Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens
4
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
In 2019, Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens opened its doors after a closure of 10 years, this magnificent Grade 1 listed garden was nearly lost forever and has been the subject of the largest garden restoration in England and possibly Europe. These spectacular and ancient gardens are now open for the public to enjoy once again. Many people in the local area have fond memories of their visits and life around these gardens, and we aim to protect this magnificent heritage so that future generations get to enjoy these beautiful green spaces and flora and fauna within.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Christine W
    8 contributions
    GOOD WINTER WALK AROUND THE GARDENS
    Perhaps should have waited until we are more into Spring before visiting the magnificent grounds of Leonardslee. Whilst the surroundings are obviously beautiful it would have been much better to have seen more spring flowers out and, of course, later on the rhododendroms and azalias. So we'll wait a while now before re-visting. Everywhere very clean, tidy and staff very friendly.
    Hello christinewT3346KW Thank you for taking the time to write a review we are glad that you enjoyed the garden despite the spring colour isn't completely out. We do hope that you come and enjoy the spectacular colour.
    Written 3 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 4 March 2023
  • sonja b
    Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom31 contributions
    Great place to visit
    Really enjoyed the day there. We visited as a couple, but there was plenty to explore if you had kids with you. So much to see. Lakes were beautiful, sculptures dotted around made real focal points. There are some totally amazing trees to see. The walks were great. You can really walk for miles. We purchased yearly membership and will be back soon. The views are stunning and we are looking forward to seeing them change through the seasons. Also, the two ladies on the welcome desk were very friendly and welcoming.
    Hello sonjab788 We are delighted to hear that you had a lovely time in the gardens, and happy that you have become one of our members. We look forward to welcoming you through every beautiful season Leonardslee has to offer.
    Written 3 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 March 2023
  • Jules
    Ilford, United Kingdom35 contributions
    Eat before you visit
    A group of elderly girlfriends visited, had been before and it was lovely. This time however there was no hot food at 2pm, ended up with a bag of crisps. Told we couldn’t bring food but next time I’ll have a few sandwiches in my bag as we were starving. Very poor show, disappointing.
    Hello Julia W We are delighted to hear that you had a lovely time in the gardens and we will bring this concern up with our cafe. We hope you and your girlfriends enjoy the gardens again.
    Written 5 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 4 June 2023
  • Gerard106
    Brighton, United Kingdom318 contributions
    A Disappointing day out
    Our friends had been before and suggested we visited. So the four of us ventured over last Saturday. Frankly to pay £30 for the two of us was not good value for money in our humble opinion. Despite the lovey company of our dear friends who we did not want to upset even they they were unhappy too. We could see at a different time with all the seasonal flowers, shrubs in bloom this would be a different place but usually there are all year round exhibits to see sadly not on this occasion. There were very few flowers of any type not even wild which is very much on trend. I know there has been a lack of rain water and excessive heat but surely with the right expertise this could have been managed, a trip to the Eden Project would be very educational and may give them some inspirational ideas as to present all year round colour and choice. The lakes were beautifully appointed but again the lack of dredging, water plants and management let them down.There is no doubt that there has been serious investment with all the lovely statues etc in the past, but the place just seemed unloved and not well maintained. On the plus point the few staff we did meet were very friendly and helpful especially with the catering. Please give a shout out for the boys and girls in the hot food canteen that were cooking the pizzas they were lovely and tasty. We have compared this place with other charging garden venues and i have to say this was sadly lacking. On the positive side apart from the catering we loved seeing the fish in the lakes and were impressed with the shop and all the plants for sell, clean toilets and the offer of a lift from the charming older gentleman driving around in the golfing truck.
    hello Gerard106 We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed our facilities here at Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens, particularly the food you were served by our friendly staff inside the Clocktower Café. We are historically a spring and autumn interest garden, but are working very hard to improve our summer and winter interest without spoiling the woodland garden setting we so cherish and strive to preserve here. There are masses of wildflowers on show at the moment, so many that we are hosting Wildflower Walks to showcase them to visitors and inform them about the many different types we have thriving within our grounds. Restoring and improving the Lakes is certainly within our 10 year management plan, but we are still catching up with the decade in which the grounds were closed and left to go to seed. We do hope that you will consider coming to visit again, perhaps in our peak interest seasons whilst we continue to work hard on bringing the summer and winter seasons up to speed. We shall pass on your kind words to our volunteer team, they are so valued and are always on hand to help visitors. Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to leave us this review.
    Written 4 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 2 July 2023
  • Bargeegirl
    West Sussex, United Kingdom676 contributions
    Improving all the time.
