Reg charity: England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

LAST UPDATED 2nd September 2020
The 2021 trail will take place on the 24th & 25th July

Bought plants at Stanford & Cleveland Community garden in 2020? Or just want to donate in lieu of a 2020 garden visit?
Please clink red outlined area below to pay via our new Macmillan donations page.
Thank you

The virtual trail weekend is now over but all the tours are still available to view below. Please continue to watch and hopefully donate to Macmillan by clicking box above. Thank you.

Thank you to all involved

Lovely thanks on Twitter from CEO Lynda Thomas and Macmillan itself on 26th August!

Scroll down to see VIRTUAL tours of 12 of the gardens.

Click here to hear the BBC Radio interview about the cancelled trail.

Below left is a 10 minute taster of all the gardens on the trail and on the right a message of support from Macmillan's Chief Executive, Lynda Thomas.

Our trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, spoke with Christine by video call on 8th June about the trail and how we still need to support charities like Macmillan at this time. On the right Geoff talks about the trail history to date

Gscene magazine published a piece about the virtual trail on the 16th July here.

Nice article in the 13th July edition of the Argus newspaper in Brighton.

It appeared online too, view here.

There was a lovely feature in the July issue of Seaford Scene about the cancellation of the trail in 2020 and the virtual tour people could take instead!

We received an amazing donation of £500 from the talented Jan Wilks in Telscombe Cliffs, she was bored during lockdown and her therapy was to make face coverings and sell for charity. As a previous garden visitor she decided to donate half her earnings to Macmillan Trail! Thank you so much Jan! Read all about her exploits here.

The amazing Adam & Dan at 11 Rugby Road donated 20% of their sales to Macmillan Cancer Support through June, and have donated £300, thanks so much guys. They were scheduled to open for Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail this year and plan to in 2021.

Geoff Stonebanks presented £13708 to Macmillan at a ceremony in his garden, Driftwood, on 22nd August 2019. This was the most raised for the charity in a single year and comprised monies from trail (£9163) and the balance from Geoff's own garden. In reality, with the event at Little Barn in East Dean at the end of August this total actually rose to £14413, streets ahead of previous years.

Below are all the gardens who said they would take part in 2020 before we decided to cancel. There were to be 7 brand new gardens for 2020

(Including Woodingdean, Ovingdean, Rottingdean & Saltdean)

Garden 1...... The Garden House, 5 Warleigh Road, Brighton BN1 4NT

Bridgette Saunders had kindly offered to open up her amazing garden for the trail this year. The Garden House is one of Brighton’s secret gardens This wedge of land was a thriving market garden back in the 1880’s, providing flowers and food for the local residents. We have lived here for nearly 20 years and our aim is to provide year-round interested with a selection of trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders, with annuals for cutting, along with fruit and vegetables to look and taste good We have two glass houses, rose arches, a pond and rockery which enables the Garden House to provide a learning space for creative and inspirational courses and events.

Details on The Garden House web site. The plants, many propagated at the garden, tell a story, a cutting from the Bishop of Norwich of a Hebe, purported to have been in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet, as well as many others from gardens we have visited where the owners have been generous! This is a friendly garden, always changing with a touch of magic to delight visitors, above all it is a slice of the country in the midst of a bustling city and we look forward to welcoming visitors

Garden 2...... 11 Rugby Road, Brighton

This little house in Brighton is home to Adam & Dan,1 pug and bundles of creativity. Now with beautiful garden, was to have opened for the second time for Macmillan, it started as part of the Artists Open Houses, is now a must see on the Open House trail twice a year, get some great deals on original work here too over the trail weekend.

Garden 3...... Stanford & Cleveland Community Garden, BN1 6FB

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a short virtual tour below of the community garden filmed in June 2020

In 2012 the residents around Stanford Avenue successfully petitioned Brighton and Hove City Council to have the road junction (originally a wide coach turning circle) narrowed and a pavement installed on the grounds of safety. This left a large area of tarmac for which the council invited the local residents to submit ideas as to what to do with the space. A Community Garden was agreed which now provides a lot of enjoyment for local residents and passersby alike, with its striking displays of flowers, rich crops of fruit and vegetables and an abundance of herbs.

