By Holly Crossley published
After last year's cancellation due to Covid-19, the 2021 RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is a source of much excitement for any garden lover. Officially titled the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, the well-anticipated occasion is in fact the world's largest flower show. It provides an extravaganza of garden design ideas, exhibits and expert talks. Plus, there'll be plenty of food, shopping and live music – it's the perfect day out for any gardener (no matter how experienced), botanical enthusiast, or flower fan.
Hosted in the spectacular grounds of Hampton Court Palace, this year's event is set to be as enjoyable as ever. As well as the usual attractions, it will include the new addition of the RHS Flower Market. Plus, many of the show gardens will focus in on environmental issues – providing thought-provoking as well as beautiful displays.
'After months of planning and uncertainty we can't wait to return to what we do best, putting on our famous RHS Flower Shows for all to enjoy,' says Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows.
Helena comments on the huge increase in people taking up gardening and growing in the last year. By being able to return to Hampton Court Palace this summer, the team behind the event hopes to bring inspiration and advice for all gardeners and plant-lovers, as well as a much-needed celebration of summer.
We've rounded up all the info you need to know about the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 below – from what's on to travel info. You'll be booking your ticket in no time.
When is Hampton Court Flower Show 2021?
Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival is being held on the 5-11 July 2021.
The first day – Monday 5th – is a preview evening which offers a chance to experience the festival before it opens to the wider public. The evening will include live music and even a fireworks finale. Tickets start at £63.75 for RHS members and £73.75 for non-members. More info can be found at the RHS's dedicated webpage.
Tuesday to Wednesday admittance is open to RHS members only, whilst non-members can join in all the floral fun from Thursday onwards.
For specific opening times, see below:
- Monday 5 July, Preview Evening: 5pm – 10.30pm
- Tuesday 6 to Wednesday 7 July: RHS members only, 10am – 7.00pm
- Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 July: RHS members and non-members, 10am – 7.00pm
- Sunday 11 July: RHS members and non-members, 10am – 5.00pm
Where is the Hampton Court Flower Show located?
The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is held in the show-stopping grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Alongside its breathtaking Tudor and Baroque architecture, the 500-year old estate has 60 acres of garden and was once owned by Henry VIII.
Hampton Court Palace is situated 12 miles southwest of central London, in Surrey.
Its full address is:
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021: what to expect
Get inspired by show-stopping garden designs
If you're after inspiration for your outdoor space, whether it be new landscaping ideas or gorgeous flowerbed ideas, Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival won't disappoint. Featuring Show, Global Impact, and Lifestyle gardens, the event will offer all sorts of styles and innovative designs from well-known and award-winning experts.
These will include Will Williams' elegant Scandinavian lifestyle-inspired Show garden, and Amelia Bouquet's Lifestyle garden based around the importance of face-to-face communication and mental health. For those who are interested in sustainable gardens, Tracy Foster's design is sure to provide a moment of reflection with its focus on plastic pollution. Meanwhile, William Butterworth will be focusing on the impact of climate change, with charred trees and interactive stepping stones making up part of his design.
After the surge of interest in growing your own edible crops in 2020, Hampton Court Flower Show will also dedicate an area on allotment-keeping. This will include talks and demos offering tons of tips and advice, as well as showcasing inspiring plots created by community groups and experts.
Confirmed gardens for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2021:
- The Viking Friluftsliv Garden designed by Will Williams
- The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden designed by Tom Simpson
- Lower Barn Farm: The Bounce Back Garden designed by Samuel Moore
- A Place To Meet Again designed by Mike Long
- The Communication Garden designed by Amelia Bouquet
- Laboratorio S. Rocco – Garden of Solitude designed by Carlotta Montefoschi, Niccolò Cau, Ricardo Walker Campos
Global Impact gardens:
- Canal & River Trust: Message in a Bottle designed by Tracy Foster
- Extinction designed by Felicity O’Rourke
- Global Garden – Game Over? designed by William Butterworth
- The Fashion Footprint Garden designed by Baz Grainger
- RHS Iconic Horticultural Hero Garden – Tom Stuart-Smith designed by Tom Stuart-Smith
- The RHS No Dig Allotment Demonstration Garden in association with Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty
Learn something new with workshops, celebrity talks, garden advice from the experts, and more
Of course, the Hampton Court Flower Show isn't just about the gardens themselves. It also provides a plethora of knowledge via live demonstrations, workshops and talks. This year will feature the likes of Chris Packham, Mary Berry, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and more.
Plus, if you have a certain problem or query regarding a specific plant back at home, then the RHS Gardening Advice stands will offer all the tips you need. To ensure all the show's plants are protected, remember to bring photographs, rather than the live plants themselves.
