Denmans Garden
Denmans Garden
3.5
Speciality & Gift Shops • Gardens
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9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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About
Under new management since 2018, award-winning Denmans Garden is the former home and garden of internationally reknowned landscape designer, John Brookes and features unusual plants, ponds, a walled garden, and conservatory. It also features many forms of gravel gardens which were started by Joyce Robinson, the garden's founder, in 1970 and developed further by John. A peaceful and stunning 4 acre garden, nestled at the foot of the Sussex South Downs, that has been greatly restored with restoration efforts underway. The garden won Gold in the 2021 South and Southeast East in Bloom Competition, and was named a Finalist in the RHS Partner Garden of the Year 2021 competition. Denmans is open Thursdays for free to card-carrying RHS members.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3.5
193 reviews
Excellent
75
Very good
47
Average
28
Poor
31
Terrible
12

Gillian R
Storrington, UK34 contributions
Nov 2022
I love going to Denman's - it's such a friendly place and the staff are clearly devoted to its wonderful family heritage and justly very proud of it. Recently it's made improvements, following the sad death of the original founder, extended its plants for sale area, and added a beautiful natural area with bug and bee hotels. Forget the big brash garden centres and nurseries, the staff have made the plant display area so appealing with lovely old urns and containers, beautiful plants and associated paraphernalia. However, the lovely main Denman's gardens look so gorgeous any time of the year, and if you want to while away a blissful afternoon, they are so compact that in 45 minutes you can see all there is to see. Although if you wish to linger for, which is highly recommended then a couple of hours is perfect. You won't be disappointed.
Last week when I visited, we called in for coffee and lunch, followed by tea in the beautifully designed café/restaurant, where I've often previously called into.
Unfortunately, this was disappointing. Not the food or the venue itself, but purely because of the rudeness of (I presume) the Manager. We had already eaten and had coffee there and returned for tea. Yes, it was 3.30pm and yes, we were aware it closed at 4pm. However, the pot of tea I was given was barely lukewarm so I politely mentioned it, and it was kindly replaced by a lovely hot pot. This meant that I needed more milk but when I apologetically asked for a smidgen more, the Manager sighed theatrically and brusquely informed me that they were closing in 3 minutes. Moreover, he chastised me like a small child and said: 'You already knew that because you asked earlier, and then decided to go to the gardens after eating lunch'. With that he walked off. I didn't get my milk, even though technically they were still open, and therefore had to abandon my fresh tea. If the tea had been hot to start with, it wouldn't have delayed us leaving before closing. In my experience, if someone has ordered food and drink within opening hours, you don't deny them the right to consume it.
Bad form. I will not be returning to the restaurant.
Written November 13, 2022
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.

Dennis T
London, UK104 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Even in January, Denmans is an intriguing modern garden with an emphasis on exotic plants like palms and euphorbias, though we also saw homelier flowers of the season such as snowdrops and cyclamen. Varied statues, areas of gravel and blue benches surprise the eye here and there. Entry is free for all visitors during January, so hurry along! We had a nice Sunday roast lunch in the tea room, which has a view of the garden, although I must say that the beef was a bit tough. There is also a small nursery selling plants.
Written January 26, 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.

Jane
5 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
As the sun was glorious I decided to walk to Denman's with Wolfie, my dog and we had a lovely time. I was delighted that this dog friendly tea rooms was now truly dog friendly. Previously, dogs were not allowed into the area where you go to order your food, which was always was problematic when popping in on my own. The staff are charming and very helpful and so we did manage. However, this morning was different, Wolfie was allowed into the ordering area and it made the whole experience more relaxing and enjoyable. I could study the delicious array of scones, cakes and the board explaining the range of coffees and teas and daily specials. There was an interesting and extensive selection of soft drinks too. Had I needed gluten free that was also catered for. I chose my usual mocha and a toasted tea cake - something I hadn't had for years, both were super.