    Visited while they had a sculpture trail and really enjoyed the added addition of art among nature. We hadn't visited here for quite a few years and we're very impressed with how much work they had done. The footpaths are being improved and areas are being uncovered to add extra walking spaces.The art is outstanding, especially the huge statue by the house, just like the angel of the north. The gardens are beautiful and well maintained. We were pleased that some of the azaleas and rhododendrons were still in bloom. The wallabies are cute. Lovely cafe for a nice cuppa after your walk. We spent almost the whole day wandering around this piece of paradise. Don't forget to look in the dolls house museum to see if you can spit the people in the lift or the ghost in the graveyard.
    Hello Bargeegirl Thank you for taking the time to leave us a lovely review. Our team is always trying to improve the gardens woodlands. We are delighted to hear that you saw some azaleas and rhododendrons throughout the gardens. We look forward to welcoming you back in the gardens again soon.
    Written 6 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 4 July 2023
  • lucynougat
    Redhill, United Kingdom135 contributions
    Peaceful and lots to see
    I had a really nice time at Leonardslee: my overwhelming impression was of how peaceful it is. Be prepared for the steep terrain though, which might be challenging for some. That said, they have a golf buggy to take people up and down. I enjoyed coming across the sculptures and looking out for animals. I also appreciated the wallaby feeding time, where the man presenting was great. The cafe had plenty of choices and the mini doll installation was impressive. There are also lots of walking routes you can take to tailor things to your party. I hope to return next spring when the flowers are out.
    Hello Lucynoughat Thank you for taking the time to write a lovely review. We are happy you had an excellent time in our gardens and everything the gardens have to offer. We look forward to welcoming you next spring during our high season.
    Written 16 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 11 July 2023
  • anopinion1
    3 contributions
    Summer fun
    We love Leonards Lee. Such a beautiful place, with lakes, winding paths and wilder places to explore. Fantastic summer 23 events in the gardens, the kids loved learning circus skills drumming and face painting. Hide and seek in The Rock gardens and checking out the miniature scenes in the dolls House. A fab day out
    Hello anopinion1 We are elated to hear that you had a fantastic day out with your kids and it was the perfect summer day to kick off the summer holidays with our new event Summer at Leonardslee and they were able to learn new skills. We hope you will join us again soon this summer with even more exciting events happening.
    Written 24 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 July 2023
  • Kathrine S
    Oslo, Norway1 contribution
    Be amazed by Anton Smit and the local Surrey sculptors in the most amazing garden
    Found this amazing and beautiful wooded gardens with ponds and small lakes. I wanted to visit a garden as I had more than 8 hours to spare waiting for my transfer. Due to the location so close to the airport it became my choice. I was so lucky to pick this. To my surprise it also offered a sculpture exhibition, doll house museum, wallabies, jazz musicians, mini golf, model sail boats, circus, disco, cafes, local marked and a small vineyard while waiting on my next plain, it even had a Michelin star restaurant. Making it very interesting for all ages. My favorite activity in the UK is visiting gardens, so this garden is one to remember. Although the garden must be at it´s peak in spring when the azaleas and rhodedendrons blossom, I was still astonished by the plants and trees and it´s tranquility. However the art work was definitely the big surprise and the absolute highlight of the visit both the sculptor Anton Smit and the local Surrey sculptors. The visit was topped by a lovely 40 minutes guided tour by the lovely and clever art curator in the garden. She talked about the history of the garden and Anton Smit work, including interpretation of the art, his background and career and art methods, loved it. I didn't get to see the deer or wallabies that roam the grounds, I spent more than 4 hours walking around the garden, so felt that I got good value for the entry fee. The garden is quite hilly but there is a golf buggy service to take anyone who can't or doesn't want to walk to the many view points from the entrance. The 20 minutes airport transfer was however expensive £104 including return, but the drivers were very pleasant and contributed to the visit with good discussions. Leonardslee garden is a perfect place combined with some spare time at Gatwick airport. My only regret that I didn’t have time for afternoon tea.
    Hello 430kathrines Thank you for taking the time to write a beautiful review. We are delighted to hear how you chose to spend your 8-hour transfer at our gardens and that you were able to experience our new event Summer at Leonardslee and all these other exciting offers we have in the gardens. We hope you come and visit our gardens again and have time to enjoy an afternoon tea.
