In the heart of Sussex lies Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden. Wakehurst’s 500 acres of ancient and beautiful landscapes in the Sussex High Weald offer a place for escape, exploration, tranquillity and wonder, where a diverse collection of plants from Britain and around the globe thrive within a tapestry of innovative gardens, temperate woodlands, meadows and wetlands.

The biodiverse landscapes of Wakehurst radiate out from a Grade I listed mansion, entrusted to Kew Gardens by the National Trust (NT). The two organisations work in partnership to care for the estate’s collections and heritage areas.

Connecting with nature 

Wakehurst is a popular garden to visit throughout the seasons, offering opportunities for families to build connections with nature and forge a deeper awareness of how plants and fungi support all life. There’s an exciting programme of events throughout the year, from hands-on workshops, to family trails and the award-winning winter lantern trail Glow Wild. Each event offers a chance for visitors to discover, connect, relax and explore this beautiful botanic garden.


Biodiversity and conservation at Wakehurst

Wakehurst is a centre for UK biodiversity and global conservation, seed research and ecosystem science. At its heart is Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, the world’s largest store of seeds from wild plant species. The rich habitats of Sussex make Wakehurst an ideal place to research and demonstrate how a biodiverse landscape benefits the environment and people’s wellbeing. The gardens are a living laboratory, where scientific research is in action across the site, from seed research in the Millennium Seed Bank to ground-breaking research in the gardens, uncovering nature-based solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss.

You’ll love

  • The Millennium Seed Bank. Home to an underground collection of over 2.4billion seeds and a record 40,000 plant species, the Millennium Seed Bank is a treasure trove of scientific excellence. Walk through the glass atrium, see scientists at work and uncover fascinating facts about preserving the world’s seeds, knowing that beneath your feet lies the most biodiverse place on earth.
  • Expansive, varied landscape. With over 500 acres of diverse landscape, Wakehurst invites visitors to ‘walk the world’, discovering unique collections from across the globe, carefully planted for immersion, enjoyment and for science. Get up close to the towering redwoods of North America in Horsebridge Woods, explore Australia’s ‘dinosaur’ Wollemi pines in Coates Wood, and a unique six-acre American Prairie. Manicured garden spaces such as the Walled Garden, open meadow spaces and ancient woodlands offer a unique experience with each visit.
  • Exciting events.  Discover Wakehurst in new ways with a dynamic calendar of events throughout the year. From interesting workshops including forest bathing and badger watching, to summer evening events, children’s activity trails and bespoke art installations, Wakehurst’s events are designed with both audiences and landscapes in mind.
  • Planet Wakehurst. The Elizabethan Mansion is currently home to the UK’s largest outdoor art installation: a bespoke photo montage from Australian-born artist Catherine Nelson.

Wakehurst opening times

Wakehurst is open all year round with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Opening hours vary throughout the year: always check the website for the most up to date Wakehurst opening and closing times.

Ardingly, UK. 14 October, 2023. Wakehurst RBG Wakehurst Picture by Jim Holden

Nearby, Wakehurst recommends

  • Borde Hill Garden – a great English garden a short drive away in the closest major town, Haywards Heath.
  • The picturesque historic village of Lindfield
  • Wine tasting and woodland walks at Bluebell Vineyard 
  • Stay overnight at nearby Gravetye Manor – a 16th Century Elizabethan Manor House with its own Michelin-starred restaurant.

Wakehurst Membership

Wakehurst members enjoy a host of benefits throughout the year, including exclusive discounts and events, and one free visit to Kew Gardens annually. Members of Kew Gardens also receive free, year-round entry to Wakehurst which includes access to specific members’ events.

Due to Wakehurst’s longstanding relationship with the National Trust, members enjoy free entry. But as Wakehurst is not funded in the same way as other sites,  National Trust visitors are asked for a parking charge to help to keep its future thriving.


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More often heard than seen, Nightingales are a welcome springtime presence, holding their own in the coppiced ancient woodlands of the High Weald. Their beautifully evocative song is the stuff of legend.



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