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Kemptown’s Secret Garden Delight…

My unexpected visit to one of Kemptown’s best kept secrets.

While walking down Bristol Gardens, I spotted a large wooden gate opening out into a beautiful grass courtyard. With bursts of colour from flowers, and some magnificient giant sculptures protruding from the ground, this was a secret garden I had heard about, but had never visited.

I walked through the gates into a pleasant atmosphere with people dotted around chatting, having tea and relaxing, with children or with friends. Two really friendly ladies near the entrance greeted me and introduced me to Kemptown's secret garden. The rich history of the secret garden, the artist’s sculptures, and the magnificent cakes made my visit truly wonderful.

Spectacular Cakes

If it wasn’t enough that the garden was quite magical, the cakes were out of this world, I tried a gorgeous chocolate torte with stem ginger, a sweet and soft victoria sponge with rhubarb and fresh cream. Infused with flavours such as lavender, cardamon pod, lime, blueberry and Earl Grey tea, the cakes were delicious!

The Secret Garden’s History

The Secret Garden was originally connected to no 32 Sussex Square, and was bought by its first owner in 1830, Lawrence Peel, younger brother of the prime minister, Robert Peel. Several of the grand houses in the square had extensive gardens, each of which was accessed through a tunnel leading from the appropriate house. It is ‘secret’ because it is an oasis, a ‘delightful walled garden hidden from view, in the midst of regency Kemp Town’.

The Secret Tunnel

After I had had my cake and eaten it, I was encouraged to take a walk down the Secret Garden’s tunnel, which takes you on a journey under Bristol Place. The tunnel once connected the gardens to the original owner's house. A truly magical experience ending in one of David Breur-Weil's pieces of art. Take a look below!

Sculptures in the Secret Garden:

David Breur-Weil

7th April - 24th September 2023

Every year the Secret Garden hosts a different artist's work. This year David Breuer-Weil’s sculptures are in the secret garden. A retrospective exhibition, part of the Brighton festival, including six celebrated truly monumental sculptures that have been exhibited around the world! A bold, beautifully displayed collection, showing the development of the artist’s work over time.

I highly recommend a visit to the Secret Garden Kemptown, to see the exhibition, taste it’s cakes, and experience the secret tunnel before the garden closes on the 24th September. A truly lovely experience.

The Secret Garden

Bristol Gardens, Kemptown

Brighton, BN2 5JE

Open: Sunday and bank holidays until the 24th September 2023

11:00am- 5:00pm

For more information visit:

The Best of Kemptown to Newhaven


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