Groups & Tours
Whether you’re a tour operator, a special interest group, or simply visiting with friends and fellow plant lovers, we cater for all
Welcoming Groups to Borde Hill
“Plants have been in our DNA since 1598 when Stephen Borde, the grandson of Henry VIII’s private herbalist and physician Andrew Borde, rebuilt the picturesque Elizabethan Mansion at the core of our Estate. Centuries later, in 1893, my great great grandfather, Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke sponsored plant hunting trips to all four corners of the world. The result is our beautiful heritage Garden and Parkland, featuring one of the the largest collections of privately owned champion trees in the country.
The Garden is set within 383 acres of Grade II* heritage listed landscape in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with spectacular views of the Ouse Valley Viaduct and across the High Weald. Planted as a series of outdoor ‘garden rooms’, highlights include the Azalea Ring, the tranquil Italian Garden, stunning Rose Garden, and new perennial summer borders.
From groups of dedicated horticulturists and lovers of plants, to those who want to relax and soak in the ‘joyous balance’ of nature, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Borde Hill. We look forward to welcoming you”.
Jay Goddard (née Stephenson Clarke), Director
View our 2024 Group Visits Guide
To promote sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment, we’ve created a digital guide that you can view online.
Our Group Benefits for 15 people or more
- Discounted Garden entry of £9.50 per person.
- Guided Garden and Specialist Tours, with our Head of Horticulture and Garden Team
- Free admission for the group organiser.
- Free coach driver admission and a £10 refreshment voucher.
- Meet and greet from a member of our team.
- A dedicated group coordinator.
- Bespoke group catering served inside an exclusive marquee.
- The Gardeners’ Retreat Café, offering light lunches, cream teas and freshly baked cakes, with outdoor seating.
- A Garden map to help you explore at your own pace, with an accessibility map also available.
- Free on-site coach park and car parking.
- A well-stocked Gift Shop and Plant Nursery.
- Free wheelchairs available for hire.
Our Seasonal Highlights
Whether you’re looking to book self-guided entry to the Garden, or one of our guided tours, Borde Hill is a treat for the senses whatever the season.
From springtime’s magnificent displays of early flowering magnolias, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons, to the summer months when hundreds of David Austin roses captivate visitors with their enchanting fragrance.
Autumn is a particularly special time to visit Borde Hill when the Garden and Grade II* listed Parkland are transformed by the vibrant hues of mature, award-winning trees and fiery autumnal shrubs.
Our Guided Group Tours
Enhance your group visit by pre-booking a guided tour for 15 people or more. Whether you’re exploring our outdoor ‘garden rooms’, immersing yourself in Borde Hill’s rich historical archive and tree collection, or delving into the world of summer roses, we offer a selection of curated tours to suit all tastes and interests.
Celebrate the Art of Gardening
Join a relaxing tour of the 17-acre formal garden led by an expert guide from our green-fingered Garden Team. Explore Borde Hill’s rich history as you weave between outdoor ‘garden rooms’, each boasting a distinctive character and planting scheme that provide variety, colour and interest throughout the seasons.
During your tour, you’ll discover what it takes to maintain our oasis of tranquillity on a day to day basis, along with our ambitious plans to build a sustainable future and to protect Borde Hill’s rare and significant plant collection for generations to come.
Price: £100 for up to 25 people (plus group Garden entry). Larger groups will be split into multiple tours.
Tour length: 1 hour
Availability: daily from 10th February to 22nd December 2024
Specialist Tree Tour
A Fascinating History of Discovery
Join Head of Horticulture, Harry Baldwin for an exclusive tour of Borde Hill’s nationally important tree collection. Delve into their extraordinary history and discover how the visionary ethos of ‘right plant, right place’ embodied by Borde Hill’s founder, Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke, means many of his great trees are still flourishing today, over 130 years later.
Throughout the tour, explore one of the most expansive and diverse collections in the UK, with many specimens being recognised as Champion Trees. Originating from all corners of the globe, our ‘world in one garden’ boasts giant redwoods, blowsy Himalayan magnolias, endangered rhododendrons and famous Borde Hill tree selections; many of which cannot be found anywhere else in Britain. Harry will also share insights about our commitment to conserve Borde Hill’s remarkable tree heritage for generations to come.
