Come and see the stunning colours of autumn at Sussex beauty spot

Visitors to Michelham Priory House and Gardens this month will be treated to vibrant autumnal displays of reds, oranges and yellows as they take in the monument’s gardens, which date back to 1229 and are encircled by the country’s largest moat.

Michelham Priory on a frosty autumn morning SUS-210510-144920001
Michelham Priory on a frosty autumn morning SUS-210510-144920001

Head gardener James Neal said the trees are one of the gardens’ biggest draws in autumn

“Our liquid amber trees with their star-shaped leaves offer brilliant autumn colour, with bright hues of red, orange and yellow,” he said.

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“Our tulip trees have buttery, yellow leaves, while the ironwood tree, or Parrotia persica, brings contrast with its deep shapes of scarlet and purple. Our acer trees also turn a beautiful red-orange shade in autumn.

“A tree our visitors love to experience is our hollow oak, which is at least 500 years old, and is so hollow that you can poke your head inside and look up to the sky!”

Flower lovers will also have something to look forward to. James said: “Our dahlias will continue to bloom until the first frost.

“We have a display of red, orange and cream-coloured dahlias, interplanted with verbena, and another display of daisy-like single dahlias in vibrant shades of purple, crimson and orange.

“The vegetable garden will be in full swing and much of the harvested produce will make its way into our café, where the menu changes depending on the seasons.”

The physic garden and cloister garden offer visitors a chance to step back in time and experience what a medieval garden would have been like.

James said: “The physic garden is full of herbs that would have been used for medicinal purposes.

“We often grow slightly obscure herbs, as people in the medieval era would have brought herbs home from the hedgerows to plant in their own gardens.”

Michelham Priory House and Gardens is open every day from 10.30am-5pm until November 1, when it will be open from 11am-4pm.

Advance tickets, bookable online, start at £9.70 for an adult, £4.65 for a child or student, £8.80 for a senior, £25 for a family with two adults and up to four children, and £14.40 for a family with one adult.

Tickets to grounds only are also available.

Visit for more information.