The impressive gardens, near Uckfield, will be home to Nellie’s Arctic Adventure to bring to life the story of the remarkable Nellie Soames, former owner at Sheffield Park and one of the first women to venture into the Arctic.
Helen Agnes ‘Nellie’ Peel, the granddaughter of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, was just 23 when she left London in 1893 aboard the steam-yacht Blencathra bound for the Arctic inspired by ‘youth and a love for adventure’.
Visitors are invited to delve into the tale of this astonishing journey in the winter trail: Nellie’s Arctic Adventure. Her story, as described in excerpts from her book Polar Gleams, is brimming with adventure offering something of interest to all.
Nellie’s link with Sheffield Park came in 1919 when she married owner Arthur Gilstrap Soames, the passionate plantsman who orchestrated much of the stunning spring and autumn colour in the Grade I Listed garden.
Sheffield Park has once again commissioned community artist, Roy Kelf, of Kelf Kreations, to create the centrepieces of the trail depicting the eccentric characters and glistening ice landscapes Nellie encountered on her arctic adventure.
Kelf enlisted the help of young artists in a series of workshops at local primary schools to create the clever constructions, repurposing used plastic containers. Highlights include the great polar bear and an ice cave in which to immerse the senses in the shimmering lights and sounds Nellie described so vividly in her account.
As well as delighting visitors of all ages, the National Trust says the sculptures carry an important message of sustainability and the preservation of places of natural beauty and historic interest for future generations.
Looking for other attractions in the area? Drusillas has shared this cute video of its family of adorable penguins for Penguin Awareness Day. Click here to see them playing ball.