Whether visiting in spring for stunning displays of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, or later in the year for vibrabt autumn colour, our Specialist Tree Tours can be tailored to suit the season.
Price: £125 for up to 25 people (plus group Garden entry). Larger groups will be split into multiple tours.
Tour length: 1 hour
Availability: daily from 10th February to 22nd December 2024
Historic Archive Tour
A Celebration of Planting Excellence
Join us for a guided tour through the past, present and future of horticultural excellence at Borde Hill. As you explore our nationally important Garden, you’ll delve into the remarkable legacy of Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke, the visionary plantsman behind our extraordinary collection of rare trees and flowering shrubs.
Discover first hand some of the exotic plants and Champion Trees, grown from seeds gathered on explorations around the world from 1893 onwards, which continue to thrive at Borde Hill today. Our expert guide will also share insights into our pioneering propagation programme, a testament to our dedication to safeguard these botanical wonders for future generations.
Following the tour, step inside the Elizabethan Mansion to explore highlights of our fascinating horticultural archive, unlocking the captivating history of our plant collection, a true masterpiece of British gardening at its finest.
Price: £180 for up to 25 people (plus group Garden entry). Larger groups will be split into multiple tours.
Tour length: 2 hours.
Availability: 6th to 24th May 2024
Roses in Bloom Tour
Experience the Romance of Roses
Throughout June, groups can book a guided tour like no other, immersing themselves in the beauty of our Rose Garden at its peak. With over 750 roses, and an impressive medley of 150 varieties, Borde Hill is home to one of the largest David Austin displays in the country. This is an exclusive opportunity for garden lovers to experience the colours and scents that define our British summertime.
Led by an experienced guide, the tour will take you through the pathways of Jay Robin’s Rose Garden and its surrounding borders. As you explore, you’ll discover more about the Rose Garden’s rich history, design, and development over time. Our expert guide will share best practice on how to nurture your own roses using organic methods, companion planting, mulching, and feeding, as well as sharing insights on the best varieties to grow at home.
Complete your summer experience with a refreshing glass of Elderflower & Rose Pressé served in the splendour of the Rose Garden.
Price: £100 for up to 25 people (plus group Garden entry) to include a drink. Larger groups will be split into multiple tours.
Tour length: 45 minutes.
Availability: throughout June 2024
For a seamless group visit, we offer a range of catering options that can be booked in advance for 15 people or more. Freshly prepared using locally sourced ingredients, our group menus include refreshments on arrival, delicious cream teas and cold buffet lunches all served inside a marquee exclusively for your group.
Refreshments On Arrival - from £2.75 per person
Rest and hydrate on arrival before beginning your Garden Tour with one of our self-service refreshment options available from the Garden Marquee.
Option 1 – Freshly brewed Clipper tea or single estate filter coffee. £2.75 per person
Option 2 – Freshly brewed Clipper tea or single estate filter coffee with biscuits. £3.95 per person
Option 3 – Freshly brewed Clipper tea or single estate filter coffee with mini Danish pastries. £4.95 per person
Cream Tea - from £6.50 per person
One of our signature fruit scones, clotted cream, fruit jam, Clipper tea or single estate filter coffee.
Available as a seated option in the marquee or as a takeaway to enjoy al fresco
(Gluten free scone available on request and with advance notice)
From £6.50 per person, plus Garden entry
Sandwich Platter - from £12.00 per person
Seated inside the Garden Marquee.
A self-service platter of freshly prepared finger sandwiches, with cut fruit, cake bites, freshly brewed Clipper tea/single estate filter coffe, or a bottle of juice/water.
(Gluten free options available on request and with advance notice)
From £12.00 per person, plus Garden entry
Afternoon Tea - from £17.00 per person
Seated inside the Garden Marquee
A quintessential British afternoon tea in an English garden setting.