Reclaiming the space has been a labour of love for a small group of volunteers. The council provided the original structure of a wooden bed, used mainly for vegetables planted on a crop rotation basis, and a triangulated area which sports a lovely maple tree, two olive trees and perennial planting. Last year they built two raised beds on the space on the other side of the road. Being mindful of climate change these have been planted with drought resistant perennials, they also planted a small area with wildflowers. Naturally there are many challenges to maintaining this space which is so appreciated by the community. Ongoing costs are of course an issue. Historically they have received some grants from the Council, the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and small donations. In 2018 they were the southern region winners for the Cultivation Street Community Garden competition. They won a Gold medal again last year for the South and South East in Bloom Our Community and Outstanding for It’s Your Neighbourhood and also two Gold medals in Brighton and Hove City in Bloom which is testimony to all the work that has gone into maintaining this space. But more importantly this small haven has been created and maintained for bees and butterflies and people passing by who can help themselves to some of the produce whilst leaving some for others, or simply enjoy the bright and verdant space and seasonal changes. They would welcome more volunteers and they meet on a Thursday morning.
They are hoping to serve cold drinks and cake and have some artwork for sale too! See their website here.

Garden 4...... Albion Community Garden, Albion St, Brighton, BN2 9PP

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a short virtual tour below of the community garden filmed in May 2020

The Albion Community Garden project began just over two years ago. They have a fenced patio area but gardening has also has spread outwards along nearby grass verges. 95% of residents in this urban area have no garden of their own and almost all of our members have never gardened before. They have been quick to learn and now our patio garden is an oasis of colour with a mixture of flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables. They were proud to win a silver medal in Brighton and Hove City in Bloom last summer and have gained support from local and national businesses. Neighbours have made friendship groups and many are now growing their own food.

Everything you will find here is an experiment. Whether it's creating formal gardens, vegetable plots or a small wildflower meadow. Enthusiasm in both failed and successful attempts has empowered our neighbourhood to take ownership of their immediate space and we are beginning to see the therapeutic effects of gardening and involvement in wider environmental issues. They invite you to enjoy a cool drink and cakes on their patio an learn about their future plans over both days of the Garden Trail. See their facebook page here.

Garden 5...... Macmillan Horizon Centre, Bristol Gate,
Brighton, BN2 5BD

This would have been the fourth year that the new centre has been able to open for the trail. Centre manager, Geoff Brown, has agreed to open up both days, so visitors can take a look at what their donations in previous years have helped build. A member of his team will be on hand and donation buckets on display. The coffee shop will be open and visitors pay by donation too! There is a very small garden area and an amazing living roof to be seen!

Garden 6......27 Balsdean Road, Woodingdean

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a short virtual tour below of 27 Balsdean Road filmed in June 2020

Beryl & Alan Brown had been opening their garden again in 2020. Take home-made tea and cake in the garden or on the terrace outside the Summer house. You can even visit the secret garden down the side of the property! A long garden with established trees and shrubs and a sun trap in the afternoon.

Garden 7...... 33 Wivelsfield Road, Saltdean

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a short virtual tour below of the garden filmed in June 2020

Chris and Steve were to have opened their amazing, work in progress, for the second year running, a 3 tiered garden which includes a large meadow and field leading out to the Downs. There are beautiful succulents in containers, incredible views from the meadow to both the ocean and the Downs and lovely planting. They will be serving tea and cakes too. Steep steps to gain entry to the garden.


Garden 8...... 31 High View Road, Telscombe, BN10 7AY

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a short virtual tour below of Tracy's garden filmed in May 2020

Tracy Williams is now volunteering at the Horizon Centre and was opening her lovely, interesting patio garden again. In her own words it is described as "A garden filled with pots and containers packed with lots of lovely flowers, shrubs and veggies".

Garden 9...... Pear Tree Cottage, 45 Glynn Road, Peacehaven BN10 7SH

Sue and Darren were to have invited you to come and relax in their peaceful cottage garden with planting and ponds to encourage wildlife. There will be plenty of seating, including some undercover in the summer house if the weather is against us, to enjoy homemade cakes and scones served on vintage china. Sue will be selling homemade preserves made with produce from the garden. A percentage of the cost will be donated to Macmillan.


