How to plan your visit, what you can expect to see and how to bag Chelsea Flower Show 2016 tickets in our essential guide for gardening fans
As the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show fast approaches, we’ve got all the information you need to prepare you for an inspirational day out that celebrates the joy of gardening.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show is probably the UK’s most famous flower show and is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
Every year thousands of garden-lovers flock through the London Gate to be inspired by ground-breaking show gardens designed and landscaped by an array of award-winning, up-and-coming and celebrity gardeners.
In the Pavilion there are more than 100 specialist plant breeders, nurseries and societies creating breathtaking floral exhibits with plants at the peak of perfection, giving visitors insight into the year’s new plant trends. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up products for your garden and home, such as limited-edition sculptures, plants and gardening essentials.
Running for five days, this year’s Chelsea Flower Show opens its doors to RHS members on Tuesday 24 May and then to the general public from Thursday 26 May 2016. Doors open at 8am.
This year’s highlights
Visitors will enter the The Chelsea Flower Show under an impressive floral arch at the London Gate entrance in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s (a regular visitor to the show) 90th birthday celebrations. Designed by leading florist Shane Connolly, the arch will feature all British blooms.
Other highlights include an 80-foot carriage from the Belmond British Pullman steam train, will form part of a 6,000sq foot planted up station in the Great Pavilion.
Horticultural showman and TV gardener, Diarmuid Gavin is back with The British Eccentrics Garden (pictured above), sponsored by Harrods. It features quirky garden gadetry that comes to life every 15 minutes.
An accoustic garden inspired by world-leading percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie will play musical notes to visitors.
How to buy tickets
You can only buy valid show tickets through the RHS and Ticket Factory, the official ticket partner of the RHS. There are still dates available and all tickets must be bought in advance, so book now to avoid disapointment.
Prices range from £23-£68 and include all day event, afternoon and even special twilight sessions. If you are having issues with booking online, please call 0844 338 7502* (lines open daily 8am-10pm).
Getting to the show
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is held at Royal Hospital Chelsea, London.
The closest tube is Sloane Square (District and Circle line) and the grounds are about a 10-minute walk away. Check out the Transport for London route planner for the personalised journey from your postcode.
Nearest national rail station is Victoria. For information on rail services, visit the National Rail website or call 0845 748 4950*. There will also be a shuttle bus service that will run between Victoria and Chelsea. You can find the route map on the RHS website.
Bus numbers 11, 137, 211, 360 and 452 stop closest to the showground,
while bus numbers 19, 22, 319 and C1 stop at Sloane Square.
For further information on tube and bus travel, visit the Transport for London website or call 0843 7222 1234*.
You can arrive by river with MBNA Thames Clippers to Cadogan Pier. The RB6 service operates during weekday peak times. RHS members receive
1/3 off single fares. See the Thames Clipper website for more information.
Public parking is available in Battersea Park and can be pre-booked
with your tickets. Battersea Park is located outside the Transport for
London congestion zone and is approximately 20 minutes’ walk from the
show. To pre-book your parking ticket visit the RHS travel page or call The TicketFactory on 0844 338 7502*. The cost is £29.50 for a full day or £19.50 for the afternoon. If you are parking at Battersea Park and using a sat nav use the postcode SW11 4BY, which will take you straight to the Rosary Gate entrance.
Food and drink
There is a whole range of catering services on site, from the high-end Rock Bank Restuarant, the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Lounge and the Dorchester Floral Afternoon Tea service to food courts and picnic areas serving real ale, cider and snack food.
Need more reasons to book a ticket? We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at more show gardens that will be at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Take a look for yourselves here…
* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone service provider’s access charge.