Leonardslee Summer Gardens, Half Term and Summer Holidays 

Leonardslee Summer Gardens: What to do this Half Term and Summer Holidays 
 
National Children’s Gardening Week is a highlight at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, near Horsham in West Sussex, over the school summer half-term from 28th May to 5th June.  There is a range of activities to encourage children to enjoy and learn about gardening, and see the Grade I Listed gardens are full bloom.
During the week visitors can celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a spring walk through the Coronation Garden created by Sir Giles Loder 70 years ago to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. There will be a specially designed menu for a classic afternoon tea at Leonardslee House, by the Michelin star team of Restaurant Interlude.
The summer programme of family entertainment includes the Floral Fringe Fair on 4th and 5th June – a fun event with a vintage twist. Featuring plants and food for sale, street dining, coffee, artisan gin, arts and crafts, classic cars, steampunk, singing, vintage stalls and a beer tent.
‘Enchanted Leonardslee’ is back for another year, from 28th to 31st July and 4th to 7th August. For children and the young at heart, it features mermaids, faeries and other mythical creatures, with theatrical performances and spectacular visual and sound installations in the illuminated gardens.
To make the most of warm Summer evenings, beginning 20th August, Leonardslee will host films under the stars, with the woodland gardens as the backdrop. The Open-Air Cinema will present fortnightly showings with live music and a range of food and drink before every film.
To complete a great family day out, visitors can enjoy the guided tree walks, from 18th May to 14th December, and see the year-round dolls’ house exhibition that depicts the Edwardian era estate and neighbouring villages at 1:12 scale.
Also on site are tearooms, gift shops and a delicatessen, providing food for picnics in the beautiful gardens. In the evening, grown-up visitors can dine at Restaurant Interlude, which offers a Michelin Star multi-course tasting menu under chef Jean Delport.
Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens is renowned for its outstanding floral displays, with plants collected from all over the world since the early 1800s, including rare ‘champion’ trees, threatened in their natural habitats.
Set in a valley, the 240-acre woodland gardens at Leonardslee offer visitors a variety of scenic walks, with seven interlaced lakes, woodlands and parkland. There is an acclaimed Pulham rock garden built in 1890, a deer park and a colony of wallabies wandering the estate.
The gardens offer a protected ecosystem for rare wildlife. This includes Emperor Dragonflies and Damselflies, White Admiral and Purple Hairstreak butterflies and migratory and native birds – Kites, Great Tits, Tree Creepers, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers and Nightingales.
Open every day except Christmas Day.
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