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Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens reopened on June 1st, following its earlier closure to meet COVID-19 regulations. Owner Penny Streeter OBE says, “We're delighted to be able to reopen once more. With 250 acres of woodlands and parkland to enjoy, visitors to the estate can maintain a safe social distance. We recommend joining as an annual member online or buying day tickets from the Leonardslee website to minimise queueing at the entrance.
“The toilets will be open and the cafe available for takeaways, with a click and collect service for the gifts and garden shop. Dogs on leads are still welcome. The Dolls House Museum and Michelin-starred Restaurant Interlude remain closed until we are advised it is safe to open.”
Annual membership was suspended at the start of the lockdown and resumes on June 1st, with members enjoying priority entrance to the gardens. Registration for membership is available online, starting at £60 per person. Benefits include invitations to special events during the year, and a ten per cent discount in the estate’s shop, cafe and for online purchases.
The estate is extending the expiry date of current gift vouchers for entry to the gardens for a further three months from the date of opening, on June 1st. Visitors are advised to email firstname.lastname@example.org along with the number of their voucher to receive a new one. Vouchers for wine tastings, afternoon teas, cafe refreshments and other activities, which are currently closed, will be extended to a new date, to be notified.
“We have been inundated with enquiries about opening the estate during the lockdown; people have been very understanding and we do appreciate their patience. We have continued our preservation work at Leonardslee and visitors will be delighted to see the results,” says Penny Streeter.
Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens at Horsham in West Sussex, described as the finest woodland gardens in England, opened in April 2019. It followed two years’ intensive work by general manager Adam Streeter to restore the Grade I Listed gardens after eight years of closure and neglect. It was the largest UK garden restoration project since Heligan some 30 years ago, says Streeter.
From Leonardslee, visitors can travel just three miles to its ‘sister’ property, Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate, which reopened to golf members in May following the lockdown. Within the 500-acres of grounds there is an 18 and a 9-holed golf course. Wine tastings and buggy tours of the vineyard - which has its first harvest in 2020 - are currently suspended under COVID-19 protection directives.
To join Mannings Heath Golf and Wine estate the annual fee is £650 and includes membership of Leonardslee.
For further details www.leonardsleegardens.co.uk and www.manningsheath.com.