The garden at Uppark this summer

Out in the gardens of Uppark you can explore the tranquil gardens that lead the eye to endless views over the South Downs and out to sea. On fair weather days, the café sets up tables and chairs on the grass, so that you can take in the vista whilst enjoying a delicious treat.

A garden of changing tastes

The garden you see today is a mixture of work from prominent garden designers ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton, created c.1810 for Uppark’s then owner Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh. Areas of the garden, such as the wide glade, are more heavily influenced by Brown rather than Repton.  

Although not all of Repton’s plans were implemented, he is thought to be responsible for the Dairy and the Borghese vase on top of the mound at the top of the north drive as well as relocating the main approach to the house to where is it today.
 

" It would appear presumptive of me to suggest any improvement or alteration to a place which possesses so many natural advantages as Uppark."
- Humphry Repton

Take a seat

There are several benches in the gardens to relax on as you stroll around, including the ornately carved Gothick seat – a beautiful canopied, half-octagonal and ornately carved summerhouse dating from 1760 - well worth sitting on and taking in the view.

18th-century carved Gothick seat in Uppark's gardens
18th-century carved Gothick seat in Uppark's gardens

Discover our scented garden tucked away by the drive to the house; lilies and philadelphus smelling particularly sweet in the summer. Then take in the herbaceous border along the dairy bank is bursting with colour and life with clematis, yarrow and rock roses basking in the sun. This short stroll take you to the original 19th-century dairy where Sir Harry proposed to young dairy maid Mary Ann Bullock, after he’d heard her singing.

Close up of 'turks cap' Lily
Close up of Turks Cap Lily

Wander through the wide glade with its summer boarder including ‘purple tops’. Settle down on a bench and relax in this quiet space.

Stretch your legs

In early summer, thousands of native wildflowers appear amongst the soft waving grasses of Uppark’s garden meadow. Set on chalk grassland, the meadow supports a huge variety of wildflowers, from the pretty lilac-blue field scabious to ox-eye daisies and yellow rattle.

Flower-filled garden meadow at Uppark
Flower-filled garden meadow at Uppark

The meadow is managed in a very traditional manner, and sections of it are cut for hay in high summer. Grass paths are cut through the meadow so that visitors can wander right into its heart, and enjoy listening to the hum of insects in the summer sun.

Perfect for picnics

You're welcome to bring your own food to enjoy as a picnic in the South Meadow and take in the views across the South Downs.  If you fancy something extra then why not pick up snacks, cakes and ice cream to go from the Café and take it out into the gardens to enjoy?

We would suggest the wide glade behind the East Pavilion if you’re looking for some shade.
With a tempting selection of cakes and bakes, sandwiches and drinks in disposable cups, these are perfect to pick up and enjoy on the go or for a picnic with friends and family. 

There are also some delightful treats in the shop and if you've not got a rug to relax then you can always purchase your own from the shop.

Please do remember to pick up any litter once you've finished and take it home.