What steps should you follow to attend the Chelsea Flower Show with ease?

11 June 2024

It's that time of year once again when the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) transforms a portion of London into a vibrant oasis for the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show. Let's dive into the tips and tricks to help you navigate this grand gardening event with ease. From securing the best tickets to choosing the right hotel, we will guide you through each step of the process.

1. Securing Your Tickets

Getting tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show is arguably the most critical step in your preparation. The RHS usually releases tickets in batches, with RHS members getting priority access. It's important to note that tickets sell out quickly due to the show's popularity, so it's crucial to be prepared.

To ensure that you get tickets, you may want to consider becoming an RHS member. Not only will this give you priority access to Chelsea Flower Show tickets, but it also provides many other perks such as free access to RHS gardens all year round, a monthly gardening magazine, and personalized gardening advice.

If membership is not for you, keep a close eye on the RHS website for announcements about when tickets will go on sale. Usually, this is towards the end of the previous year, so be ready to secure your tickets as soon as they become available.

2. Planning Your Visit

Now that you have your tickets, it's time to plan your day at the Chelsea Flower Show. This event typically runs for five days in May, with each day having a slightly different schedule and focus.

The first two days are typically reserved for RHS members, while the rest of the week is open to the general public. The show opens at 8 am each day and closes at 8 pm, except on the last day when it closes at 5:30 pm.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the layout of the show. The RHS provides a map on their website, showing where the various gardens, flower displays, and vendor stalls are located.

3. Choosing Your Hotel

Choosing the right hotel can greatly enhance your Chelsea Flower Show experience. The show is held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which is within easy reach of many of London's top hotels.

When choosing a hotel, consider factors such as distance from the show, availability of public transportation, amenities, and price. Some hotels even offer special packages for the Chelsea Flower Show, which may include things like complimentary breakfast, late checkout, and even transportation to and from the show.

If staying in central London is not for you, there are also many great hotels in the surrounding areas. Just ensure that they are within easy reach of public transportation to make your commute to the show as hassle-free as possible.

4. Navigating the Gardens

The gardens are undoubtedly the highlight of the Chelsea Flower Show. Every year, top garden designers from around the world create stunning displays that showcase the very best in garden design and plant variety.

When visiting the gardens, it's worth taking the time to learn about the inspiration and story behind each one. This will deepen your appreciation of the designs and might even provide inspiration for your own garden at home.

Don't forget to check out the smaller displays too. While the large show gardens often steal the limelight, the smaller artisan and urban gardens provide a wealth of creative ideas and can be a great source of inspiration.

5. Making the Most of Your Visit

Finally, to make the most of your visit, remember to take it slow and enjoy the show at your own pace. There's a lot to see and do, and it can be easy to try and rush through everything.

Consider planning your visit over two days if possible, this will allow you to take in all the displays and presentations without feeling rushed. Also, remember to keep hydrated and take regular breaks.

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a newbie to the world of horticulture, the Chelsea Flower Show offers an unforgettable experience. By following these steps, we hope that you can navigate this great event with ease and truly enjoy everything it has to offer.

6. Exploring The Great Pavilion

A central attraction within the Chelsea Flower Show is the Great Pavilion, playing host to nurseries, plant societies, and floral designers from all over the globe. This is a must-see part of your visit, allowing you to explore a diverse range of plants and flowers.

The RHS Chelsea website usually offers information about who will be exhibiting in the Great Pavilion. This allows you to plan ahead and identify which stands you would like to visit. From rare orchids to award-winning rose growers, the variety is immense and truly captivating.

In addition to appreciating the visual appeal of the displays, you may also have the opportunity to learn from the experts. Many exhibitors are more than happy to share their knowledge on plant care, garden design, and other horticultural topics.

Don't miss the chance to buy plants and garden accessories here too. Many exhibitors sell their products, providing you with a chance to bring a piece of the Chelsea Flower Show back to your own garden.

7. Sharing Your Experience

In today's digital age, sharing your Chelsea Flower Show experience on social media can be a fun way to engage with other attendees and the wider gardening community. You can share photos of your favourite gardens, highlight your preferred exhibits in the Great Pavilion, or even share snippets of wisdom you've gleaned from experts.

The official RHS Chelsea social media channels often run competitions during the show, providing an extra incentive to share your experience online. Additionally, following these channels can keep you updated with any last-minute changes or important announcements.

Remember to respect the privacy of other attendees and adhere to the photo policies of the show. Not all areas are open for photography, and it's important to check before sharing anything publicly.


Attending the Chelsea Flower Show is an enriching experience for anyone with a love for gardening and design. From securing your tickets to planning your visit, choosing your hotel, and navigating the show gardens, each step builds anticipation for the event.

Take your time as you stroll through the gardens, unravel the stories behind each garden designed, and let the beauty of the flower displays in the Great Pavilion astound you. Above all, remember to share your experience and interact with the vibrant community that gathers at this iconic show.

Attending the flower show is not just about spending a full day appreciating the best in garden design. It's about immersing yourself in a unique event, learning from experts, and returning home inspired, with a deeper understanding of the horticultural world.

By following these steps, your journey to and through the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show should be a breeze. Whether you're an RHS member or not, a seasoned horticulturalist or a gardening novice, we hope that these tips will help you make the most of this world-class event. So, here's to a successful and enjoyable visit to the Chelsea Flower Show!

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