Secret Gardens: Exploring Tulleys Tulip Fest, West Sussex

Amsterdam might be the first place than comes to mind when thinking of brightly coloured tulips, but did you know there is an amazing field of over 500,000 tulips just an hour away from London?

Nestled in the picturesque countryside of West Sussex, Tulley’s Farm bursts into a kaleidoscope of colour each spring during its renowned Tulip Festival. And the best part is it’s only a short train ride from Central London.


Above: fields of colourful tulips at Tulleys Farm


Above: Storm Flowers florist, Filo, visited the farm this Spring!

Tulips: An English love affair

England has a long-standing love affair with tulips dating back to the 17th century when these exotic flowers were first introduced to the country.

Tulips were originally a wildflower that came from the Middle East and Asia. They have been cultivated for at least 1000 years and were regarded as symbols of status and wealth in 17th century Europe. Fascination with this flower led to widespread ‘Tulip Mania’ across Europe. In Amsterdam in the 1630s, some rare tulip bulbs were in such high demand they sold for the same price as an average canal-side town house!

Inspired by this frenzy, gardeners began cultivating the Tulip in England, often paying vast sums to obtain the bulbs from Holland.


Above: Tulleys Farm is just over an hour away from London


Blooming beauties: A tulip field near London

While Amsterdam is renowned for its iconic tulip fields, Tulleys Farm proves that England is not to be overlooked when it comes to tulip festivals. With 10km of meticulously planted tulip fields, Tulleys offers a captivating spectacle rivalling its Dutch counterparts. Visitors flock to the farm each year to immerse themselves in a sea of colour and fragrance, capturing the essence of spring in full bloom.

Above: Meditating in the tulips

At Tulleys Farm, diversity reigns supreme when it comes to tulip varieties. From classic favourites like the vibrant Red Emperor and elegant White Triumphator to more exotic cultivars in an array of colours, there's a tulip to suit every taste.

Tulleys Tulip Fest is a celebration of nature's beauty, offering a captivating glimpse into the world of tulips right in the heart of West Sussex. Whether you're a seasoned garden enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable day out, Tulleys promises an experience that will leave you spellbound.

Above: be transported to the Dutch tulip fields at Tulleys Farm

When to visit Tulleys Farm

Tulips are some of the last spring bulbs to flower, with the majority in bloom across April and May in the UK. The best time to visit Tulleys Tulip Fest is in April. The tulips have been selected to ensure there is plenty to see across the season, so no matter which week you visit the fields will be awash with a dazzling array of colours, from deep purple to luminous yellow.

During this period, visitors can enjoy over 100 varieties of tulip in varied colours planted across the fields – the perfect spot for a photo op. Make a day of it and enjoy the Dutch street food on offer alongside the Tulip Bar.

Tickets are available for dates across April but be quick as they sell out fast!

Above: Tulips cover the field as far as the eye can see

How to get to Tulleys Farm from London

Getting to Tulleys Farm from Central London is easier than you might think. Simply hop on a train from London Victoria to Crawley (approx. 45 minutes) or London Bridge to Three Bridges (approx. 30 minutes). From there, you can catch a bus (272 or 84 from Crawley Bus Station or Three Bridges Station) or taxi to Tulleys Farm, with the journey lasting around 20 minutes. Alternatively, if you prefer to drive, the farm is easily accessible via the M23 motorway, with free parking available onsite.

Visit the Tulleys website for up-to-date information here