Making the most of your autumn visit at Sheffield Park and Garden

Autumn colours reflect in the lake at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

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.

Early bird opening

This year, from Monday 17 September to Sunday 4 November, we will be opening early so you can see the autumn colour in the early morning when the lake reflections are at their best. The gift shop and tea-room will also be opening early.

Autumn brings glorious colour to Sheffield Park and Garden
Sheffield Park Sussex in autumn
Autumn brings glorious colour to Sheffield Park and 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).  On occasion, 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), or Brighton, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill on Sundays until the end of October (769).

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 pleasant walk across the parkland.

Bluebell Railway is also running a free vintage bus service from Brighton to Sheffield Park station on Sunday 7th October.  Find out more on their website Bluebell Railway

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.  The tea-room is open 10am to 5pm daily, and serves the full menu of hot and cold lunches, snacks, cakes and drinks.  There is plenty of seating both indoors and out.

During peak times, we will also be serving light snacks, cakes, scones and hot and cold drinks from The Pantry.  Located next to the Coach House, 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. An additional Tea Tent will be located in the car park for those who want a 'grab-and-go' drink or snack.

If you're in the garden and just need light refreshments, visit The Shant for teas, coffees, cold drink, sandwiches, ice creams and cake bars.

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.

We hope you enjoy your visit.