Curiosity can be a good thing. You look through a grill in a stone wall and spy a magical garden. You see people walking to and fro so you think, ‘maybe it’s open to the public’. You walk further along the walls until, at the corner of the street, you find an entrance and, hey presto, you discover the glorious Southover Grange Gardens in Lewes.
The Grange was built by one William Newton in 1572, with stone filched from the old Lewes Priory, but the gardens are the creation of more recent owners. Highlights include a 350-year-old Mulberry tree, one of the oldest in England, as well as many other magnificent old trees; herbaceous borders and formal bedding displays; a box-hedged knot garden full of the scent of roses; a wildflower area; and an impressive collection of public artworks. If you’re ever in Lewes, do pay a visit to this tranquil oasis.