now there is a story here. Wakehurst is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Royal Botanic gardens at Kew. As a National Trust member you gain free entry BUT you have to pay the car parking costs which are £5.50 if you are there under 2.5 hours or £10 (if you are solo traveller that's hefty). If you are not a member of the trust you get your car parking refunded if you pay for entry.
I believe this is something that irritates National Trust membership as friends of Kew get in for free . This was brought in 2014 long after my last visit. The argument is that despite being incredibly popular it can't make money..... I would have less angst if Kew Members paid the charge. It was heaving. I have to say that I find the money thing hard to understand as Sheffield Park, Nyman's etc are all nearby.... if Kew or the NT read this and can explain why to me I would appreciate it.
The house, what you can see is empty, the chapel could be lovely but there are flipping trestle table in it. I also ought to mention that there is a nature reserve and some years ago the following on their website was pointed out to me
Kingfishers are listed as a Schedule 1 bird and require a permit to photograph. Although these can be obtained from English Nature we have decided to prevent any unnecessary disturbance to the birds by not allowing photography of any kind from the kingfisher hide and surrounding area.I wrote to them querying this as it is incorrect.... Sitting in a bird hide taking photographs is fine. I pointed this out to them but they didn't respond. I ought to add their current wording is perfectly correct.
So I have to say I don't like Wakehurst I commented after my last visit it seems more like a museum than a garden. So why did I go back? Well I was in the area and Rebecca and Stuart had never been and wanted to see it.
Now there are some lovely views but as I say I just can't love it....
OK this I love!
At about this point I turned to my friend Rebecca and asked her what she thought..... Rebecca's response was that she wouldn't be coming back.....
There were no scones in the cafe by the entrance and only one in the main restaurant. It was £2.25 and was awarded 1.5* by Mr Quacks who as eaten rather a lot of Scones over the years.
I apologise to both the National Trust and Wakehurst Place for my rants but Wakehurst is a disappointment. It is the only property that the Trust owns I won't go back to.
And for you dear reader I did have a good day with good friends... my advice is drive on past and go to Borde Hill or if you are an NT member go to Nyman's or Sheffield Park.