Leonardslee Lake and Gardens

05th May 2010
Bank Holiday Monday, i decided to go to Leonardslee Lake and Garden in Horsham, East Sussex for the day.

On arrival to the Gardens, you are met by a wonderful long driveway that leads you up to the main entrance. You pay as you enter the car park, where there is ample spacing. A £9 entry fee was paid, which within the first 10 minutes of entering the Gardens it was already worth paying.

The lake and gardens are Grade I listed and are set in a beautiful Valley which lies to the North of the South Downs, and just on the edge of the High Weild of Sussex. Sir Edmund Loder purchased the Gardens in 1889, from his wifes parents, and since then five generations of the family have lived at Leonardslee. Each generation of the family have made significant changes to the Gardens.

Lake & Garden Lake & Garden Lake & Garden Lake & Garden

Various paths can be used to take you down to the Lakes. Each of these paths host a variety of flora including Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Magnolias. As you start walking down the paths, you are welcomed by a beautiful Rock Garden, which was created in the early 1900's.

They have two eating establishments to choose from - The main Clock Tower Restaurant, which serves hot meals and cakes along with a variety of refreshments from midday onwards, and the Garden Cafe is open all day for sandwiches and other light snacks and refreshments. The quality of the food from the Garden Cafe is gorgeous and fresh, and they are willing to cater for special dietary requirements.

Lake & Garden Lake & Garden Lake & Garden Lake & Garden

Beyond the Dolls House is a 140ft dolls house, which displays a Country Estate and local town, crafted in 1/12th scale. It was started in 1999, commissioned by Robin Loder and created by Helen Holland. Since 1999, it has been extended to include outbuildings, a department store and craftsman workshops. In 2006, the exhibition had grown so large that it needed to be moved to a new location, which is where it can be seen today.

Beyond The Dolls House Beyond The Dolls House Beyond The Dolls House

Opposite the Dolls house exhibition is a collection of Victorian Cars which were made before 1900. All of the cars on display are owned by the Loder Family. Over the past five years, nearly all of the cars have participated in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The collection contains three Peugeots, two Stephens cars, a Fisson, an Armstrong from Connecticut, a Daimler and also the Bonnet, a very early experimental car from the 1880s - which is quite possibly one of the earliest motor cars in the world.
Victorian Cars Victorian Cars Victorian Cars

It is with great shame that the Estate will be closing for good at the end of June this year. It will be missed as it is a fabulous place which is enjoyed by all ages.

Links
Leonardslee Lake and Gardens

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