Blooming Marvellous -The 6 best places to see spring flowers in London
You might be surprised to learn that London is one of the greenest cities in the world. With around 3000 parks (and 8 million trees!), the city has a huge variety of places to see spring flowers. Here are our top picks:
1. Kew Gardens
The only entry on our list with an entry fee, this world famous Royal Botanic Garden has been delighting plant lovers since 1840, and as well as its curated collection of everything from cacti to giant waterlilies, Kew Gardens is also a wonderful place to see wild spring flowers. Visit in March to see bluebells and Kew's glorious "crocus carpet", and in April for cherry blossom. They also have an amazing Orchid festival every year in February.
Kew Gardens tickets cost £16.50 for adults, £8 for children. You can buy them online here.
2. St James' Park
Head towards Buckingham palace in March and April to admire the beautiful tulips in St James Park. The Memorial Gardens beds outside the Palace itself also feature some 28,000 red and yellow tulips. In March the park turns golden with the arrival of thousands of Daffodils.
3. Green Park
Speaking of daffodils, head to Green Park in March to see the park explode in clusters of yellow as over a quarter of a million daffs bloom under the trees. This burst of colour is as floral as Green Park gets - unlike the other Royal Parks, Green Park has no formal flower beds. They were all removed, allegedly at the request of Queen Catherine, after she saw her
husband Charles II picking flowers for his mistress.
4. Holland Park
As the name suggests, Holland Park is famous for its immaculate tulip beds. You can also see magnolia and cherry blossom in its Japanese Kyoto Garden.
5. Notting Hill
A short walk from Holland Park, Notting Hill's pretty streets become even more Instagrammable in late spring as Wisteria and Magnolia trees bloom in front of picture perfect houses.
6. Hampstead Heath
Bluebells and daffodils abound in the woods surrounding the Heath, while in late spring Kenwood House's gardens explode with flowering magnolia trees and rhododendrons. From April to June, the Hidden Pergola in the Hill Garden is draped with purple wisteria, making it look even more impossibly romantic.
In west London, Osterley Park in Hounslow, has wonderful bluebells in its Great Meadow and along the Long Walk, while down south, Battersea Park and Wimbledon's Cannizaro Park have amazing crocuses and Greenwich Park's avenue of cherry trees explodes with pink blossom. East Londoners can enjoy bluebells in Wanstead Park's Chalet Wood, and north of Central London, Regent's Park has a huge abundance of brightly coloured tulips and cherry blossom trees.
If you'd like to make a day trip of it, the legendary bluebells at Ashridge are about a 40 minute walk from Tring station (trains leave from London Euston).
Spring Flower Festivals
The world renowned Chelsea Flower Show takes over the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for 5 days every May. If you can get a ticket, this horticultural extravaganza is a fabulous day out where you can see the best of British gardening, along with a glass Pimms or afternoon tea. If it's sold out, or outside your price range (day tickets are around £70, half days are about £45), you can still enjoy beautiful flower displays for free at the Chelsea in Bloom and Belgravia in Bloom celebrations. While the Chelsea Flower Show is running, shops and bars along Kings Road, Sloane Street and Sloane Square and scattered around Belgravia decorate their fronts with amazing floral installations. There is usually a theme, and properties compete to out do each other. Expect Belgravia's Peggy Porschen to be even prettier and pinker than usual!
Where is your favourite place to see Spring flowers in London? Let us know below!