Last June, after seeing so many beautiful pictures of Sheffield Park we decided to head down there on a Saturday.
Sheffield Park Garden is owned by the National Trust, it's an informal landscape garden five miles east of Haywards Heath, in East Sussex. It was originally laid out in the 18th century by Capability Brown.
Firstly, the scenery is stunning. When you arrive and walk through the Visitor's Centre you will see all the bright pinks and whites of the Rhododendrons, there are many pathways to choose from circling the lakes through the wooded glades which all smell amazing.
The first lake we walked around had a large eucalyptus tree, at the bottom of the tree were some mushrooms called Chicken of the Wood - we've eaten these before and basically, when cooked, they have the texture of chicken. We could also see many ghost carp swimming close to the surface of the lake and lots of mallards.
Each area seems to be full of so much colour, with all the plants, trees and flowers reflecting into the water it really is beautiful.
We crossed the bridge over the waterfall and stopped for a picnic on the grass. Be warned - you may be joined by some friendly ducks looking to share your food. The kids found this hilarious having ducks eat from their hands.
A swan also came and had a little nose around.
We also came across some huge prehistoric looking plants with massive leaves, I think they are called Gunnera, but whatever they are - they are pretty impressive!
There were some low twisty-branched trees to climb on and then of course the huge Redwoods (Giant Sequoia) the largest is over 40 metres tall with a girth of over 8 meters - making it the biggest Giant Sequoia in the UK. One of the trees exploded in 2012 when it was struck by lightning, now all that is left is the stump which was great for the kids to climb on and try and count the rings, I've been told it was 125 years old.
Just after we'd looked at the trees the rain came - and it really came down heavy (along with thunder). We had to take shelter in some bushes and ended up under a large tree beside one of the lakes.
It rained for a long time and, in the end, we had no choice but to run for the car as we were already drenched, I had been organised and brought an umbrella, I just happened to leave it in the car along with our coats!
Sheffield Park and Garden is a stunning place, and I'd really love to go and visit again in the Autumn when the trees will be displaying their beautiful orange and red colours.
Look up the National Trust for places to visit near you.