Your English adventure is now in full bloom thanks to the world’s most famous flower show. 

Get excited about your journey through the United Kingdom’s classic scenery on our River Wye tour by first stopping off in London for the breathtaking floral displays of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. Exploding with a natural brilliance you won’t forget in a hurry, wander the colourful exhibitions, marvel at the gorgeous garden designs, and stop to look at the stunning floral arrangements in preparation to appreciate the English countryside like never before. From unspoiled natural beauty to endless eating, drinking, and shopping, this flower show is not only a must for all nature lovers but is also best enjoyed with some of your closest travel buds.  

What is the Chelsea Flower Show?

Formally known as the Great Spring Show when it was first established in 1912, the Chelsea Flower Show is an exhibition of show gardens and floral displays set on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. Considered to be one of the biggest events in the horticultural industry, the Chelsea Flower Show is held over five days in May and draws nature-lovers from all over the world. 

What to wear at the Chelsea Flower Show

There is no official dress code for the Chelsea Flower Show but ‘dressing up’ to an extent is considered the best way to go. This means dressing with a sense of style and flair in long, flowy dresses, pantsuits, trousers, nice shirts, and comfortable, covered shoes. You should also contemplate the weather as it can often be unpredictable from hot and sunny one day to wet and windy the next. Taking an umbrella with you is also a good idea.  

How long do you need at the Chelsea Flower Show?

Depending on how much you want to see and how much walking around you want to do, spending a full day at the Chelsea Flower Show is advisable. To beat the crowds, try getting to the show bright and early (right when it opens) as it can get really busy in the afternoon, especially at the outdoor garden displays. 

When's the best day to go to the Chelsea Flower Show?

There’s no one ‘best day’ to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, however, while the show runs from Tuesday 24th of May until Saturday 28th of May, it’s only open to the general public from Thursday. All exhibitions are open and available to look at throughout the entire duration of the show. 

Things to do at the Chelsea Flower Show

An exhibit as part of the Show Gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show

Wander through the show gardens

While florals for spring might not seem all that groundbreaking, one aimless walk through the garden designs for 2022 is enough to know you’re mistaken. An absolute masterclass when it comes to horticultural brilliance, these show gardens are not only blooming with innovation and high-level expertise but are also made from experimental materials for a truly unique experience you won’t get anywhere else. 

A whimsical floral sculpture in the House Plant Studios at the Chelsea Flower Show

Check out the House Plant Studios

If you’re looking for home inspiration, then look no further than the returning House Plant Studios. Wildly successful in their first run last year, these studios are individually dressed in plants of every size and colour to represent any room in the house. Last year’s designs included fantastical themes of plants and people living in harmony and whimsical ideas surrounding bringing the best of outside, inside. 

Woman smelling a bunch of flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show

Learn about horticultural science

Coming to the Chelsea Flower Show doesn’t just mean looking over the floral set-ups and extraordinary visions of some of the best landscape designers in the UK. You also have the chance to dig deeper into the science behind horticulture including how to combat climate change and the benefits of gardening to improve mental wellbeing with various educational exhibits located in the Great Pavilion. 

A collection of cactus plants for sale in the House Plant Studios at the Chelsea Flower Show

Browse through fascinating local products

If walking around the captivating arrangements and jaw-dropping designs is enough to have you wishing you could purchase some colourful and vibrant products for yourself then you’re in luck. Whether you’re looking for a horticultural themed product to brighten up your living spaces or simply want to support local exhibitors, the Chelsea Flower Show offers the very best in exclusive boutique shopping. 

Chelsea Flower Show FAQs

There are a number of ways you can get to the Chelsea Flower Show including driving and catching public transport. Catching public transport is by far the easiest way to travel to the event with buses and the tube being popular options. The closest tube station to the event is Sloane Square and there are plenty of signs to take you from the station to the Chelsea Flower Show itself. 

The cost of tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show differs depending on what day you're going, whether you're buying your ticket as part of a package, and whether you're a Royal Horticultural Society member or not. If you're not a member, half-day tickets start from £40.85 and go up if you're looking for a full-day ticket to £85.85. Prices are lower for members. Grab your tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show here. 

There are plenty of food options at the Chelsea Flower Show with food courts and picnic areas on site. There are also a number of hot and cold food stalls, as well as beverage stalls, scattered throughout the event so you'll never go hungry. 

While catching public transport to the Chelsea Flower Show is easier and more time-efficient, you can still drive to the event and park in the nearby Battersea Park, however, permission to park here must be pre-booked with your event tickets. This is the closest parking lot available to event-goers but it's still a 20 minute walk to get to the event. 

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce: 

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

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