Chelsea Flower Show is the most important horticultural festival in Great Britain and also one of the most important events in the whole world. Previously called "The Great Spring Show", the festival annually attracts thousands of visitors from all continents, being organized by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) since 1862. This year the festival will take place between May 22-27. If you are a lover of nature, plants and flowers in all their diversity and you want to get in touch with the latest trends in landscaping, this festival is the ideal place. The British are well known for their beautiful gardens, meticulously decorated and with great attention to detail, this culture for plants could be observed over the centuries at the British royal house where gardens as if taken from stories stretch over dozens of hectares creating a setting full of magic. Every year members of the British royal family participate in the Chelesea Flower Show.
At the Chelsea Flower Show you will have the opportunity to see how new species of plants are launched, how old, historical plants are brought back to the public's attention. This is also where the new landscape design trends for the current year are presented, the most important landscapers presenting their latest themes in garden design, gardening products are presented, you can see the creations of the most famous florists on the planet, all on one surface of 45,000 square meters. The event is organized on the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital, where 300 former soldiers of the British army live. The festival has a section dedicated to innovations, here those who bring their contribution to education and science are awarded, there are several sections dedicated to flowers, trees and aromatic plants. There is also a section dedicated to artists, designers, photographers and florists where you will be able to admire their creations and discover their universe full of creativity. In what follows, we will present the main events of the festival, but also a guide that contains suggestions for transport, accommodation and restaurants with delicious food.
As I mentioned above, the Chelsea Flower Show will take place between 22-27 May 2023, but the first 3 days will be dedicated exclusively to members, the press and the royal family. Therefore, you will be able to take part in the activities of this event starting on May 25, 2023. Tickets can be purchased online, and their prices differ depending on how long you want to spend at the event. If you want to spend a whole day at the Chelsea Flower Show and enjoy the whole experience, the price of a ticket is 90 pounds. A friendlier alternative to your budget could be the access ticket between 15:30-20:00, it costs only 45 lira, you can find more details about tickets, access times and prices here. The 2023 edition will be full of surprises, here you will be able to admire some of the most beautiful gardens in the world that will certainly inspire you. Below we will present some pavilions that you should not miss when you attend the Chelsea Flower Show.
Transport - How do you get to London?
To get from the airport to the center of London, we recommend the National Express buses, they offer a direct transfer to the city center and offer trips from every London airport. This option is budget-friendly, the price of a ticket being approximately 16 lira. Tickets can be purchased online, and those who do this have priority, you can find more details about prices here. The trip takes about an hour and a half, but this may vary depending on the airport you land at.
Accommodation - Where to stay in London
Hotels in London can have quite high prices, but it is not impossible to find a friendly option with your budget. If you want to explore the city, you can opt for an accommodation relatively close to the central area, about 2-3 km, thus managing to find the best price and discover lesser-known places. Here are some accommodation options that we recommend:
- The Grange Pub a lively accommodation that combines the experience of a typical London pub with accommodation services that will offer you everything you could need. Located near the central area, 1.8 km from London Bridge, this accommodation unit offers double rooms, decorated in a classic style, at the price of 103 euros per night.
- Centel – Happy Stay in Zone 1 London located 1.9 km from London Bridge, this hotel offers all the necessary facilities for a successful holiday, including free WiFi. The rooms have a clean, minimalist decor and the price for one night's accommodation in a double room starts from 127 euros.
- APlaceToStay Central London Apartment, Zone 1 KIN this property offers an intimate space, equipped with everything you need, including a shared kitchen, free Wi-Fi and TV. The decor is minimalist and modern, and the price for one night's accommodation is 138 euros for two people. The accommodation is 2.5 km from Big Ben, has access to the subway and is the ideal choice for an unforgettable vacation.
Chelsea Flower Show 22 – 27 May 2023
The Sanctuary Gardens combine contemporary visions with the traditional ones of the home garden, all while capitalizing on the idea of nature's healing power. You can find these inspiring gardens on Royal Hospital Way.
