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Explore Nymans’ woodlands and wider estate

View of woodland and lily pond at Nymans in winter, West Sussex
Nymans woodland in full autumn splendour. | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Come and explore Nymans’ ancient oak and beech woodland, home to cascades, sandstone outcrops, a lake and a large variety of plants and wildlife. Can you find the tallest tree in Sussex, scurrying squirrels, birdlife on the lake, or fungi?

Child and adult having fun in the woods at Nymans, West Sussex
Fun in the woods at Nymans, West Sussex | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Autumn Highlights in the Woodland

Explore the captivating beauty of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as autumn paints the landscape with warm hues and crisp air. To make the most of your visit, keep these tips in mind:

🌲 Stick to Designated Paths: Help preserve the delicate ecosystem by staying on marked paths. This ensures both your safety and the conservation of the woodland's biodiversity. The edges of paths may look devoid of life but thousands of plants are lying dormant, waiting for Spring around the corner.

🍄 Discover the Fungal Diversity: Look out for familiar species like Fly Agaric and Shaggy Ink Caps Delve into the world of mushrooms and toadstools, but remember, some can be poisonous – it's best to admire them from a distance!

🐦 Bird Watching: As colder months arrive, the woodland becomes a refuge for wintering birds. Keep an eye out for Robins, Great Tits, and Woodpeckers. Binoculars can enhance your birdwatching experience.

🌳 Embrace the tranquility: Autumn in the High Weald is a great time for quiet reflection. Enjoy the crunch of leaves, the soft sunlight, and the calm breeze that define this season.

📸 Capture the Moment: Bring your camera to capture the beauty around you. Share your snaps with us on social media using #??? – we'd love to see your perspective on this captivating season.

Note: Please remember to respect the environment during your visit. Take your rubbish with you, keep noise levels down, and avoid disturbing wildlife. Let's work together to keep this woodland a haven for all who visit.

Planning your visit to the woodlands and estate

The wider estate is part of the High Weald, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1983, and the woodland is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

You can access the woodland from the visitor car park and there are three circular walks of different length that can be followed in either direction:

  • The Short Walk (pink arrows, 3/4 mile, 1.2km, some steep gradients and uneven ground) which passes through the arboretum and ancient woodland, by streams and wildflowers.
  • The Centenary Walk (blue arrows, 1.5 miles, 2.4km, some slopes and potentially muddy areas) passes through the arboretum and follows the Conifer Avenue down to the lake.
  • The Millennium Walk (orange arrows, 2.5 miles, 4 km, slopes, boardwalk, bridges, some steps and potentially muddy areas) heads through bluebell-filled woods, by the tallest tree and bird hide, and along a Medieval track.

Use the woodland map to help you plan your walk.

Download the map of the woodland (PDF)

Nymans’ woodland lies nestled in a valley, so some of the paths are steep and at times muddy. We recommend sturdy footwear and make sure you’re dressed for the weather.

Keep your eyes peeled for sculptures created by a local carver, David Lucas, of some of the wildlife you can spot here.

'These woods are so much part of the gardens at Nymans. They are the true English scene, the Midsummer Night’s Dream of my imagination.'

Anne Messel

Exlore the woodland on a tour

Each day we run 'Woods Buggy Tours' to help you discover the estate's 250 acres of wildlife-rich woodland. The volunteer-run tours start at 11.30am and 1.30pm and last around 1 hour. Please contact Visitor Reception on 01444 405133 if you need more information.

Walking dogs in the woodlands

Dogs are welcome in the woodlands under close control all year round. Please stick to the paths and keep your dogs in sight at all times. During bird nesting season, from 1 March until 31 August, please keep dogs on leads to protect ground-nesting species of birds.

The woods are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) partly for their breeding birds. Many birds nest in the shrub and bramble layer and are easily disturbed unintentionally by dogs running through. We ask for everyone’s support to help birds nest and rear their young.

Spot remnants of the Great Storm

The woodland was not spared the devastation of the Great Storm of 1987 and lost a huge amount of trees including mature oaks, beech and sweet chestnut trees, many hundreds of years old.

Not all the fallen trees could be removed and huge uprooted trees have left a tangle of vertical root plates exposed.

Washed over with soil during years of rain, wind and snow these have formed natural sculptures hung with mosses. In spring these are covered with primroses.

The Forecourt Garden at Nymans, West Sussex in June

Discover more at Nymans

Find out when Nymans is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Whatever the weather you can enjoy winding paths and wide avenues with colourful views across the woodland or towards the South Downs. At this time of year, dogs are welcome in the wider estate, but only assistance dogs are allowed in the garden. When visiting the woods, please keep dogs on leads and stay on paths to protect nesting birds. Nymans is a one pawprint rated place.

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