8 Exceptional Alternatives to the Chelsea Flower Show in London


It’s almost here, the most awaited flower show in London is starting on 21st May. Whether you will be attending the Chelsea Flower Show and are looking for related events and places about gardening or flowers in London, or if, as a flower-lover, you are just looking for alternatives to visit, here’s a list of our 8 favourite must see floral places in London!

Belgravia in Bloom

20 - 25 May 2019

Free entry

One of the most remarkable floral displays in London, Belgravia in Bloom takes place from the 20th to the 25th May around the elegant and refined neighborhood of Belgravia. Inspired by the Victorian-era concept where secret messages were sent through flowers, bouquets and potted plants you will see 50 installations created by some of the best florists in town, including Moyses Stevens and Neill Strain, to demonstrate the meaning behind the blooms.


Mayfair Flower Show at Sketch

Sketch, 9 Conduit St, Mayfair: 16 - 26 May

The famous No. 9 Conduit Street is being transformed into a series of immersive gardens and beautiful flower displays. From its facade to its Parlour to its famous bathroom pods you will be able to admire the work of top florists such as Thierry Boutemy, Carly Rogers, Jam Jar, Ricky Paul, Figa & Co, Tony Marklew and Rebel Rebel. This year’s theme is all about celebrating springtime in the city.


Covent Garden in Bloom

15 May - 5 June

Another must-visit floral destination is Covent Garden. Celebrating its heritage as London’s original flower market you can find here the biggest number of floral installations in London this Spring.  From pop-up floral activations, to fully decorated stores, to botanical menus in dining spots make sure you don’t miss it!


Chelsea Physic Garden

Opening times

  • Monday - Friday, 11 am - 6 pm

  • Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm

The oldest botanic garden in London, this gorgeous garden used to be a world leader in natural medicine after being opened in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to grow plants to be used as medicines. Within its walls 5,000 different edible medicinal plants grow including the world’s most northerly outdoor grapefruit tree. Its rock garden is the oldest English garden devoted to alpine plants and also the largest fruiting olive tree in Britain is here.


Kew Gardens

Opening Times

  • Monday - Thursday, 10 am - 7 pm (last entry 6 pm)

  • Friday - Sunday, 10 am - 8 pm (last entry 7pm)

A World Heritage Site, Kew Gardens has the largest and most diverse botanical collection in the world. An absolute must for lovers of gardens and flowers, consider taking almost a full day to explore it properly as it is huge. It has more than 30,000 different kinds of plants and over seven million preserved plant specimens in its herbarium.

Make sure you see the Treetop Walkway, the Palm House, the Waterlily House, Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens, Redwood Grove and of course all its beautiful gardens.


Hampton Court

Opening Times: Monday - Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm

Apart from the beautiful palace, Hampton Court boasts its world-famous gardens, which include 60 acres of spectacular formal gardens and 750 acres of parkland, all set within a loop of the River Thames. Venture into the oldest maze, see its record-breaking grape vine, enjoy three National Plant Collections and over one million flowering bulbs in the Wilderness. Here you can also spot a huge variety of wildlife, including the descendants of Henry VIII’s deer herd. Please calculate at least half a day to see everything or even a full day if you want to see it in a more relaxed way. From Hampton Court you could go to Kingston by boat or to Richmond for even more nature, deer and beautiful scenic panoramas.


Holland Park, Kyoto Garden

Free Entry

The perfect place to unwind, go for a stroll and admire beautiful plants, flowers and wildlife, Holland Park is such a unique nature gem close to Notting Hill and Kensington. A picturesque waterfall flows into a peaceful rock pool, where koi carp dart beneath the surface and peacocks stalk past on the banks. You’re not in a Japanese fairytale, although you might feel this way. So if you haven’t been make sure you make some time in your agenda to go and visit this magical park. It won’t take more than 1 hour to visit the park, but even if you just want to walk through it, it is absolutely worthwhile.


Richmond Park, Isabella Plantation

Free Entry

Opening Times: Monday - Sunday, 7:30 am - 8:15 pm

A true floral paradise, The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830's in Richmond Park. First opened to the public in 1953, you can admire its azaleas along the ponds and streams, which are at their peak of flower in late April and early May. Enjoy a large collection of Rhododendrons and Camellias, exotic plants and many other rare and unusual trees and shrubs. The plantation is set within the gorgeous Richmond park where you can enjoy some lovely walks amongst herds of deer and stunning nature. We also recommend visiting Petersham Nursery for a drink, some food or just to visit its lovely nursery (if you are around Covent Garden check out their shop and restaurant there too).


And for unique nature immersive experiences in London check out nature walking tours.