Houses and Gardens

Anne of Cleves House. Explore how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived, worked and relaxed at home. Find out about the part played by this beautiful medieval house in the story of one of England’s most famous kings, Henry VIII. Other highlights include the authentically furnished kitchen and the garden which uses traditional plants and Tudor planting schemes.


Batemans, near Burwash. Now owned by the National Trust, the much-loved family home of Rudyard Kipling; a charming 17th-century house nestled in the Sussex Weald with mullioned windows and oak beams. The rooms at Bateman’s remain much as he left them, including his book-lined study. Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer.


Michelham Priory. Find out about Michelham’s fascinating 800 year history, from its foundation by Augustinian canons, through the destruction caused by the dissolution of the monasteries in Tudor times and into its later life as a country house.


Marlipins Museum. The striking chequerboard flint and Caen limestone facade is part of one of the oldest Norman buildings in Sussex. The museum tells the story of Shoreham’s maritime and local history from prehistoric to medieval times. Two unexpected local industries, illustrated by the museum’s collection of historic photographs, are Shoreham airport and Shoreham Beach film industry. Once the centre of the UK’s silent movie industry, the film companies set up here in 1914, drawn by the special quality of the light.


Nymans. In the late 1800’s Ludwig Messel bought the Nymans Estate in the High Weald to make a dream family home. Inspired by the wooded surroundings, they created a garden with plants collected from around the world. Here this creative family entertained friends and family, enjoyed relaxing, playing and picnicking in the garden and woods. Today it is still a garden lovers’ home – a place to relax all year round and enjoy a peaceful country garden. The house was partially destroyed by fire in 1947, and the romantic ruins of a fairytale gothic mansion remain. Nymans is one of the National Trust’s most eco-friendly properties and aims to inspire a more sustainable way of living.


The Priest House. The only one of its kind open to the public, this beautiful 15th century Wealden hall house stands in a traditional cottage garden on the edge of the Ashdown Forest in picturesque West Hoathly. The house was owned in turn by Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Anne of Cleves, Mary I and Elizabeth I. It is now furnished with 17th & 18th century country furniture and domestic objects while the garden is planted with over 170 culinary, medicinal & household herbs. The resident curator gives fascinating tours of the house and garden if requested.


Standen is a late Victorian family home brought vividly to life in this gem of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Standen is hidden at the end of a quiet Sussex lane with breathtaking views over the High Weald and Weirwood Reservoir. The design of the house is a monument to the combined genius of architect Philip Webb and his friend William Morris. All the big names of the Arts & Crafts period are represented, including ceramics by William De Morgan and metalwork by W. A. S. Benson. The beautiful hillside gardens provide year-round interest; the woodlands, a number of easily accessible walks.


Wakehurst. The National Trust’s most visited place. Open throughout all year round, Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and is a particularly wonderful place to visit in Winter and Spring. The varied landscape is of international significance for its beautiful botanic gardens and tree collections, as well as for its science-based plant conservation and research. A feast for the senses, Wakehurst features natural woodland and lakes, formal gardens, an Elizabethan house (five unfurnished rooms) and the 21st-century architecture of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.