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Outstanding 20th-century garden, set around a romantic house and ruins, in beautiful woodland

In the late 1800s Ludwig Messel bought the Nymans Estate in the Sussex High Weald to make a dream family home. Inspired by the wooded surroundings he created a garden with plants collected from around the world. Here this creative family entertained friends and family, enjoyed relaxing, playing and picnicking in the garden and woods. Today it is still a garden lovers' home - a place to relax all year round and enjoy a peaceful country garden.

The house was partially destroyed by fire in 1947 and the romantic ruins of a fairytale gothic mansion remain. We are one of the National Trust's most eco- friendly properties and we aim to inspire a more sustainable way of living.

Inspired by the garden lovers' home there is a large shop and plant centre with our special collection of plants grown on site as well as a redesigned café offering a choice of seasonal food made by us, a Grab & Go kiosk in the tea garden and woodland craft sales.

Every day there are guided walks and talks in the garden and woods, a small gallery in the house with changing exhibitions for every season, a secondhand bookshop, shop tastings and mobility tours of the garden and woods. For children there are natural play trails, geocaching in the garden and woods, pick up and go activities and school holiday trails.

Dog owners: Dogs are welcome in the woodland only and must be kept on leads during the bird nesting season 1 March - 31 July.

Try a mid week visit


Weekends can be a particularly busy time for us, especially following BBC Four's 'British Gardens in Time' series, which featured Nymans. Why not discover Nymans' delights on a quieter mid-week visit?  The garden is looking lovely with the South  African and Mediterranean borders providing some long lasting colour, the fabulously colourful summer borders,and peaceful wildflower meadow in the Pinetum. New planting in the Forecourt garden has been particularly successful and looks stunning on a sunny summers afternoon with subdued silvers and greens punctuated by opulent plums and crimsons.

Free guided walks with a ranger are available on a daily basis at 11.15am & 1.45pm - just turn up, there's no need to book.

The ultimate summer garden

Lavender in the forecourt garden at Nymans

Our striking summer borders are filled with traditional English flowers and the forecourt garden bursts with the warm floral scent of summer.

Bold swathes of long lasting, vivid colour can be found in the Mediterranean and South African borders in front of the house and you can explore our wild garden where many rare plants have been growing for over a century.  

Highlights of the summer garden

50 Things: Our challenge to you....

’50 Things’

Are you up for a challenge? Complete 10 of the '50 things' in just one day to claim a special certificate for your scrapbook. Grab an explorer's map from the 50 things gazebo, pick up a challenge sheet and you're on your way.

For younger children grab a spotter sheet & find our natural play features in the garden.   

50 things at Nymans

Open air theatre

Choose from a variety of performances this summer

This summer enjoy one of our open air productions in the peaceful setting of the Pinetum.  Bring a picnic with you - it's the perfect place for picnicking - and experience some great summer theatre. Don't forget the fizz..

The garden is a great spot for picnicking or, if the café is more your style, let us tempt you with the perfect teatime treat.

Search our summer events

Stories from the Great War

Leonard Messel during WW1 © NT/Nymans

Our new exhibition for the summer reveals soldiers' personal accounts of life on the front line during the First World War.

Exploring the impact of the war on the Messel family at Nymans, the exhibition looks at their German heritage and how this affected them during those crucial years.

 Stories of a German Family in England

there were our own / there were the othe...

Leonard Messel during WW1 © NTPL

This summer, 23 National Trust places across the country are inviting visitors to share a silent walk of remembrance to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

'there were our own / there were the others' is a project conceived by the artist Alec Finlay.

Find out more about the project