South Downs

Paradise Park Heritage Trail & Gardens 

 

The Planet Earth Museum

planet earth 2This is the extraordinary life story of Planet Earth from it's earliest beginnings. The exhibition is one of the finest of its type in the country and is home to a unique collection of fossils, minerals and crystals up to 500 million years old. 

Our dinosaur garden brings together the remarkable dinosaur fossils on display in the museum with life size models of dinosaurs that would have roamed Sussex sixty million years ago. 

71% of our planet is covered by the oceans and our Water Zone illustrate the amazing life that lives in our oceans. 

Follow the progress of man through the centuries. Our extraordinary portrayal of Neanderthal man is entralling, with a large collection of tools illustrating the complex society that existed.

The Paradise Gardens

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The delightful gardens are Newhaven's hidden secret with several small lakes, waterfalls and fountains that make one of the finest water gardens in Sussex.
The ponds contain thousands of fish that you can feed during spring and summer. The gardens are a mixture of formal and informal in a wide variety of styles. 

The paths are designed for easy access for the disabled and the elderly. Pause for reflection at numerous seating points or maybe take a break at the Terrace Cafe and then resume your tour.

The Sussex History Trail meanders through the gardens with handcrafted models of Sussex landmarks that have survived, often for hundreds of years, to remind us of our exciting past.

The Dinosaur Safari

Iguanodon 2The reign of the dinosaurs has always been one of the most enthralling periods of the Earth's history.

The Dinosaur Safari is an exciting collection of full size prehistoric creatures from marine animals to fearsome predators.

Experience the sights and sounds of prehistoric times.

Wandering through the dinosaur garden, our huge replica dinosaurs give a glimpse into prehistoric life 60 million years ago.

In the main museum, life size moving models come alive with movement and sound to give an unforgettable experience. 

 

The Planthouses

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You enter the planthouses under a full size replica of the Iguanodon fossil discovered in the Sussex Weald in 1834. A variety of remarkable local Iguanodon fossil finds have been cast and placed on display in the main museum. 

This leads into the desert zone with an amazing array of cacti and succulents from the American and African continents.

As you pass into the second planthouse, you discover unique collections of bromeliads, Mediterranean fruits and Australian flora.

Finally you enter the Oriental style garden with its collection of colourful Koi carp, before passing into the main gardens.

The Playzone

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Climb Tyrannosaurus Towers for an exhilarating slide for 6 to 12 years old. Choose the tallest tower for the greatest thrill. Enjoy the indoor play area whatever the weather, including a new softplay area for under five years. 

A miniature railway carries passengers around the gardens. A crazy golf course and other amusements are available for you to enjoy whatever your age. 

Don't miss Santa's Winter Wonderland at Christmas!

The Local Maritime Museum

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This museum is operated by the Newhaven Historical Society, a registered charity dedicated to preserving the considerable collections of models and artefacts of historical interest. The museum is for all those who enjoy history and nostalgia.

Your admission ticket includes entry to the museum - at the times it is open. Please ask for viewing times.

 

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The rural life of Sussex from a bygone age

heritage boarheritage2The Heritage Garden displays a unique collection of plants such as vintage Sussex varieties of fruit. Discover local plants and herbs and learn of their uses. The focal point of the garden is a magnificent Wild Boar carved in the likeness of the famous 17th Century Boar that still stands in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. A beautiful pebble mosiac depicts the celebrated features of Sussex.

There is a working beehive accompanied by an interesting collection of vintage beekeeping equipment, courtesy of Paynes Southdown Bee Farm, who have been producing Sussex honey since 1922. Traditional ways of making Sussex cream, butter and cheese are revealed in the museum's educational displays. A reconstructed forge illustrates how the blacksmith practiced his trade.

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 The Plough Gallery contains a large selection of interesting tractor and horse drawn ploughs. The horticultural display includes many interesting tools of all types including early lawnmowers and scythes. Sussex trugs were first invented by Thomas Smith in 1829 and his original workshop is recreated courtesy of 'The Truggery'. Discover one of the original Hailsham rope making machines and how rope was manufactured during this period.

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Magnus Volks is famed for designing and building the first public electric railway in the world. Discover more at the Heritage Centre courtesy of the Volks Electric Railway Association.

Admission to the Heritage Centre is free, with donations invited to local charities.