A selection of finger sandwiches, one of our signature fruit scones, clotted cream, fruit jam, a selection of mini cake bites and freshly brewed Clipper tea or single estate filter coffee.
A glass of Prosecco can be added with advance notice as a group upgrade. Price available on request. Pre-order essential. (Gluten free options available on request and with advance notice)
From £17.00 per person, plus Garden entry
Buffet Lunch - from £18.00 per person
Seated inside the Garden Marquee
A seated, two course, cold buffet lunch with a selection of cooked and cured meats, a selection of salads, new potatoes, dessert and table water.
A glass of Cette Nuit house wine can be added with advance notice as a group upgrade. Prices are available on request. Pre-order essential. (Gluten free options available on request and with advance notice)
From £18.00 per person, plus Garden entry
Groups can also visit our Gardeners’ Retreat Café, set in the old Peacock House beside the Rose Garden.
Open daily from 10am, it’s the perfect spot to re-energise with a barista coffee, light lunch or delicious cream tea. The café does not have indoor seating but there are plenty of tables with umbrellas where you can sit and soak in the view.
If you have a specific allergy or dietary requirement, please let us know at the time of your booking.
Combined Group Offers
For groups looking to experience the very best of Sussex, we’ve partnered with two neighbouring attractions, both conveniently located just 20 minutes from Borde Hill, to offer contrasting day packages to pre-booked groups of 15 people or more.
Step back in time and start your day at the famous Bluebell Railway, as seen in Downton Abbey and recently named one of the best steam railways in Britain. Offering great value for money, groups can enjoy a relaxing journey in timeless comfort on board one of its famous steam locomotives, followed by a leisurely afternoon wander at Borde Hill (itinerary can be reversed on request).
2024 Group rate (15+): £28.50 per person.
Why not round the day off by booking a tempting afternoon tea (for an additional charge) served inside our charming marquee.
To Book: contact The Bluebell Railway directly on 01825 720800.
Pre-booking and a deposit are required; full payment 30 days in advance.
Sat Nav: TN22 3QL
Sussex Prairie Garden
Combine a trip to Borde Hill with a morning visit to Sussex Prairie, Britain’s largest ‘naturalistic’ garden. Following a short welcome talk by the owners, groups will have exclusive morning access when they can explore the 8-acre garden at their leisure using a network of small paths which snake through the borders. Groups can then make the short 20 minute journey to Borde Hill Garden where they can spend the afternoon.
2024 Group rate (15+): £21.00 per person. Available Jun-Oct. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Why not book a tempting afternoon lunch or tea (for an additional charge) served inside our charming marquee.
To Book: contact Borde Hill Garden on 01444 450326, or email
Sat Nav: BN5 9AT
How to book
We have a dedicated member of the team to assist you with planning your group visit to Borde Hill. To make an enquiry, or to discuss your group’s requirements please call us on 01444 450326 or email us at [email protected]
Don’t forget to ask about our pre-bookable Garden tours and group catering options – you will get so much more out of your visit. We look forward to helping you plan your perfect day out in the Sussex countryside.
We welcome visitors of all abilities at Borde Hill and most paths in the Garden are step-free and accessible to those with restricted mobility.
Gentle slopes, hard surfaces and gravel paths allow good wheelchair access with mobility maps available from reception. There are plenty of benches located around the Garden for relaxing and taking in the sights.
The Parkland and Woodland have naturally uneven terrain making them unsuitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
For more details please visit our accessibility page.
Easily accessible, Borde Hill is conveniently located 1 ½ miles north of Haywards Heath, 45 minutes from London, 30 minutes from Brighton and 15 minutes from Gatwick Airport. Find us just off of the A23 taking exit 10a via Balcombe.
Sat Nav: RH16 1XP
For more details please visit our Travel & Directions page.
We ask that payment for tours and group catering is made at least a week in advance of your visit.
Connect to the beauty of nature while supporting our Garden for future generations by becoming a Member.
Members enjoy unlimited access to the Garden, Woodland and Playground throughout the open season, as well as free entry to highlights from our varied events programme. Visit time and again and enjoy free family trails during the school holidays, exclusive open days and monthly Garden newsletters.