Garden 10...... Driftwood 4 Marine Drive Bishopstone
BN25 2RS

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a 15-minute tour of the back garden and a 5-minute tour of the beach garden, both filmed in July 2020

Our patron Christine Walkden was at Driftwood for the opening of the trail in 2019.

Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood , has been featured on BBC Gardeners' World, was a finalist in BBC Gardeners' World Magazine's Garden of the Year 2016 and has been seen on Good Morning Britain and had a fabulous 8-page feature in Coast Magazine in 2017. You can also read many reviews of the garden on TripAdvisor. It has also won several national awards and featured in many national and local papers and magazines.

Visitors can enjoy tea on the beach garden or amongst the sumptuous planting in the back garden. Winner Best Small Garden in UK 2012 and owner of coveted Daily Mail National Competition blue plaque. Check out the Driftwood monthly updates in the national gardening magazine, Garden News.

Garden 11......The Walled Garden at the School House, On The Egg, Bishopstone, Seaford, BN25 2UF

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a garden tour filmed in June 2020

Following its great success on the 2019 trail, Tim and Karen will be opening their gorgeous, work in progress, walled garden in the tiny hamlet of Bishopstone old village. Located off the village green, called The Egg, it has stunning views of the borrowed landscape of both the Downs and St Andrews Church. It is an extremely relaxing space and quite unique. Park in Bishopstone Road by the church but don't block the road to make sure you leave plenty of space for farm vehicles.

Garden 12......White Row Cottage, Bishopstone Village. BN25 2UG

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a garden tour filmed in June 2020

A new garden with beautiful views of borrowed landscape. Evolving from a field to an informal wildlife garden over a 30 year period to include a variety of trees, shrubs and perennials. Tea and home-made cakes available too.

Garden 13......18 Hill Rise Seaford, BN25 2UA

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a garden tour filmed in late June 2020

Joe and Penny say that it has been their great good fortune to inherit this lovely traditional late 1930's garden, which since the 1980's was improved and planted up by the previous owner and passionate gardener. Around the big lawn, deep borders are full of an eclectic mix of herbaceous perennials, including some marvellous giant echiums thriving in the hot sun. Over the little bridge, with fishponds either side, is a pergola which gives way to small gardens left and right which can also be reached via paths from the lawns.

Their style is abundance with a bit of good luck and little knowledge, but it seems to work in this heavenly spot and the views of the sea are a bonus treat. They have slowly built a collection of sempervivums which are arranged over various pots and a small rockery in the front garden - this collecting is a great way to continually add and expand even the smallest area of any garden. Complimentary cordial/water available too.

Garden 14......Seaford Community Garden, Seaford,
BN25 1AD

A community garden which offers everyone the chance to work on something positive in the community, and introduce more people to the joy and health benefits of gardening regardless of age or ability. Herbaceous borders, roses, alpines, a pond, a woodland area, fruit and vegetables. Plants and seasonal fruit and vegetables available to the public with suggested donations on their labels. Click HERE for their web site.

Garden 15......"Burford", Cuckmere Road,
BN25 4DE

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a garden tour filmed in June 2020

Chris Kilsby had very kindly offered to open up his garden for the very first time on this trail. He describes his garden as having a symmetrical layout with well defined beds that each have a week or two of glory. The beds are not expected to look good the whole time, simple topiary and hedging provide interest when perennials are not in season. The plants used are traditional with plenty of box, roses, lavender and yew.

Garden 16......Windover, Chyngton Lane North, Seaford
BN25 3UU

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a garden tour filmed in June 2020

After several years absence, Helen had decided to open her beautiful garden again. A creative garden with stunning views across to Cuckmere haven. Themed areas with much garden sculpture in amongst the imaginative planting.


Garden 17...... Martlets, The Broadway, Alfriston,
BN26 5XH

In lieu of a visit, enjoy a short virtual tour below of Martlets filmed in June 2020

Rosalind Danesi was to have opened her garden again for the trail. Having enjoyed it so much in 2019, opening 1 day, she has decided to do both. It is a large garden sloping down away from the house with garden scupture dotted around with a pretty, small courtyard at the front of the house. Lots of plants for sale too.

