Hidden Highdown

Built on the uncompromising surrounds of a Sussex Chalk Pit and showcasing a lifetimes love of horticulture – Highdown Gardens is the personal collection of Sir Fredrick Stern (1884-1967) and home to many rare and beautiful plants collected during his travels China and the Himalayan regions.

Keen photographer Paul Robards tells us why Highdown Gardens is one of his favourite spots.


It’s worth visiting Highdown throughout the year to see the different flower displays, from the spring daffodils, crocuses and tulips to the Hellebores, trees and flowering shrubs. It must be ones of the most tranquil places in Sussex and I have to say it is probably the warmest place in Worthing, when the sun is shining. Because the gardens are sheltered this really is the best place to see the early Spring flowers and to catch sight of the first glimpses of over winter hibernating butterflies.

There is a lovely chalk garden area (don’t miss the wall of white roses in spring) with benches to sit and appreciate the gardens and a pond, which attracts Dragonflies. These race around with a flash of colour and hover across the top of the water looking for prey.  Bees buzzing in the flower borders and birds singing in the trees or going about their duties, set the scene. There are wonderful photographic opportunities to be had.

My wife and I often take her mother Kath to the gardens as she is from a Kent gardening family back ground. She enjoys looking at the great variety of plants, flowers and trees and naming them. Mostly in Latin. Not bad for someone in her late 80’s.

The gardeners work really hard getting it to look its best. And there isn’t even an entrance fee, but I do recommend placing a donation in the post box on leaving to show your appreciation.



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