One of the most important categories at the Chelsea Flower Show, this is the place where you will be able to admire the latest trends in horticulture and landscaping. Here you will find 12 gardens designed and decorated by well-known landscapers, each of them unique and full of surprising elements.
This category dispels the myth that gardening is only intended for those who have at their disposal large areas of outdoor land and large budgets. Here you will learn how you can transform a small space into an ideal sanctuary for relaxation, in a garden that will bring you closer to the broom and which you will be able to enjoy every day.
All About Plants
All about plants is a new category at the Chelsea Flower Show, this one focuses on small growers. The small gardens celebrate the power of plants, the way they positively influence our lives and health, both physical and mental.
Here you will be able to learn more about how to take care of indoor plants, you will receive many practical tips and you will accumulate a lot of new information. The specialists will show you that there are numerous species of indoor plants, extremely adaptable and that turn a mundane space into an amazing one, whether you opt for an interior garden or just a small terrarium.
The Great Pavilion
The Great Pavilion is considered the focal point of the Chelsea Flower Show. In the famous massive white tent, which has become symbolic for the festival, you can discover the most beautiful flower exhibitions from the best nursery growers in the world. Here you will be able to admire numerous species of fragrant and colorful flowers, and if you don't want to leave empty-handed, you can buy some for your garden. Along with the flower exhibition, you will also find educational exhibits, where the latest discoveries in horticulture are presented, here you will learn more about the benefits of gardening, how it can help combat climate change and the benefits it has on mental health.
Gastronomy & Restaurants
If we had to describe British gastronomy in one word, it would be diversity. British cuisine is the result of several vast influences from other cultures, thanks to this fact, English cuisine has an extremely rich culinary register. Throughout history, England has acquired various culinary traditions that people have integrated into traditional cuisine. Therefore, a trip to London is the ideal opportunity to try various new types of food, full of flavors, from traditional fish and chips to curry, which has already become part of British culture. Below you will find some recommendations of dishes that you absolutely must try, but also of restaurants that will offer you a sensational experience.
- Fish and Chips one of the most loved and well-known English dishes, this fried fish in a crispy crust served with mashed peas and fried potatoes is delicious and easy to find.
- Bangers and Mash a simple but extremely delicious dish based on a creamy potato puree served with a pork sausage and an onion sauce.
- Shepherd's Pie a dish with a rich history, shepherd's pie was mentioned for the first time in cookbooks in 1780. It is based on mashed potatoes, lamb and a crispy crust on top.
- Eton Mess a dessert that was originally prepared to be served at Eton College's annual cricket match against Harrow students. A delicious dessert based on fresh strawberries, banana, a layer of crispy meringue and whipped cream.
- Crumpets the British version of a pancake, with a fluffy and airy texture, this delicious dish is often served for breakfast with fruit jam.
- British Breakfast English breakfast has already become known all over the world. Consisting of eggs, beans, sausages, bacon, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, this breakfast is extremely hearty and will give you energy for the whole day.
- Steak and Company – Piccadilly Circus this restaurant specializes in juicy and extremely well-seasoned burgers and steaks. If you want to spend the evening in an industrially decorated location, with a vibrant atmosphere, this is the ideal place. The restaurant has a diverse menu where you can even find vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
- The Golden Chippy in this pub you can enjoy a typical British experience while enjoying one of the best fish and chips in town. The atmosphere is welcoming, full of positive energy, and the prices are extremely good, starting from 14 lire.
- The Victoria a restaurant where you will feel like you have teleported back in time, with an imposing, Victorian decor and a welcoming atmosphere. The menu is diverse, it contains many ideal alternatives for vegetarians and vegans, you can stop here for a quick snack but also for an unforgettable dinner. The prices are moderate, a sandwich costs around 7 lire and a main dish starts from 15 lire.
The Chelsea Flower Show is an unmissable experience if you are passionate about gardening, if you love flowers and nature in all its diversity. It is a place full of inspiration from which you will learn many new things that you will be able to apply once you return home. If you want to discover more tourist attractions in London to visit on your trip, here you will find a complete guide that will help you for an unforgettable vacation.