The new park features a tree tower, St Leonard’s Dragon climbing structure as well as a zipline ride. 

A new children's play park has opened at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens

Source: James Ratchford

The play park is integrated with Leonardslee’s surrounding woodlands. 

It is the latest addition to Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens near Horsham in West Sussex and covers 2,500 square metres with plenty of space for children of all ages to let off steam. 

There is also a mini rock garden, a teepee den, balancing beams, a range of swings including baskets and cradles, and a crawling tunnel. The park also caters for younger visitors within its Little Explorers junior area which features a miniature indoor kitchen and outdoor double slide.

Other highlights include a creative drawing station, talking tubes connecting playhouses, multiple basket swings, and wallaby spring riders. There is accessible level flooring with wheelchair-width doorway too. 

In promoting inclusive play, the park includes designated play zones for children of all abilities to participate together. Double-width slides and special “tango” seats make intergenerational play convenient for kids and adults. 

Children run along the stream at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens

Source: James Ratchford

There are many activities for children across the 240-acre woodlands estate.

What else can schools do at Leonardslee?

There are plenty of plants and wildlife to explore across the site, not least the famous free-roaming wallabies. Introduced by naturalist Sir Edmund Loder in 1889, the wallabies are believed to be Bennett’s Wallabies from Tasmania, Australia. 

Children can also spot a whole range of wildlife including rabbits, grey squirrels, badgers, weasels, stoats and voles as well as more than 100 free-roaming deer in the extensive deer park. 

One of the sculptures on the trail at Leonardslee.

Source: Anton Smit

Each sculpture on the new trail takes advantage of the setting with a diverse range of trees and shrubs. 

New for 2024 is a Sculpture Art Trail, showcasing local artists from Sussex and Surrey. There are more than 100 sculptures to discover as well as a new indoor sculpture exhibition within Leonardslee House. 

School groups will also want to check out the magical world in miniature at the Dolls’ House exhibition. It depicts the Edwardian estate and neighbouring villages at 1:12 scale with landscapes and characters acting out day-to-day activities. 

Free preliminary visit

Once you have booked your visit, Leonardslee will send out two pre-visit planning passes so you can familiarise yourselves with the gardens and lunch facilities. 

The team recommends at least three-five hours for a school trip. 

Leonardslee offers a schools & groups membership which is £150 for the year and allows schools and groups unlimited weekday term time access to the estate. They can also organise group tours of the sculpture park and the gardens by arrangement. 

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