World Schooling

Borde Hill Gardens – West Sussex

The majority of our year of World Schooling year is going to be spent overseas, however there will be a couple of short periods in between trips when we will be back in Sussex and I am determined to maximise those opportunities and explore new places in and around my home county.

I am very grateful that I have been home this week but it has been a tough one; less than 2 months ago I lost a very very good friend to cancer at the age of just 46, and on Friday I received the devastating news that my dearest friend /surrogate sister who is also Cameron’s Godmother has been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer with a life prognosis of just a few short weeks. I have cried a LOT of tears in the last few days…and consumed a lot of gin! I feel completely helpless and yet am beyond blessed that I am home for the next few days and can spend time with her and tell her all I need to tell her (mainly what an INCREDIBLE human being she is and how much I love her 💔). I admit though that other than going out to the hospital and seeing my very nearest and dearest I really haven’t wanted to face the rest of the world.

Today however I felt that I wanted to escape absolutely everything and just be among nature, I needed to breath some fresh air deep into my core and just watch my son running free without a care or worry in the world. Borde Hill Gardens provided us all of these things.

Borde Hill Gardens are situated on the outskirts of Hayward’s Heath, West Sussex and when you are walking around the extensive grounds with absolutely nothing to hear but birdsong in the background it is hard to believe you are just a few miles in between the endless hustle and bustle of Gatwick Airport and the busy cosmopolitan city of Brighton.

It cost £17.50 admission to get in for adult and child and I paid and extra £2.00 for Cameron to participate in a fairy & elf themed nature trail, at the completion of which he got to choose a free reading book. He absolutely loved running around the gardens finding the various Fairies and Elves, completing little tasks such as ‘how long can you stand on one leg..’ and taking part in the mini-activities such as Goblin Golf, Hula Hooping and Quiots.

I have to say I give full credit to the people who think up these simple and yet imaginative trails as I can remember being taken to National Trust Gardens etc as a child by my parents and stomping along just behind them with endless cries of “I’m bored”. Cameron today however was completely engaged and said he has had “the best day”.

Yes he may be too young to truly appreciate the splendour of the immaculately kept gardens but he did admire the ‘lovely colourful flowers’

As part of a summer exhibition there are also several sculptures to admire which have been strategically placed throughout the gardens, many of which are also for sale. The combination of being able to admire the art among nature was a joy to behold.

In trying to add an educational element to the visit for Cameron, we studied the size and forms of the trees, looking at the structure of trunk, bark, branches & leaves etc and talking about the seasons and how many trees shed their leaves in the Autumn, whilst others remained evergreen.

I then tried to teach him about the rings inside the trees depicting their ages and how the bigger and wider their trunks generally indicated how old they were. He enjoyed then walking around the woods and deciding whether certain trees were old, young or medium!

I can’t believe I have lived in Sussex for 47 years and never been to Borde Hill Gardens before when it’s little more than 30 minutes from my door. I would highly recommend a visit here. It is a tranquil escape for adults and both fun & educational for the younger ones.

There are various events which take place throughout the year. For further information and tickets you can visit their website www.bordehill.co.uk

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