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 in a safe way during this popular season, so here are some tips on getting the most out of your visit.

Leaves and lakes in October at Sheffield Park

Autumn Colour Watch

With such a constantly changing spectacle we know that the hardest thing about autumn here at Sheffield Park is deciding when to visit. Our autumn news pages will help give you some more details on what is looking particularly great right now. Please note: Visitors will need a pre-booked ticket to visit. Every Friday we release tickets for the following week. Unfortunately tickets will not be available at the gate and need to be booked by 3pm the day before.

Top tips

  • Visitors will need a pre-booked ticket to visit during our extremely popular autumn season. Every Friday we release new tickets for the following week. Unfortunately tickets will not be available at the gate and need to be booked by 3pm the day before. Book your Sheffield Park tickets here.

  • We kindly ask that you maintain social distancing to keep all visitors and staff safe. To help with this we request that you follow the one-way in and one-way out system in the garden.

  • We request that masks are worn in the reception building, toilets, shop and in the tea-room once open.

  • Our shop next to reception and plant sales area are open.  

  • Our tea-room re-opens on Monday 28 September. To ensure social distancing we have removed many of the tables in the tea-room and we aren't able to reserve tables in advance. Unfortunately this does mean that queues in the Coach House may be longer than usual. Read more about our food and beverage options below. 

  • We are currently only accepting card payments in the shop and in our food and beverage outlets. 

  • Whilst we are operating the pre-booking system, dogs are welcome in the garden at any time. We kindly ask that you keep your dog on a short lead. Dogs are also allowed in the tea-room on a lead. 

 

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 peak time. As advanced bookings are required during our autumn colour season we advise that you visit outside of school half-term (Monday 26 to Friday 30 October) if you are able to avoid disappointment. Every Friday we release new tickets for the following week. Book your Sheffield Park tickets here.

Follow us on social media to find out what is looking good in the gardens now. Or check our autumn news blog

Early bird opening

From Monday 21 September to Sunday 8 November, we will be opening at 9am so you can see the autumn colour in the early morning when the lake reflections are at their best. The gift shop will also be opening early. Usual opening time is 10am. As with other times of day early bird entry will need to be booked in advance. Every Friday we release new tickets for the following week. Book your Sheffield Park tickets here.

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

Where can I park?

Parking is free and will be included in your advanced booking for the gardens. 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. 

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. 

Please do check train and bus times with the relevant company before travelling. 

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

Eating and drinking

Our Coach House tea-room is now re-open, serving a selection of cakes, sandwiches and a limited hot food menu of soup and one pots. You will find the Coach House located a short walk to the west of the main entrance - just follow the signposted path. You can leave the garden to use the tea-room throughout the day.  

Our opening times from 28 September are 9.30am - 5pm with last orders at 4.45pm.

We've reorganised things to help keep everyone safe

  • To ensure social distancing we have removed many of the tables in the tea-room and we aren't able to reserve tables in advance. Unfortunately this does mean that queues in the Coach House may be longer than usual. Staff will be on hand to help during busy times. Please wear a face covering when in the Coach House, unless you are seated at a table. 
  • We are pleased to be offering compostable tableware. Please help us by placing it in general waste after use where it will break down naturally. 
  • The toilets will be open and we have put in place a queuing system to help ensure everyone's safety. During busy times this may involve queuing outside. 
  • We are currently only accepting card payments. 


If you're wandering in the garden, why not visit The Shant for teas, coffees, cold drinks, sandwiches, scones, cream teas and snacks. 

The Shant will be open from 9.30am - 4.30pm and accepting card payments only. 

Following government advice we have removed the seating in The Shant but please do feel free to find a quiet bench or picnic spot within the gardens. 

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

Is the shop open?

Yes our shop, located next to reception, is open for the same hours as the gardens so do pop in for a browse. We stock a wide array of local Sussex specialities and hand-crafted goods alongside National Trust favourites. 

You will find our plant sales area just outside the reception building. We stock a large number of plants and gardening essentials plus a selection of the trees that bring such beautiful autumn colour to Sheffield Park.  

Please wear a face covering in the shop.

We are currently only accepting card payments. 

 It is through your purchases that we are able to continue looking after Sheffield Park and Garden for everyone, for ever. Thank you for your suppprt. 

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 book in advance subject to availability - please call 01825 790231. 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?

Dog peering through bridge at Sheffield Park East Sussex

Dog walking at Sheffield Park and Garden

Whilst we are operating the pre-booking system, dogs are welcome in the garden at any time. Find all the details you need to know here plus information about our dog-friendly facilities.

We hope you enjoy your visit.