What’s On - May Bank Holiday 2013

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We have compiled a few suggestions for our readers looking for something to do over the May Bank Holiday (4th-6th).

If you have an event you think might be of interest then you are welcome to add it using our commenting section.

Rhododendron Jenny at High Beeches Garden.

Rhododendron Jenny at High Beeches Garden.

We advise anyone travelling to any of the events to check they are still on/open before setting out.

THE ever-popular Fittleworth Garden Trail takes place on Sunday and Monday May 5/6 in aid of St Mary’s church in the village.

With ten gardens on Sunday and 11 on Monday the trail has become a popular feature of the Sussex garden calender.

Tickets are £5 per adult with under 12s free available from all participating gardens and from the village hall.

This is also the venue for homemade teas and cakes, plus a plant stall and a book stall.

Some of the gardens are also serving refreshments whilst the village playgroup will be serving ploughman’s lunches between 12.30 and 2pm next to the village hall.

The gardens are lovely mix of large and small, formal and informal dotted around the village with its lovely countryside views.

WWT ARUNDEL Wetland Centre is holding an Insect Fest on May 4-6 Bank Holiday weekend of crafts, trails and activities that focus on the little things in life – the insects.

Families can also watch for warblers, tits and other songbirds that are currently singing and nest building on the reserve while wild mallard ducklings and moorhen chicks wander the pathways.

During Insect Fest visitors can catch the buzz from the Sussex Beekeepers display in the visitor centre on May 4-5.

SPRING is just around the corner at the South of England Showground in Ardingly where horticulture will be at the heart of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show on Sunday 5th and bank holiday Monday 6th May.

BBC gardening expert, ‘Britain in Bloom’ judge and self-confessed plant-aholic, Jean Griffin, will chair the ‘Ask the Garden Experts’ panel in the ‘Gardening Theatre’ again this year.

Tom Brown, Head Gardener at Parham House; Martin Duncan, Head Gardener at Arundel Castle; Isobel McKinley, Kitchen Garden Horticulturalist at Arundel Castle and Peter Holman, Chair of London in Bloom and South East England in Bloom, will be put through their paces as they are quizzed about everything flora and fauna by gardening enthusiasts.

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend this popular two-day garden and leisure event and a whole host of gardening delights will be on offer from simple, successful spring planting to new fresh trends in design and technology to bring your garden right up to date.

The show opens 9am and closes 5pm daily. Admission is adults £10; children £5; senior citizens/students £9; and family tickets just £23, plus free parking.

For full show details and online advance ticket discounts visit www.springgardenshow.co.uk or telephone 01444 892700.

ONE of the best places to see the newborn lambs is to take the Parkland Walk up the track to the Arboretum at West Dean Gardens – a 2½ mile circular walk.

Entrance to West Dean Gardens is just £1 for children, Friends of West Dean get free entry.

Visitors are asked to respect the ewes though and not get too close – they get very protective at this time of year.

Stock up on spring plants in the Gardens Shop and drop into the Gardens Restaurant for some refuelling – home-made soup, a slice of home-made cake or treat yourself to a West Dean cream tea.

(Free parking for Shop and Restaurant. Summer garden opening times. (March – October 2013) 10.30am – 5pm daily. Last entry 4.30pm.

Admission prices (March – October) Adults from £7.70, Children from £0.90.

ARUNDEL Castle has started its 2013 season. Its 2013 event calendar can be found at www.arundelcastle.org.

SEVERAL gardens have opened ready for Easter. Here are the major ones.

Nymans house and gardens - Handcross.

Set in the High Weald with splendid views, the garden is a series of experimental designs with spectacular planting and beauty all year. The house, transformed into a Gothic mansion in the 1920s, burnt down shortly after, leaving romantic ruins. The remaining rooms are unexpectedly charming, filled with flowers from the garden as Anne Messel, Countess of Rosse had them. Ancient woods beyond the garden dip into the valley, with walks among avenues, wild flowers, the lake and cascades.

High Beeches Garden - Handcross.

27 acres of magnificent woodland and water gardens, full of rare, exotic and unusual plants; RHS award winning plants, a botanical treasure trove, and one of the great gardens of Sussex.

Borde Hill - Ardingly.

Borde Hill Garden is nestled in 200 acres of English Heritage listed Sussex parkland and woodland, with wonderful views across the Sussex Weald and the magnificent Ouse Valley. Borde Hill Garden is home to a nationally important collection of rare shrubs, champion trees and exotic plants.

Wakehurst Place - Ardingly

Visit Wakehurst in West Sussex and explore 465 acres of country estate with ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands and an Elizabethan Mansion. Join in our seasonal walks and themed tours to discover more.

How about a nostalgic trip on a steam train?

Bluebell Railway Railway - Sheffield Park

The Bluebell Railway is a heritage line running for 11 mi along the border between East and West Sussex, England. It uses steam trains which operate between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, with intermediate stations at Horsted Keynes & Kingscote.

Saturday

AMBERLEY. Jumble sale at Amberley Church Hall, 2.15pm, in aid of Amberley Millenium Green maintenence fund. Contact Ivy on 01798 831388.

Mayfield Book Fair. Memorial Hall. 9am to 3pm. Admission free. Refreshments. Some 18 book sellers with thousands of secondhand books for sale. Details: Chris Maughan. 01435 864634.

Sale, Steyning Grammar School, Church Street Playground, from 9am to 12pm. A fantastic selection of professionally and homegrown bedding, herb, vegetables and plants will be for sale at great prices. Tea/coffee and homemade cakes. All monies raised will go to the school to buy equipment to benefit the students.

LINDFIELD: Preloved quality clothing sale at King Edward Hall, Lindfield, from10.30am to 1.30pm. Lots of bargains, new and preloved labels like Hobbs, Whistles, Karen Millen etc. All ladies clothes, shoes and bags too. All welcome.

PLANTS: Lindfield Horticultural Society – Coffee Morning and Plant Sale, from 10am to 12pm, Jubilee Room, King Edward Hall. Admission £1.

Monday

Rusper village May Day from 12.30pm, including the annual fun run.

Plaistow Maypole Fete from noon. Traditional village fete in aid of pre-school.

Horsham Holbrook Club Family Fun Da. Doors open 1pm - 5.00pm. Entrance to all is free. The afternoon of fun will include Pony Rides, Charlie The Clown & Mini Me, Face Painting, Have a go sports, Inflatables and much more.