    Written 26 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 26 July 2023
  • Jan_KKent
    121 contributions
    Great Day at Leonardslee Grdens
    Great day out at Leonardslea Gardens. Wasn’t sure quite what to expect as have been to many greens before with friends. Lenardslee was a real treat. Took the sculpture trail with a guide which was quite interesting. A very good walk about the gardens and had a cuppa at The Engine House. Everyone we spoke to was helpful. Lots of families at the gardens so I think there was plenty for the children to do. Food and drink were pretty reasonable compared to the expensive National Trust. My group all greed we would like to return in the spring to see the rhododendrons and azaleas. Keep doing whatever you are doing. One thing, I think £14.50 to get in is a bit steep, we nearly didn’t come!!
    Hello Jan_KKent Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are glad that you and your friends had fun in the gardens and can enjoy everything Leonardslee offers. We look forward to welcoming you and your friends during the spring to see the season's colour.
    Written 31 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 29 July 2023
  • sonja b
    Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom31 contributions
    Amazing place. Amazing customer service
    My husband and I this year purchased Leonardslee membership. Have been many times, absolutely well worth the money. Beautiful place. We were told that when we became members we would get free tickets to the Leonardslee illuminated event. However I had an absolute nightmare trying to signup for the event. Contacted them and was incredibly surprised to receive a reply from a REAL person who actually sorted out the problem, over a weekend!!! They actually rang me to sort out the issue. Amazing customer service. Massive shout out to Cinzia for actually contacting me and solving problem. Many thanks Sonja Black
    Thank you Sonja Black for taking the time to leave a positive review. We are very happy to hear that you are enjoying your membership and our gardens. We are delighted to hear our customer service team we able to help with our new member portal and to get your Leonardslee Illuminated free tickets. We have passed on your review to our customer service team.
    Written 4 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
680 reviews
Excellent
343
Very good
137
Average
79
Poor
30
Terrible
91

John C
2 contributions
Feb 2024 • Family
Both my wife and I are members, and have visited the gardens numerous times and every time we have found them most enjoyable. We went to the Christmas lights, which I thought was excellent, and today took our granddaughter on the Wellie Trail. As a seven year old she found things of interest all the time. I would, however, suggest that where the lane names given on the route, it would help if they were shown on the map to help children, like my granddaughter, lead the way.
Written 19 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Jonh C for taking the time to write us a lovely review. We are delighted to hear that you and your family had fun in the gardens and on our Winter Welly walks. Thank you for the suggestion, we will pass this information on to our events team, for future trails.
Written 20 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pepperandmouse
Nantwich5 contributions
Feb 2024 • Family
I took my 5 year old and almost 2 year old for the Winter Welly Walk and we had a brilliant time. Without the trail, it would have been a great morning out but hunting for the giant welly boots gave us incentive to explore more of the grounds and spurred my usually reluctant 5 year old to walk the entire time. I hadn’t realised how steep the valley is, so pram and buggy users need to beware that the ascent back up to the cafe and toilets is tough going with a heavy child! We had so much fun that we barely noticed the drizzle and we can’t wait to come back in warmer weather and make use of the new playgrounds when it is complete.
4 stars only because of the climb back to find toilet facilities - although we enjoyed the challenge.
Written 13 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Pepperandmouse Thank you for such a lovely read, we are thrilled to hear that your family enjoyed the challenge and the Winter Welly Walk. We look forward to welcoming you back into the gardens, for our play park and future children's trails.
Written 14 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Just j
Crawley, UK14 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
We have been members since Leonardslee first opened and have really enjoyed the changing seasons . Leonardslee really is a beautiful place to spend a few hours and enjoy a coffee after a good walk. Recently the cafe have changed the coffee unfortunately it is not a patch on the previous one , the food however is very nice.
Written 30 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello 898justj Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we are delighted to hear that you have been a member since we opened, and hope that you have enjoyed every season change and continue to enjoy every change Leonardslee has to offer.
Written 6 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa L
1 contribution
Jan 2024 • Solo
Leonardslee is one of my favourite places. The gardens are not formally landscaped, but have a lovely natural feel with ponds/lakes stretching across the centre and open and wooded areas round the edge, and lots of sculptures dotted around. It is quite hilly, but plenty of benches to stop and rest if you need to. It is dog friendly (on leads) with plenty of dog bins. Spring is a good time to visit to see the many species of rhododendron, camellia and azalea in bloom, but it is lovely all year round. The listed house does a delicious afternoon tea (pre-book) and there are cafes and street food depending on the season. The dolls houses are fun. It is worth checking their website as they also run many other events throughout the year. Membership is good value if you are local enough to be able to visit a few times.
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Dream643084, for taking the time to write such a beautiful review. We are delighted to hear that Leonardslee is your favourite place and that you enjoy your time within the woodland gardens. We look forward to you visiting us again soon.
