Plan your autumn visit to Sheffield Park and Garden

We know that lots of you love to come and enjoy the autumn colour spectacular at Sheffield Park and Garden, and we want to welcome as many of you as possible during this popular season, so here are some tips on getting the most out of your visit.

When is the best time to see the autumn colours?

That really depends on the weather. Autumn colour can start as early as mid-September and last until mid-November. We have a huge variety of native and non-native tree species which all reach their peak at different times, so there should always be something to see throughout the season. The second half of October is often a particular peak time. 

Early bird opening

From Monday 23 September to Sunday 10 November, we will be opening at 9.30am so you can see the autumn colour in the early morning when the lake reflections are at their best. The gift shops and tea-room will also be opening early. Usual opening time is 10am. 

Late autumn colours in the garden
Sheffield Park late autumn trees towards Pulham Falls
Late autumn colours in the garden

Where can I park?

Our car park can get very full during autumn, particularly on peak days (weekends and school half-term holidays), and during peak hours (11am to 2pm).  Weather allowing, we may provide additional parking on the parkland.  This does mean an extra five minute walk to the garden, but if you have any accessibility issues, please ask our friendly car park assistants on arrival and they will direct you to one of our accessible spaces.

Sometimes we do have to close the car park when it reaches capacity and we have to turn visitors away.  If this happens, we will update the website and our social media pages as soon as we can.  If you arrive and the car park is closed, please don’t park on the roadside verges as this creates a danger for other road users.

What about public transport?

Sheffield Park is accessible by bus from Lewes on Saturdays (121).

Alternatively, you can visit us by steam train using the Bluebell Railway link from East Grinstead, Kingscote or Horsted Keynes.  The Sheffield Park station is approximately 0.75 miles from the garden, reached via a walk across the parkland. Suitable off-road footwear is advised. 

Acer leaves in autumn at Sheffield Park, East Sussex
Acer leaves in autumn at Sheffield Park East Sussex
Acer leaves in autumn at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

Where can I get something to eat and drink?

Our tea-room is located in the Coach House at the entrance side of the car park.  You can leave the garden to use the tea-room and then re-enter as many times as you like throughout the day.  During Autumn early opening (23 Sep to 10 Nov) the tea-room is open 9.30am to 5pm daily, and serves the full menu of hot and cold lunches, snacks, cakes and drinks. Usual opening hours are 10am - 5pm until 3 November and until 4pm for the rest of the season. 

There is plenty of seating both indoors and out. Dogs are welcome in the garden room of the Coach House tea-room at all times. To access this, please walk around the left hand side of the building, past the Secondhand Bookshop and turn right to enter through the garden.

During peak times, we will also be serving light snacks, cakes, scones and hot and cold drinks from The Pantry which is located to the left of the Coach House and next to the Bookshop. You are still free to use the tea-room seating, but this offers a quick-service option for those not looking for a hot meal. 

In the gardens

If you're wandering in the garden and just need light refreshments, visit The Shant for teas, coffees, cold drink, sandwiches and snacks. 

We have a new spot for refreshments this year. The Pitch stop is a converted horse box located on the cricket pitch selling teas, filter coffee and snacks. 

Catering in the garden, available from The Shant
Sheffield Park The Shant
Catering in the garden, available from The Shant

Look out for signs on-site to direct you to the different options. If you'd like to find out more about the trees and shrubs in the garden, pick up a autumn colour leaflet from reception or join one of the tours that run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am.

Are the gardens accessible?

The majority of the garden is accessible, there are some slopes and paths made of a non-gravel surface. Mobility scooters are available to borrow subject to availability - please call 01825 790231 to book one in advance for your visit. Wheelchairs are also available to borrow subject to availability - please ask reception on arrival. Please note that the parkland and Walk Wood are rougher terrain.

During peak times please ask our friendly car park assistants on arrival to direct you to one of our accessible spaces. At other times, mobility parking is available in the main car park, 50 yards from reception. Additional mobility parking is located beyond the coach park, 50 yards from the tea-room. Please note this is 150m from reception along a firm surface that is uneven in places.

There is an induction loop in reception and the shop.

Assistance dogs are welcome across the whole property.

Accessible toilets are located adjacent to reception and in our Coach House tea-room. 

The tea-room has easy sloped access suitable for wheelchairs.

Please do ask our staff if you require any further assistance. They will be happy to help. 

Read our full access guidelines (PDF)

I'm coming with my family. Any tips?

Sheffield Park is a fantastic place to visit for all ages. Be sure to check our Autumn adventures for families page for all the latest events and activities. 

Baby change facilities are located in the toilet block near Visitor Reception and in the Coach House tea-room. 

Sheffield Park is a breastfeeding friendly venue.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs on short leads (not extendable ones) are welcome in the garden after 1.30pm daily. We also welcome dogs on leads on the parkland and off-lead in East Park at any time. Spare leads are available to borrow from reception in exchange for your extendable one.

Dog waste bins are provided on the three entry points onto the parkland along the drive and inside the garden on the reception building. Dog waste bags are available on the bins or from reception

Drinking water for dogs is available at reception and the tea-room. Outdoor seating is available at the tea-room for visitors with dogs.

Dogs are welcome in the Garden Room in the tea-room, which can be accessed around the back of the Coach House.

Assistance dogs are welcome across the whole property during opening hours. 

We hope you enjoy your visit.