You won’t find it on the tourist board website, any official maps, or find sign posts to show you the way. Thousands of visitors come to enjoy Preston Park every year, but very few know that hidden away in the rock garden opposite – one of the city’s best-kept secrets in itself – is a magical waterfall.
Head into the gardens using the entrance furthest from the sea. Once inside, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from the busy traffic on the main road… You’ll be so taken by your surroundings you might forget why you’re here.
Side note: Apparently, the curious stone building in the above picture was once a little cafe selling refreshments. Today, it’s a store room for gardening tools and in the summer it becomes completely covered in ivy.
With the hut on your left, follow the path behind it and up some steps. About now you’ll start to hear the sound of the cascading water…
A little further along… and ta da! You’ve discovered a section of Brighton’s mysterious hidden waterfall.
A quick reference in my book Secret Brighton reveals that the gardens were built between 1934 and 1936 on a disused railway bank and were landscaped using 1.3 tonnes of rocks from a quarry in the West Country transported to the garden on a railway line built especially at the top.
The rock gardens are a delight to explore, a different hidden area to discover around each corner, benches hidden in the trees… Don’t forget to stop to take in the view across to Preston Park.
Seen enough? Make your way back down to the pond with its little bridge and the giant stepping stones and another view of the waterfall.
Find more secrets here or in my book, Secret Brighton.