The best tulip displays in London in spring

The best tulip displays in London in spring

Hampton Court Palace is home to some of the best tulip displays in London. © Historic Royal Palaces.

Love tulips? U.S. too. The colorful flowers – more closely associated with the Netherlands than here – bloom in London in mid-April, and often continue until May. Although you won’t find sprawling tulip fields here in the capital, there are still plenty of parks and gardens, from palaces to royal parks, where you can get your fill of tulip mania. And if you’re willing to travel a little beyond London? Even better! Here’s your guide to where and when to see tulips this year:

Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival

Tulips in London: A large gray bowl filled with red tulips appears to be floating on a pond in front of Hampton Court Palace
You can almost look across Museum Square towards the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam © Historic Royal Palaces.

More than 100,000 bulbs have been planted for the annual tulip festival in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. For a few select weeks each year, the gardens surrounding the magnificent building are filled with colour, in the form of displays of officially planted and free-range tulips – think the rows of regiments lining the edges of the lawns, and the “floating” tulip bowls in the grand fountain in front of the building.

New for 2024 is a display of thousands of tulips falling from a Victorian horse-drawn carriage in the palace courtyards, giving the appearance of a Dutch florist’s carriage.

The Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival runs from April 15 to May 6, 2024 and is included in your Palace admission ticket.

Tulips at Al Tham Palace

In previous years, Eltham Palace in south-east London held its own tulip festival to celebrate the beginning of spring. There’s no such special event this year, but we’re still promising tulips in the Inner Court’s flower beds, so it’s definitely an event you can add to your spring list if you’re a tulip lover.

Tulips in St James’ Park

Tulips in London: A colorful flower bed filled with tulips and other spring flowers alongside a garden in St James's Park
Tulips in St James’ Park. Image: Pam Fry via Creative Commons

The gardeners at Royal Parks do an excellent job all year round, but for our money, the gardens are at their best in the spring. In particular, St James’s Park shows off its pink colours; Head to the formal flower beds in the area around the café, then enter through the northeast corner, closest to the Admiralty Arch. Tulips mix with other seasonal flowers to make very colorful (but immaculately organized) displays.

You can also stroll a few minutes towards Buckingham Palace, where tulips are often planted in spring on the public flower beds surrounding the Victoria Memorial.

Other royal parks, of course, have their own tulip displays. In Regent’s Park, the large stone vases on either side of the wide walkway, south of Chester Road, are usually full of colour. Parts of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park usually put on a decent show too.

Tulip display in Whitehall and Embankment Gardens

A group of red and purple tulips
Victoria Embankment Gardens has a strong tulip game. Image: Mark via Creative Commons

Down the river, south of Embankment and Charing Cross stations, enter Whitehall Gardens at the gate on the corner of Northumberland Avenue. During tulip season, the meadows surrounding the garden statues are usually surrounded by flower beds rich with tulips – we’re not gardeners, but we’ve spotted what we think are some unusual varieties here before.

Also head to Victoria Embankment Gardens, across from Embankment Station, for more tulip activities in this part of the city.

Tulips in the Dutch Garden in Holland Park, Kensington

Formal garden with borders
Not surprisingly, the Dutch Garden in Holland Park is a good place to enjoy tulips. Image: JR P via Creative Commons

Now we think about it, it makes perfect sense Dutch Garden inside Dutch Park will know his way around a tulip or two. Head to the center of the park, behind the café and in front of Holland House, where a large enclosed area of ​​the garden is divided into flower beds fenced in with colorful tulips.

There are a lot of sidewalks that form tulip gardens, so you can wander between them and get very close to take pictures and such. There are plenty of benches around the edge too, if you want to have a picnic and enjoy lunch with a view of the tulips.

Tulip displays at Ham House and Gardens

Tulips at the National Trust-run Ham House and Gardens take two forms – formally planted in the kitchen garden, where daffodils, lavender and fruit trees mix, and a less formal planting style on The Plats, the meadows just outside the house. Here, the ground is covered every spring by 500,000 bulbs of crocuses, muscari and tulips.

Other smaller parks around London that usually have their own tulip displays include The Rookery in Streatham, and Peckham Rye Park in Peckham (also an excellent place for wisteria).

Tulip fields and farms near London

If you’re ready to travel a little further afield for your tulip fix this spring, consider the following gardens and farms near London.

Tulips in London: A field full of red and yellow tulips
Photo: Al-Tauli

Tulip Festival, West Sussex

Known for its sunflower fields in the summer, its pumpkin patch in the fall and its Christmas experience in the winter, Tulleys Farm in West Sussex (near Crawley) has found a way to penetrate the spring event market too: the Tulleys Tulip Fest. Taking place for the first time in 2024, the event promises half a million tulips stretching 10 kilometers, blooming in its fields, along with Dutch street food stalls and a windmill for photo ops. Early bird tickets have sold out, but keep an eye on their social channels for general tickets, and they are due to go on sale when flowering dates are confirmed, expected to be the end of March.

Tulip Festival at Bashley Manor, East Sussex

One of the best locations for little tulips in the south-east is Bashley Manor, on the Kent/East Sussex border. The annual tulip festival sees gardens bursting with colour: 45,000 of them are expected to bloom in 2024, in an ongoing event. April 22 – May 6. They have been planted in colorful themed garden ‘rooms’ throughout the grounds, as well as in potted displays, and cut flowers can be seen in the marquees too.

Hever Tulip Castle, Kent

We’re big fans of Hever Castle, which is gorgeous all year round, but it’s at its best in the spring. In recent years, it has hosted a Tulip Festival, but in 2024, there is a more public celebration of spring in the gardens (April 15-18). We are still promising thousands of tulips, along with cherry blossoms, magnolias, lilies, bluebells and other colorful flowers.

Arundel Tulip Castle, West Sussex

One of the finest castles in Sussex – and across the country, if we may be so bold – the Hogwarts-like Arundel Castle reopens to visitors every spring with a tulip festival (scheduled for 2024) with 100,000 bulbs spread across the gardens and grounds, from the gardens official to the foothills. An absolute riot of colours, and well worth making the trip for.

(Tags for translation)London

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