The Wisley Garden – London

Posted On November 26, 2009 

England has gained the reputation of having perhaps almost as many gardens open to the public as the whole of Continental Europe. From the numerous gardens in London, one cannot miss mentioning the Wisley Garden in Surrey.

Wisely is a small quaint village located in Surrey, London. It is situated between Cobham and Woking. The river Wey lies through the village. For more than a century, Wisley has been a centre of gardening excellence, and has been enticing people from all over with its exceptional beauty and splendor.

The spectacular and breathtaking 240 acre garden at Wisley is the largest of four botanical gardens in England owned by the members of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). An impressive 250 acres, this garden pride itself on incorporating one of the widest range of gardening styles and techniques in the world! This garden is a source of inspiration and interest to the home gardener, and offers many model gardens of ordinary lot size.This must-see garden incorporates practical information and inspiration, and boasts of a collection of world famous plants developed Wisley Gardenover more than 100 years.

The entire garden can be divided into 4 main sections. The Rose gardens and Innovative plantings are worth a mention here. With their astounding beauty, they are indeed a sight to behold!


The garden has an interesting origin. This garden was initially the brainchild of George Ferguson Wilson. Wilson was not only an astute businessman, scientist, and inventor, but also was a keen gardener and a former Treasurer of the Society. It was in the year 1878 that he purchased the site where the current garden stands, with the view of establishing an Oakwood experimental garden, where he wanted to grow difficult plants successfully.

The garden soon gained a reputation for its beautiful collections of flowers such as gentians, lilies, Japanese irises, primulas and water plants. The current Wild Garden at Wesley is the direct descendant of Oakwood, and it has in all these years, remained true to the original concept.

After his death in 1902, the garden and the adjacent wooded farmland was purchased by Sir Thomas Hanbury. He then presented the estate in trust to the Society for its perpetual use.

About the Garden

Spanning across over 240 acres, these gardens grew steadily not only as an ornamental garden, but also a garden for educational and scientific purposes. It incorporated some of the best practices in gardening, making it a much sought after destination by garden and plant lovers.

The beauty and tranquility of the garden, with its luscious rose gardens, richly planted borders, and the extraordinary glasshouses is enough to send one into raptures.  The garden is a source of inspiration to one and all.  It is a horticulturist’s dream come true. One very good thing about this garden is that almost everything is very clearly labeled.

Some of the places that are a must see in the garden include:Rock Garden
  • The splendid Rock Garden, adorned with rock pools and Alpine Houses
  • The magnificent 16-acre fruit field with over 700 apple cultivars
  • An array of glasshouses for year-round interest
  • Fruit, Vegetable and Herb gardens
  • The riot of colors in the mixed borders and rose gardens
  • A medley of fruit, vegetable and herb gardens

About half of Wesley is the carefully manicured gardens, borders, water features, and show gardens. The remainder is trial grounds of all sorts of plants and trees. If you are in England, around London, Wesley is not to be missed!

Planning Your Visit
All year-round Activities

There is never a dull moment at the garden in Wesley. It offers a variety of events taking place all around the year.

RHS Garden Wesley is a fun place, whatever the season. So whether you want a quiet walk around the park, or an energetic exploration, the garden is just the right place to be.

In summer one can witness the stunning and mesmerizing bloom of orchids in the Glasshouse. The Flower Show in the month of August is very popular and much looked forward to event.

There are buggy-friendly pathways all the way round the garden, but some areas are only grassed and care should be taken around the rock garden area

Family Trails

Do not forget to pick up a family trail at the Garden Entrance. This is available all year round. Each trail engages the children, giving them things to spot, ideas of great places to explore and fun things to do in the garden.

Picnic Time:

The park offers two picnic areas; one in the Pinetum and the other near the Fruit Mount. Visitors are welcome to picnic in the garden but ensure that you clean up before you leave the place.

Glasshouse in wisleyThe Glasshouse

During winter, the Glasshouse is open from 10am until 3.45pm daily, with last admission at 3.30pm.

Recreation and Shopping

For the tired and weary visitors, the garden offers seasonal menus in the café and restaurant. There is a wide range of refreshment facilities at Wesley such as the Conservatory Café, Terrace Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Orchard Café and the new Glasshouse Café.

The Conservatory Café

Overlooking the seven acres of sheer beauty, this café offers an option of “make-your-own lunchbox selection” and an outdoor terrace seating.

The Conservatory Dining Room

This place offers informal table service and a menu for younger diners.

The Glasshouse Café

With informal bench seating, as well as arm chairs and coffee tables, this café is a favorite among many. It also has an enclosed private area for nursing mothers and an activity center for children.

The Orchard Café

Open only during the summer months, this café serves a selection of drinks, ice creams and snacks. High-chairs and customer toilets are near all of the cafes

The Wisley Shop

The Wisley Shop has a wide range of inspirational gift items to suit all tastes, as well as a comprehensive collection of gardening books. The shop offers the world’s finest collection of horticultural books as well as other gifts. There are over 10,000 varieties of plants for sale in the Wisley Plant Centre. The plant centre not only sells a variety of plants, but the knowledgeable staff can also provide invaluable professional advice on all types of gardening issues.

The garden will delight and inspire in any season of the year. It is full of ideas and information. Whatever the season, there is always part of the garden which is at its best.

Getting There

Wisley Gardens



Surrey GU23 6QB

United Kingdom


0845 260 9000.

The garden is open all year around, except Christmas Day.

March to October

Monday to Friday: 10am – 6pm

Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 6pm

November – February:

Monday to Friday: 10am – 4.30pm

Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 4.30pm

The garden opens at 9am on Bank Holidays

Last admission is one hour before closing

By Road

Wesley Gardens is located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey, off the main London to Portsmouth road (A3) south of Junction 10 of the M25. Follow the brown tourist flower signs on the A3 and M25 to RHS Garden.

By Bus

You can take route 515 from Kingston to Guildford via Surbiton and Wisley.  For details call National Traveline on 0870 608 2608.

By Rail

The closest stations are West Byfleet (3 miles) or Woking (4 miles)


Free parking is available at the premises


The park has full facilities for those who are physically challenged. There is a recommended wheelchair route through the garden


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