On a recent local adventure, we visited RHS Garden Wisley located in Surrey, England. Wisley is part of a network of gardens curated by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). We were so inspired by the diversity and beauty of the gardens at Wisley that we decided to create a separate photoblog to share images from our visit.

This article is part of a paid partnership in support of Visit England’s ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign.

About the British Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is the leading gardening charity in the UK. Epitomising the British love of gardens, the RHS has been inspiring gardening in the UK for over 200 years.

There are five RHS Gardens (Wisley, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall, Harlow Carr, and Bridgewater) in their portfolio. However, there are also over 200 RHS Partner Gardens spread across the country where visitors can enjoy horticulture, fresh air, historical properties as well as a choice of plant centres, gift shops, and delicious cafes and restaurants featuring local cuisine.

As the seasons change, the RHS gardens offer a different experience on every visit. An ever-changing calendar of events includes exhibitions, child-friendly adventures, food festivals, and music concerts.

About RHS Garden Wisley

RHS Wisley was first established as an experimental site in 1878 by George Fergusson Wilson, a businessman, scientist, inventor, and keen gardener. 

Fondly referred to as Wisley, this garden has a diverse collection of plants, including plants of national significance and others considered rare or endangered.

Highlights at RHS Garden Wisley

At Wisley, we enjoyed many memorable walks through distinct areas of the garden – each one telling a different story through horticulture yet seamlessly integrating with the rest of the garden architecture. 

Some of our highlights included:

The historic laboratory building and Jellicoe Canal

Constructed in 1916, the laboratory has served as home to RHS research and the School of Horticulture for over 100 years. During our visit, the building was being repurposed as part of future plans to develop Wisley. Worth visiting for the giant water lilies.

The Rock Gardens

Constructed between 1910 and 1912, this garden features plants that flourish in alpine conditions.

HDYTI TIP: Pause at the top of the Rock Garden, just after the Bonsai Walk. There you can enjoy beautiful views of the Glasshouse.

The Glasshouse

Follow winding paths through jungle fauna, tree ferns, lofty palms, desert cacti, and dazzling flower displays at this iconic 40ft temperature-controlled building.

RHS Hilltop

Opened in 2021, this purpose-built building at Wisley is being promoted as the ‘Home of Gardening Science’. RHS Garden Wisley plans to make this a centre of horticultural excellence to inspire the next generation of scientists and to share new research work with visitors.

A visit to Hilltop’s rooftop bar is a highlight. From that viewpoint, you can enjoy views of the World Food Garden, the Wildlife Garden, and the Wellbeing Garden, all designed by RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winners.

The World Food Garden

Be sure to explore the World Food Garden and be inspired with ‘plot to plate’ ideas as well as ideas for using small spaces for growing your own vegetables back home.

The Terrace Restaurant

There are a variety of food options at Wisley. Grab a relaxing meal at the Terrace Restaurant. The menu features fresh produce from Wisley’s garden. While walk-ins are accepted, advance booking is advised.

Useful info for visiting RHS Garden Wisley

There’s much more to share about Wisley and we’ll surely be heading back to see more gardens and eat at other locations in the garden.

We think you’ll need an entire day to visit the RHS Garden Wisley (and even then you might not see it all!). 

Arrive early, grab a map and begin at the Glasshouse. From there aim to wander in a circular direction.

Car parking is free.

See RHS Garden Wisley website for a calendar of events.

Please check Wisley’s website before travelling for Covid-19 safety protocols and announcements as plans may be subject to change in line with government guidelines.

We wish to thank Visit England and their partners Gourmet Garden Trails, The RHS, Experience West Sussex for sharing this experience with us.

About Gourmet Garden Trails

Gourmet Garden Trails are carefully curated itineraries put together by Gourmet Garden Trails (GGT), a tourism product developed by local travel trade associations in England.

Regions, where you can follow GGT itineraries, include Cheshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, The Peak District & Derbyshire, and West Sussex.

To create your own gourmet garden trails itinerary including vineyards, breweries, stately properties, and more, visit the Gourmet Garden Trails website.

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).