Below Christine Walkden cutting the ribbon to open the 2019 trail at Driftwood and Geoff, Ruth Leonard (Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan) with Christine on the day.

The generous people of Sussex raised £3.7m to help fund the building of the Macmillan Horizon Centre, but more is still needed. The running costs of the centre are covered by Macmillan Cancer Support, and services provided by a team of skilled local volunteers. Macmillan is funded solely by donations and the running costs of the centre are over £650,000 per annum. All monies raised from this trail will support Macmillan in it's operation.

All the monies raised from entrance fees to the gardens, monies raised by selling raffle tickets, along with the proceeds from the sales of teas and coffees will go towards maintaining and operating the new Cancer Support Centre in Brighton. Any stalls operated in the gardens will donate a percentage of their proceeds to the charity as well.

In addition to the monies raised on the trail Geoff Stonebanks also raises money for Macmillan through income from private visits to his own garden, Driftwood throughout the Summer, through raffle of artist donated pieces and proceeds from the sale of tea and cakes at many charity openings. Over £81000 raised to date!

In December 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, received an invitation from Buckingham Palace. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles invited him to a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support in January 2018. Macmillan said it was a thank you for him having made a significant difference to the charity and to those suffering with cancer! Read all about his experience visiting the Palace here.

It was an amazing evening for Geoff at Buckingham Palace, in January 2018, meeting His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, at a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Geoff has attended a Macmillan Executive Team Meeting in the Horizon Centre, Brighton where The Trustees and Board met with groups of volunteers and staff at the centre and heard direct from Geoff about his fundraising work with the charity, both the trail and other events in his own garden Driftwood. He can be seen here with Chief Executive of Macmillan, Lynda Thomas prior to the meeting.

Ruth Leonard, Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan Cancer Support said at the opening in 2019, "Fundraised income makes up 98% of Macmillan’s income, which means the dedication and generosity of our supporters like Geoff is absolutely essential to changing the lives of people living with cancer. Thanks to the effort of such incredible fundraisers we raised a tremendous £230.8 million in 2018. It is 2.5 years since we opened our dedicated Information and support centre in Brighton, the Horizon Centre and since its launch it has supported 100’s of people living with cancer in Sussex, to live life as fully as they can. Geoff has singlehandedly raised nearly £80 thousand for the Horizon Centre through his Driftwood Fundraising Group Committee, including £53,000 from this amazing Macmillan Coastal Garden trail alone. Geoff, on behalf of Macmillan, I’d like to say thank you."

Christine Walkden's horticultural knowledge, combined with her obvious passion for gardening is what has made her a TV and radio favourite, and The One Show’s resident gardening expert, along with being a regular pannelist on Gardeners' Question Time. Autumn 2014 saw her in a 15 part series on BBC1 called "Glorious Gardens from Above". Christine said "I support cancer charities as we have had problems in the family so I know myself what people go through and also how its upsets families as well. I just hope it may help you." See Christine's web site HERE.

Surprisingly the BBC2 series Christine did a few years ago, Christine's Garden is not available on DVD but you can see them all on YouTube for free. Check them out HERE!

In 2019, Christine generously agreed to travel to Sussex to open the event in the award winning garden of organiser, Geoff Stonebanks. She said "Opening gardens and sharing them with others is a great treat for all. It generates a sense of community, camaraderie and interest in the beauty that gardeners create. I am thrilled to continue as patron for the fifth year, especially having seen it first hand."

Christine goes on to say "There are probably umpteen better gardens down my street, but it doesn't bother me - I'm not competitive or pretentious. I don't want a showcase garden. It's the relationship I have with my garden that matters."

Christine can be seen above in Geoff's garden with 2 visitors.

Over £81000 has now been raised by Geoff's Driftwood Fundraising Group since 2012!

In September 2016, Geoff and some of his garden supporters, were invited to a preview of the centre and were amazed to find that Driftwood Fundraising Group was listed on the roll call of supporters who have raised money for the centre. Sussex Committees have raised over £1.1 million and Driftwood £81000 of that.

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser for more information on the event.