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Lakes & Lilies Festival | From 15 June and throughout the summer

The floating pontoon on Middle Lake surrounded by waterlilies at Sheffield Park and Garden
Lakes & Lilies Festival at Sheffield Park and Garden, Sussex | © John Miller

Sheffield Park and Garden’s picturesque lakes burst with colour during the summer months. From jewel-like waterlilies to meandering swathes of wildflowers or dramatic explosions of rhododendrons. The summer long Lakes & Lilies Festival is a celebration of this, with sights and activities for all-ages.

What does Lakes & Lilies have in store?

  • Majestic Waterlilies

The waterlilies take centre stage from 15 June. Experience a 360 degree view of the bright blooms and buzzing dragonflies from the floating pontoon, installed specially for this natural event. Look out for seven different species of waterlily, in different shades and colours, from buttery yellow to deep pink. Why not enjoy the gardens painted in golden evening hues with Summer Evening openings (25 & 27 July). Relax with a picnic and complete your evening with music from a singer and saxophonist floating across the lakes. Free but standard garden admission applies.

  • Stand up paddleboarding (SUP)

Get a ducks-eye-view of Sheffield Park and Garden this summer as we welcome stand up paddleboarding (SUP) on the far lake for the first time. SUP is a peaceful yet active way for all the family to enjoy the water whilst following in the footsteps of the Third Earl of Sheffield who loved nothing better than using the lakes for sport – he even held diving displays for the public to enjoy.

  • Waterlily Inspired Workshops

An artist’s eye. Try your hand at an art workshop this summer, all inspired by the glorious waterlilies. The series includes photography, watercolour and poetry sessions with all artistic abilities welcomed. The workshop series is aimed at adults.

  • Exotic Spots Family Trail

Saturday 20 July - Sunday 1 September.
Eight colourful animals are hanging out in Sheffield Park and Garden with their favourite exotic trees and plants, Can you spot them all? Trail is free, normal garden admission applies.

  • Kwik Cricket & Summer of Play

Balmy summer days are made for exploration, laughter and family adventures. Step away from the main lakes into the Stream Garden where you will find large garden games and activities. Or head up to the Cricket Pitch for free Kwik Cricket sessions every Wednesday during the holidays.

Brown bear illustration in front of the giant redwood
The brown bear on the Exotic Spots Family Trail at Sheffield Park and Garden | © Tom Sears and Tori Flower

Event details

Photography Workshops
Fri 28 & Sat 29 Jun | Fri 5 Jul | Sat 31 Aug.
8am - 12.30pm

Capture the spectacular waterlily display at one of our photography workshops. With access before the garden opens. Advanced booking essential.
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Watercolour Workshops
Mon 8 & Sat 13 Jul | Sun 11 & Thur 22 Aug
9.30am - 12.30pm

Artist Amanda Thesiger leads this watercolour workshop as part of our Lakes and Lilies Festival 2024. This workshop is aimed at adults and all artistic abilities are welcome. Advanced booking essential.
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Historic Water Systems Tour
Wed 17 Jul
9am - 11am

Part of the Festival of Archeology. Details coming soon.

Exotic Spots Family Trail
Daily, Sat 20 Jul - Sun 1 Sep

Eight colourful animals are hanging out in Sheffield Park and Garden with their favourite exotic trees and plants, Can you spot them all? Trail is free, normal garden admission applies.

Waterlily Walk with Senior Gardener Steve
Tue 23 Jul
10.30am - 12pm

As you admire species dating back to the early 1900s in shades varying from buttery yellow to deep pink, our Senior Gardener will talk about how you might be able to create your own aquatic paradise at home. Gardener Walks are free but normal garden admission applies. Pre-booking not required.
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Kwik Cricket
Every Wednesday from 24 Jul - 28 Aug
Drop-in, 10.30am - 4pm

Practise your skills this summer with our Kwik Cricket sessions on Sheffield Park’ and Garden's famous cricket pitch. A great chance to get your under 12s active and enjoying themselves. Kwik Cricket is free but normal garden admission applies.
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Summer Evenings
Thur 25 & Sat 27 Jul
5 - 9pm

Explore the gardens in a new light as Sheffield Park and Garden is painted with the golden hues of the long summer evenings. Relax with a picnic as you enjoy music from a singer and saxophonist floating across the lakes. Free event but standard garden admission applies.
Read more...

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Bioblitz on the Parkland
29 & 30 Jun
10am - 3.30pm

Join our team of wildlife experts on the parkland for a weekend of free activities counting the flora and fauna that lives in our countryside.
Read more...

Wildflower Walk with Head Gardener Jodie
Thur 4 Jul
10.30am - 12pm

Learn more about the beautiful wildflowers here at Sheffield Park this National Meadows Day. Gardener Walks are free but normal garden admission applies. Pre-booking not required.
Read more...

A patch of white waterlilies on the lake, with the house in the background, at Sheffield Park and Garden, E Sussex
Waterlilies on the lake, Sheffield Park and Garden, E Sussex | © National Trust Images/Chris Jonas
A mother and child walk hand in hand through the garden at Sheffield Park, East Sussex.

What's on at Sheffield Park

From Gardener Walks to workshops and family trails, see what's coming up at Sheffield Park and Garden.

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