It being January, there was free entry into the garden, so Wolfie and I continued our walk in there, before returning on our homeward journey. I enjoyed taking some photographs of the snowdrops, crocus, hellebores and some of the more sculptural looking plants. It was very relaxing and I also had an interesting chat with the gardeners who gave me some fun insights about the garden. So in conclusion, I had a creative, cultural and tasty morning out and I am planning to return to the cafe with a friend next week and then my 4 stars may become 5, as it is always nicer to have a coffee accompanied with a chat.
Written January 28, 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.
How lovely to hear that you and Wolfie had a good visit to the gardens as well as the tea rooms. We changed our policy about dogs in the coffee bar where you order your food just for the reason you outlined -- impossible for someone stops by solo. It's good to know that we did the right thing...and fun to hear that you saw the snow drops etc. There are loads now but only a couple of years ago they were few and far between. With all the work that has been done to cut back overgrown shrubs and put the garden back to rights, light is falling in areas where dark shade used to rule. As a result long-dormant bulbs (and roses, if you can believe it) have been popping up unexpectedly. It is a huge reward to the gardeners for all their hard work. We look forward to your return!
Written February 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lin117
Brighton, UK165 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
A stunningly beautiful garden. Only 4 acres but packed with a fantastic array of plants.
It was lovely to hear the history of the gardens from staff who were very welcoming and obviously passionate about the gardens and the restoration work that has been done.
We really enjoyed our time there and hope to return again to view it in the summer months too.
The garden had a real serenity about it.
The gift shop, plant sake and lovely cafe/ restaurant all added to a very enjoyable morning.
It was great that dogs are also welcome.
We felt the price to get in was reasonable - but thought maybe a yearly membership offer might be nice and a slightly more affordable way to encourage visitors to return more regularly through the months?
Thanks you to staff for being so welcoming.
Written March 26, 2023
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.

GOLFGOD2019
Worthing53 contributions
Apr 2021
Booked our visit on line, which was very easy and then met by a delightful lady who explained the gardens’ history and gave us a map etc. The gardens are a joy, very relaxed and informal but literally bursting with new growth ready for the summer. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed and we shall be back each month to see the changes that are being made. So delighted that Denmans is open again and cannot wait to visit the cafe when it opens. Huge good luck to all the Denmans team.
Written May 2, 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.

ClevelandGolfinggirl
Cleveland36 contributions
May 2022
We saw several very historic and well known gardens, but this was my favorite. Although not as large as Sissinghurst or Great Dixter, there was a special quality to this garden that is difficult to capture in words. You feel like you are stepping into someone's personal and private vision. The pathways lead the eye to more intimate areas of beauty and the gravel garden is so unique and well planted. There is a lovely gift store and plant shop with the healthiest specimens! We felt so at home and were treated so warmly. This was an experience that I could not have missed. We drove way out of our way, but it was worth the trip. Even my non gardening husband liked this garden best of all and this was a gardening tour vacation.
Written May 30, 2022
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.

GoNoGluten2017
Yapton, UK92 contributions
Jan 2020
Sunny January afternoons require going out for coffee and cake and glad we chose to visit the cafe. Really good selection of gluten free cakes which are served for you with separate servers to avoid cross contamination which is crucial for Coeliacs. All very clean but with a slightly old fashioned (in a good way) feel. GF Victoria Sponge recommended.
Written January 21, 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 very much for your lovely review -- the Victoria Sponge is one our favourites! We also have gluten-free gravy with our Sunday Roast dinners because we know how important it is to those who must be gluten-free. Next time take a walk through the gardens!
Written January 23, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

carole52
8 contributions
Sep 2022
Have not visited here for quite a while and what a transformation- beautiful planting , you can see and feel the love and attention that has one into creating such a special atmosphere. Lovely cafe too providing delicious lunches. Will definately visit again- perhaps in the winter as an all year garden
Written September 3, 2022
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.

Vacation830692
3 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
We had a free afternoon so popped over to Denman Gardens which was open to the public again. Everything was Covid complient, and due to it being out doors it felt safe and not over crowded. We were able to wonder around the gardens and admire the booming flowers and plants. The staff there were very helpful and friendly.
Written July 4, 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.

Anthony
London226 contributions
Apr 2023 • Solo
I have not been back to this place since 2018 primarily due to the former obnoxious staff and manageress and was pleasantly surprised.

Everyone was friendly and welcoming and there was a great selection of unusual crafts, pots etc and some lovely plants to purchase. I stumbled across the cafe bar which was ultra-clean and manned by a couple of very friendly guys. I ordered the mega-fry up which was excellent and fully satisfying plus a specialty coffee. It was sunny today and I was able to sit in the heat amongst the walled garden environment.

I will definitely return and try some of the other interesting dishes. Harissa fried egg on toast with hummus sounds enticing!
Written April 7, 2023
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.

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Denmans Garden (Fontwell) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Denmans Garden

Denmans Garden is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Tue - Sat 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM


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