The garden this winter at Uppark

The house at Uppark in the morning frost, West Sussex

Uppark’s unique position, perched high above the South Downs, makes it a great location for a refreshing winter stroll. You can really blow away those indoor cobwebs here, as you wander across the gardens to take in the magnificent panoramic views. From January 2018 we’re welcoming dogs on leads too.

Uppark’s hill-top isolation lends the gardens a wonderful tranquillity and stillness, especially in these colder months. You’ll find rich remnants of colour in early winter - from the sedum that has turned a deep maroon, and the splashes of red and orange foliage in the beech woods. 

As winter progresses, the beautiful, skeletal forms of the trees become more evident. If you’re walking in the meadow look out for the wind-ravaged but majestic copper beech, shaped by the prevailing winds.  
 

Spikes of hoar frost on the main gates of Uppark
Hoar frost on Golden Gate at Uppark
Spikes of hoar frost on the main gates of Uppark

The garden you see today is believed to be the work of two of our most famous landscape gardeners: Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton. Brown, known for his ‘natural’ landscaping style, made significant changes to Uppark in the mid-eighteenth century, creating carefully orchestrated views for visitors to explore and enjoy. 

" 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

Repton is likely to have created Uppark’s series of circuit paths you can still use today. You’ll also discover elements of his more flamboyant ‘Rococco’ style landscaping, such as the beautiful carved Gothick seat that gives you views of the South Downs, and the ornate Coade urn near the entrance. 


Once you have explored the grounds, you might like to warm up with a creamy hot chocolate or hearty soup in our nearby café. We’ve got lots of seasonal treats on offer and everything is homemade. 

Meander around the grounds before warming up in the cafe
Dairy bank in the winter at Uppark, West Sussex
Meander around the grounds before warming up in the cafe

Every visit you make supports our garden team’s work to restore these grounds to their original eighteenth-century glory. If you come back in early spring you should see hundreds of newly planted spring bulbs in bloom. If the gardens get very wet underfoot in winter, we sometimes rope off small sections. 

 

The views across the South Downs are stunning throughout the year
Sun rising over the frost in the south meadow at Uppark, West Sussex
The views across the South Downs are stunning throughout the year