t have a “Prairie,” rather a garden inspired by and using many plants endemic to the north American grasslands known as Prairie. We have around 3000 different species of grasses and flowering plants in our garden. Prairie, or Naturalistic planting, aims to look and feel less formal than the traditional English garden. The plants attract huge numbers of butterflies and beneficial pollinating insects. Thanks for highlighting our garden design business, we are proud to have designed and created stunning gardens in the UK, France, Germany and Luxembourg using the beautiful plants you see in our garden. We are proud to be working with local authorities in the south of England to bring the prairies to the people!
Written August 26, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

weederKippford
Kippford34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Couples
We have been here many times, so we were interested to see how the current difficulties would be managed. We found the gardens very much as usual. A one way system is in place, so it’s easy to distance and the tea shop is operating a two window service so you can still have tea and cake. There is also now a picnic area and some lovely wee pigs to look at. The garden is so spacious you can always find your own spot to gaze.

If you haven’t been, this is an amazing and unique place, where you can walk, actually in, vast borders of prairie planting, where you will get so many ideas for your garden or pots. The plant shop often sells things you have seen in the garden and has a selection of those lovely rusty plant supports, reasonably priced.
Written June 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are very happy to be able welcome you back in this challenging year. Thank you for taking the time to write your review.
Written June 18, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Spiceball
Haywards Heath, UK2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
As an experienced gardener ( now retired) friends & acquaintances have recommended that I visit Sussex Prairie Gardens so I finally have and what a disappointment it proved to be.
It has been a hot dry spring in the southeast, creating a few challenges for gardeners , but my visit in showed me very poor management of the conditions we've had recently. Some plants had been very badly scorched by, I would think, watering overhead in full sun and in several areas plants were wilted quite beyond recovery.
Although I know that this garden should be at its best in August or September, this does not bode well as a start for the coming season here.
At £9 per person to see a modest 8 acres of garden, I would expect a better standard of plantsmanship from any garden opening to the public; indeed I have seen better management in many NGS gardens across SE England..
Written June 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Sue thank you for taking the time to write your review . You are of course entitled to your own response to our garden . In these challenging times we have tried our very best to save our garden for the public to enjoy and gain respite and relief from all that we have been facing and continue to face .A severely reduced workforce and financial pressures have been a challenge for us this year .When you visit Sussex Prairies you are given the right and opportunity to explore our whole 32 acre farm - enjoy picnics , wander in and enjoy the prairie garden and enjoy the wild countryside . To me that is a beautiful and life enhancing moment and one that I , in the ticket office , might have explained to you on entering the garden . Some of our plants are unusual varieties , and have also been bred specifically by us . This may of course not be evident to one and all and we don't make a song and dance about this aspect of our plant collection . We don't need to . We are as we are .These plants would not necessarily be seen in your average garden , even NGS garden. Contrary to your suggestion, we have not been able to water this year due to financial constraints on our business. . The garden was subjected to three hard frosts this spring which has resulted in significant damage to some plants . We have only now been able to start spot watering to try and save our plants that we can which are suffering from drought .Sadly I am not a rain master , nor can I conjure up a more amenable climate ! Hey ho ! You cant win them all ! We look forward to welcoming you again to give us a second chance !
Written June 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

vsecord2003
Worthing, UK26 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Our first visit but won't be the last as it will be nice to see other flowers in different seasons. We were encouraged to get in amongst the planting by walking through the narrow woodchip paths which snaked through the flowers and grasses, a novel experience! To a child it would seem like going through a maze as some plants were quite tall.
Social distancing measures were in place because of the coronavirus risk but hot and cold drinks and light refreshments were available to have outside on the patio. We chose ice cream as it was so warm that afternoon.,
There was an interesting art and craft exhibition but I am not sure if that is a permanent feature.
A good selection of pot plants ( and sculptures ) are available for sale too.
We only saw one of the pigs mentioned and the sheep were hiding too the day that we visited.
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review of our garden ... next time we will try and get both of our pigs out on show and the sheep must have been hunkering down in the long grass . They are Shetland sheep so once shorn are small and easily missed ! Glad you enjoyed walking into the borders which is exactly the experience we want everyone to enjoy ! the garden will have changed again by the time you return - which i hope you will do ! Our artist in residence exhibition in the garden gallery (this year featuring Claire Fearon ) is indeed a permanent fixture .. other pieces of sculpture in the garden come and go ! Lots more events on the horizon which i hope might tempt you !
Written July 3, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anita S
Brighton, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
I'm so grateful to Pauline and Paul McBride for making the gardens available a few days ahead of their official season opening for my Big Number birthday. It was a beautiful place for our small group of friends to connect, with literally acres of room to stroll and natter. Loved Pauline's tour and talk about the passion that drove the creation of the garden. It is an amazing place: hornbeam hedges echoing the shape of the South Downs behind, giving structure to layers of leaves and flowers as the deep walk-through borders power-up for a spectacular summer. Birdsong, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, delicious cake, art, sculpture... and splendid sunshine. I've been a frequent visitor for several years, and it was lovely to share it with friends. We're all coming back!
Written June 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Honestly it was our pleasure to do so ! capturing the early season buzz of the garden at the cusp of its explosion into summer is a rare and special moment - so glad we were able to share it with you , your family and friends . we look forward to welcoming you all back soon !
Written July 3, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tanzicat
Crawley, UK235 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
We loved the relaxed feel about the place. The planting is unusual and varied with wonderful swathes of colour and it is not too big.

On my first visit I paid the £9 which I thought was good value - as I left I upgraded to an annual pass for £20 which is unbelievable value as it also gets you into Borde Hill.
So 4 visits later and one visit to Borde Hill and I have had my money back several times over.
The quality of the plants from the nursery are excellent. Also I enjoyed the craft fairs and garden art.
It is a bit hit and miss with the coffee and cake - cake portions seem to vary enormously and not too keen on the coffee but the tea is fine.
Recently tried the woodfired pizza at the craft fair and it was delicious.
Written August 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SussexMark
Bolney, UK202 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Couples
First visited as lockdown restrictions started to be eased. It was one of the few places locally we could turn upto and get into without pre booking. Very well presented Gardens with lots of plant variety, great tea and cake options (particularly Coffee & Walnut cake)! and good plant centre too. Annual season ticket £20 is a bargain as also gives access to Borde Hill gardens. Have been back several times as only 15 min from home. Dog friendly too. Open afternoons til October.
Written August 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of our gardens. Its so exciting isn't it to discover hidden gems on your doorstep ! the beauty of coming many times over the season with a season ticket is that you can appreciate how the garden changes over time. Just now we have the big grasses coming into flower with a real metallic sheen to catch that late autumn sunshine and we can enjoy the later fluffy hazy hue over the garden . Mixed with the later flowering asters we are in dreamscape mode !
Written September 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Legroom_Needed
Lewes, UK157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
One of our favourite local gardens which is always a delight to visit throughout the year. Offers Gardener’s World 2-4-1 entry but don’t use it at the moment, all places need as much direct financial support as they can get. Not very big to stroll around but we mostly go for a short stroll and a slice of cake, checking out a random art exhibit if on at the time.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your very kind review and support of our special garden space ! there's lots more to come in the season as we gradually start to enjoy a prairie flowering revealed ! (weather permitting of course !) So glad you enjoyed your visit to our garden and of course there is always homemade cake to enjoy !
Written July 3, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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