Are you a fan of kitchen garden ideas and raised garden bed ideas? They'll be plenty of advice available from grow-your-own experts, to ensure your crops flourish. And, if you prefer growing flowers to bring indoors over veggies (although who says you can't do both?), the new RHS Flower Market will provide oodles of inspiration. Featuring florists and cut flower specialists, you'll find everything you need to know to create your own stunning bouquets. The Floral Marquee also promises to be a beautiful attraction, exhibiting a wide range of plants from nurseries all over the UK.
And, if you're an avid rose-grower (or budding beginner), then The Festival of Roses is a must. Sporting some of the very best species, it's due to be a spectacular and immersive treat for the senses. In the meantime, don't forget that there's plenty of advice on how to grow roses and how to prune roses in our dedicated guides.
Refuel with a wide selection of food and drink
A good array of refreshments is a must for every great day out, and at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021, there promises to be something for everyone.
Food courts will be situated throughout the show, offering locally-sourced options from barista-made coffee and chilled glasses of fizz to street food and classic choices. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options will all be available.
There will also be table-serviced options. For relaxed yet delicious dining, the Dig In Kitchen has indoor and outdoor seating and will be serving up the likes of Cornish lobster roll; a mac 'n cheese burger; and gnocchi with nutmeg butter and sage; amongst other mouth-watering meals.
For a riverside view, The Waterside Restaurant offers a two- or three-course menu, or a quintessentially-English afternoon tea. Alternatively, The Rose Tea Garden (situated within the Festival of Roses, naturally), also offers an afternoon tea – who doesn't love a scone and a sandwich on a sunny afternoon?
And, if you fancy a laid-back-yet-luxurious picnic, then Fortnum & Mason hampers will be available, filled with seasonal treats. Why not take in the musical talent of the The Woodland Stage or Hampton Introducing whilst you feast?
Shop 'til you drop
As well as all the advice on offer; the fabulous displays to marvel at; the delicious food; and the music, there will be plenty of opportunities to splash the cash and treat yourself with something to take home.
Expect a wide array of boutique stalls, trade stands and exhibiting nurseries on site offering artisan food, homewares, garden products, and of course, plenty of plants. The Plant Marquee and the Country Living Pavilion are must-visit spots for a fabulous shopping experience – they'll have all you need to pep up your patio ideas.
Covid-19 safety precautions at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2021
For many visitors, the Hampton Court Flower Show will be one of the first big events attended post-lockdown.
As Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows says, Hampton Court Palace is a large outdoor space that can be enjoyed safely by visitors. However, extra precautionary measures will be in place where necessary, to ensure everyone can have a happy, safe, and worry-free experience.
- Any visitors who are feeling unwell or are experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19 will not be permitted entrance.
- All key queueing points will be socially distanced.
- Extra parking and park and ride facilities will be available.
- Layouts have been revised to avoid crowd build-up.
- Track and trace check-in will be available.
- Transactions will be cashless wherever possible.
- Hand sanitization points will be positioned around the site.
- Cleaning and waste disposal regimes will be enhanced.
How to travel to the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021
Most visitors travel to the show by road or by train. However, you may prefer to travel via coach.
Hampton Court railway station is a five-minute walk from the show. The train journey from London Waterloo takes just 30 minutes. Train times are frequent, and if you're travelling in a group of three to nine people, you can save 34% with the South Western Railway GroupSave discount.
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 can also be accessed from central London (via the A3 and A309), or from the M25 (exit 12, A308). For sat navs, the postcode of Hampton Court Palace is KT8 9AU. However, there is no specific postcode for the show's car parks – instead, follow the AA signage when you reach the surrounding area. Two car parks will be available: the Stud Gate car park and the Hampton Court Green car park. Both are located off the A308 Hampton Court Road and cost £16 for the day (subject to change).
There is also a park and ride system, situated at Apps Court Farm on the A3050 (Junction 11). From here, a courtesy bus service will take you to the drop-off point at Molesey Lock – a 15-minute walk from the show. If you prefer not to walk you can use the ferry service operated by Parr Boats.
Return buses run throughout the day, with last departures from Molesey Lock at 7.30pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 5.30pm Sunday.
Coaches will drop off visitors at the Hampton Court Green car park. From here, it is a twenty-minute walk to the show. There is also a shuttle bus for those with limited mobility.
Alternatively, you can take the shuttle to Hampton Court railway station, and either walk or catch the ferry to the showground from there.
Where do you buy tickets for the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021?
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!
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