Last summer, I kept reading about Sheffield Park Garden on social media – people going for picnics in the sunshine, a perfect day out with the kids and I had no idea where this magical place was. I’d never seen it signposted but it was high on my to-do list for when Emma was running around. So last Friday we decided to return to Uckfield (who knew there is so much to do there!) and have a wonder around the National Trust park I’d heard so much about.
Getting to Sheffield Park Garden was a little easier than our previous trip to Ashdown Forest, where I mis-navigated 5 times and at one point ended up in the completely the wrong direction in Seaford. This time I decided that I do need to rely on a sat nav (don’t be a hero when it comes to directions) and it was an easy trip along the A27 and through Lewes. The sun was shining and in 25 minutes we arrived, ready for some action; Emma was super excited to be out and about.
It was a quiet day and not many people around, but the people on reception were so friendly and showed us where everything is, including the tearoom – very important for mama to get her tea and cake afterwards. So we headed to the garden and had a little walk around, with Emma spotting birds and dogs everywhere she went. There were quite a few others walking about and they stopped to say hello to her too, which I thought was so nice – usually we get a little nod and that’s it!
The garden follows a round shape, centering around the huge lake with lots of ducks waiting for their next feed. So we followed the gravel path and Emma was excited to see little puddles everywhere, with mama nervously watching on as I had yet again forgotten her wellies. It sounds ridiculous but sometimes she is so eager to get going and head to the car that I forget the most crucial of things we need to bring. But it didn’t make much difference, she was in her element walking round and looking at the daffodils that have just started to bloom and all the tall trees.
After rambling for a bit, we turned a corner and arrived at the lake with the ducks, and the most gorgeous view. Ahead of us, we could see the Sheffield Park House with the reflections of the trees in the water. It looked so serene and calm, though this calmness was quickly broken by the eager ducks climbing out of the water to greet us and see what food we have brought. I went into a mild panic, ‘what do ducks do when they realise you have no food?’ I tried to act all nonchalant and not scare Emma, but decided it was best to get her back in the buggy! Soon enough a group of boys threw in their bits of bread and I was off the hook, so we kept walking until we reached the tearoom.
I decided it was time for a bit of lunch, so we had a little lunch break in the tearoom. I was stunned by how beautiful the tearoom was – stained glass windows and ornate wooden carvings inside. As we sat down with our lunches, Emma ate her food and then was happy organising the crayons into pots while I finished off my coffee. We also shared a massive shortbread, which is becoming our ‘days out’ treat/bribe – it seems to have occured on every day out so far.
We had a wonderful day out at Sheffield Park Garden and thought it is the perfect place to come with the family in the summer. There is loads of green space to sit for a picnic and having quacking ducks nearby is a surefire hit for entertaining toddlers. I’m sure we’ll be back soon enough!
Sheffield Park Garden is located in Uckfield, off the A26. Admission is £11.50 for adults and children under 5 are free of charge.