Written 29 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Celia P
Verona2 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
Nothing not to like about these wonderful gardens. Visited many times and each time either the light , colours, sculptures or tranquility fill me with awe. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by so much natural beauty. Had a long walk in the deer park today / hardy saw a soul except the pheasants ! Delicious soup in the cafe afterwards !
Written 19 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you 797celiap for taking the time to leave us such a lovely review. We are delighted to hear you had an amazing walk in the deer park and enjoyed the soup. We look forward to welcoming you back into the gardens soon.
Written 22 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kelly017
Cambridge27 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Firstly I agree with another visitor who had a query. There is just no response from an email enquiry and I refuse to use the premium phone number.
We visited the illuminations on 9th December 2023. We were disappointed with the fact that they seem to have made the walk longer this year. The first part of the walk was really quite boring with nothing to see, unlike previous years.
Written 1 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Kelly017 for taking the time to leave us a review, we are in the process of acquiring a new phone line. we shall take it on board and pass it on to our Events team for them to consider whilst planning for Leonardslee Illuminated's upcoming years. We keep the trail evolving and are always striving to improve upon it year on year.
Written 11 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SoloTravellerLondon
Horsham, UK275 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
Outstanding light trail absolutely brilliant. It's our third visit and we are never disappointed. Can't wait to see what the Leonardslee team come up with in 2024. We'll be back.
Written 28 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you SoloTravellerLondon, we are pleased to know you enjoyed your visit with us for Leonardslee Illuminated and look forward to welcoming you back for another visit.
Written 11 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fsnug
33 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
Visited the Illuminated Light Trail with my adult son. We arrived for 4.30 entry. Most were family groups with small children at that time. They raced ahead while we leisurely sauntered and the entry group soon spread out. We took 90 minutes to go all the way around. This is a steady walk down to the lake on compressed gravel (the car park was slightly mucky underfoot but not badly so) and then walk up again on the other side, so a reasonable level of fitness is needed on this site. It is quite strenuous for smaller children, and plenty of Dads ended up carrying!
The lights are impressive, some funky, some illuminating trees or other features, some colour changing - a real variety, accompanied by atmospheric music (not Christmas music) with especially spectacular views across the lake to the various suspended globes. The dancing fountains are also majestic. The paths are marked throughout with fairy lights and staff are stationed around the route to direct or assist, all draped in fairy lights and some in costume - crows and fairies and others. There is a small cafe half way around.
We really enjoyed our saunter and took loads of spectacular photos. Weren’t interested in the food offerings or fairground rides (lovely traditional carousel) but it was busy by the time we got back to the entrance.
If you are looking for lights that are overtly Christmassy, this probably won’t be to your taste, but for a lovely thing to do that is abit different in the run up to Christmas, this is highly recommended, especially for slightly older children (with stamina) or an adult group.
Written 21 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, Thank you Jackie for taking the time to leave us a beautiful review. We are delighted to hear that you and your family enjoyed what the Leonardslee Illuminated trail had to offer, it sounds like a wonderful evening. We look forward to inviting you back to our gardens and Leonardslee Illuminated again soon.
Written 22 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chloe
Burgess Hill, UK4 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
Really was deeply disappointed with this light trail, we've never been before but had heard mixed reviews so figured we should go. not only was it £44 for two people to walk around the gardens to see some lights, there wasn't much to see. It was extremely busy with not much pathing space to even walk with the busy crowds. We were expecting something a bit more Christmasy considering the event is so close to Christmas, but all that was playing was Christmas music at the exit sign.
Unfortunately unless they made it bigger and worth while we won't be returning!
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We appreciate you taking the time to give us this feedback ChloeChelseaMans , we shall take it on board and pass it on to our Events team for them to consider whilst planning for Leonardslee Illuminated's upcoming years. We keep the trail evolving and are always striving to improve upon it year on year.
Written 11 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LeanderBanks
Henley-on-Thames, UK354 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
It’s amazing the amount of idiots who complain on here that it’s not a ‘Christmassy’ or there’s no Christmas lights when absolutely none of the advertising says it’s a Christmas show at all. It’s advertised as an illuminated garden in winter so I guess a lot of the idiots can’t read?

That being said it is a really good well organised light show with good selection of food and drink and other items if you wish. There are also a couple of fairground rides for the youngsters and all are well staffed with helpers.
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Peter B Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts and review. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed Leonardslee Illuminated and everything it has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you back to the gardens and Leonardslee Illuminated next year.
Written 19 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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LEONARDSLEE LAKES & GARDENS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens is open:
  • Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00