A few hints to make your Chelsea Flower Show visit as hassle free as possible.
- Temperatures can be extreme. Wear adaptable clothing.
- Rain is not unlikely and can be torrential; a waterproof hat and raincoat is a good idea. Umbrellas can be a hazard in crowds.
- Sunshine can be stiflingly hot. Take sunscreen and a hat.
- Sensible shoes are essential, and flat, waterproof soles are best as the ground can become muddy if there has been heavy rain.
- It’s worth buying the Chelsea Flower Show catalogue as soon as you enter the grounds. Map inside back cover, to find facilities, meeting places, bank, lost property, first aid posts and much more.
- There is a left luggage area at the showground.
- There is a bank at the show grounds and it will exchange foreign currency however it’s a good idea to take plenty of cash with you.
- Reduce the contents of your handbag and pockets before you go but be sure to take a notebook and pencil.
- It can take ages to get from A to B at the show so if you are meeting someone allow plenty of time
- If possible visit the loo at times other than the lunch hour rush.
- There are a range of eating outlets at the show – plan to eat early to avoid a rush
- If you consider buying seeds do your homework about what kiwis may legally bring back into New Zealand before leaving NZ. Before you can establish if a particular species can be imported into New Zealand you will need to find out what the scientific name is (genus and species). Of course you probably won’t know what you would like to buy until you see it, but if you’ve got your heart set on something do research in advance. The Ministry for Primary Industries plants biosecurity index (the searchable database of approved species) identifies approved species for importation by their scientific name; you will not be able to search by the common name. Only species listed in the Plants Biosecurity Index with a valid seed for sowing import specification (e.g. Basic, see 155.02.05 under xxx) can be imported. Check out the web.
- Your ticket does not allow you to leave the show and return
- Sloane Square is the nearest underground station to the show (short walk down Lower Sloane Street), Victoria is the nearest mainline station (there is a shuttle bus to Victoria as it’s a bit far to walk), buses go down Royal Hospital Road and Pimlico Road and Sloane Square is a stop for many bus routes. A taxi may be best caught in Sloane Square rather than beside the show because of congestion. Beside the show taxis arrive at the Bull-Ring Gate and Chelsea Embankment.
- If you leave the show early and would like an unusual public garden to visit, the Chelsea Physic garden is at 66 Royal Hospital Road just a short walk down the road from the show. London’s oldest botanic garden, Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries for the purpose of training apprentices in identifying plants. It subsequently became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world. It’s got a café and book/gift shop too.
- In the other direction is a beautiful shop Daylesford Organic - albeit expensive and a little pretentious – but it has appeal for gardeners; it has a cafe too. Daylesford Organic is at 44B Pimlico Road and you can walk there from the show.
The show can be exhausting. Take it easy.
It may sound a bit like a military operation but it’s worth it –
its the greatest flower show on earth .