The season for wisteria in London is not a long one, but more of a brief stint, usually not lasting longer than a few weeks. Between poor weather conditions and the delicate leaves, you’ll have to time your wisteria searching well. However, that’s not to say it can’t be done! Here’s your ultimate guide on how, where, and when to find the best wisteria in London!
When does the wisteria in London bloom?
Shortly after the spring blossom season and just before the start of summer, you’ll smell the purple flowers before you see them. A sweet scent accompanied by the familiar buzz of the bees. The period where you can find this magical lilac flower around London usually falls sometime in April, normally around the beginning to the middle of the month.
However, depending on the weather conditions of that year, blooms can last well into May. This year, it’s safe to say that this post is trailing on the last few wisps of wisteria before they fade away. There are still a few days left, and then again there’s always next year of the year after! Here are my picks for some of the best spots to see wisteria in and around London for 2019!
The best places to find wisteria in London
Peckham Rye Park
Located in the London Borough of Southwark, this green and open space offers views of the City of London such as the Shard. Perfect for a picnic during the summer months, the true hidden gem of this park lies in its secret Sexby Garden, which dates back to the early 1900s. In the late spring/ early summer each year, the peroglas here are covered in purple wisteria flowers, providing a beautiful covered archway!
Ah, the iconic Mews of London! Throughout London, you’ll find little pockets of tranquillity known as ‘mews streets‘. Mere meters away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, it’s here you’ll find quirky architecture, cobbled lanes, and pretty flowers, often including wisteria. Ensor Mews, located in the heart of Kensington is one such place where you’ll find a wisteria house…
If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful mews streets in London, not only to spy the wisteria, but also to get a few stunning snaps of a quintessential mews street, then there’s no doubt you should visit Kynance Mews. Set across two cobbled lanes, the best of the wisteria here can be found trailing across some of the houses closest to the street entrance.
If you love cute London properties, and plenty of wisterias, then you’re in for a treat! There are at least five houses covered in the pirple stuff when you arrive at Elm Place. And between smaller plants to sprawling vines that span the space of three houses, you’re sure to capture a shot that will work well on Instagram (or even just a photo that you can send home to your grandma!)
Truth be told, the very best place to spot wisteria in London has to be the house with the pink door at Bedford Gardens. This ancient plant stretches three floors, while the house itself was once the residence of Frank Bridge and can be found towards the Eastern end of the street.
From the moment you arrive on the street of Cheyne Walk, you can tell you’re somewhere special. The smell of the wisteria blossoms hits you long before you see them, there’s just that many! Here you can stroll along the banks of the Thames and enjoy the wisteria show…
Located in West London, Sumner Place is perhaps not quite as photogenic as some of the other places in this wisteria guide, though it’s still worth a venture through if you’re in the area! After all, during April/ May some of the houses are covered in a smattering of stunning wisteria blooms!
My phone out of battery, I decided to go old-school and just wander the streets of London. Camera in one hand, curiosity in the other, I stumbled on this adorable little street quite by accident. And I’m so glad I did! Nestled in leafy Chelsea, a small and peaceful square surrounds an ancient church. There’s plenty of chance to spot wisteria here, as well as some lovely old architecture and iconic lampposts.
If you don’t mind venturing a little way out of central London (say around an hour on public transport each way), then the former residence of Henry VIII, Hampton Court, offers the chance to enjoy one of the most breathtakingly beautiful wisteria plants in the UK. For, at over 150 years old, this wisteria arch is typically in bloom from May-June and features purple and white flowers.
Chelsea Manor Street
I was quite literally heading home when I saw that familiar hint of lilac among the brickwork. Never one to resist one final snap (much to the annoyance of my long-suffering friends!) I rushed off to capture the wisteria in London before the last few rays of sunlight faded from view.
Things to know before searching for wisteria in London
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of seeking out these late spring flowers in London, you’ll need to go early so as to capture the wisteria without the crowds. The busiest times are at weekends and in the afternoon so if you want to take your photos with no one in them (and not have to wait to capture your photos), then you should visit in the morning and mid-week if possible.
Next, as more trailing vines are being planted all the time, you never quite know where the wisteria will crop up from one year to the next. As such, check out some of the best Instagram spots in London for further photo inspiration. For more tips and advice on what kind of equipment you’ll want to capture the blooms, check out my travel photography gear.
Finally, due to London’s status as a year ’round popular destination, the best places to stay sell out quick and so you’ll want to book your hotel, hostel, or B & B as soon as you know what dates you’ll be visiting the UK capital! Check the best accommodation rates for London here.