Butterflies in the Glasshouse at RHS Wisley


Butterflies in the Glasshouse is an annual event hosted at RHS Wisley and if you’ve not visited before, it’s well worth a visit. The glasshouse is filled with hundreds of huge butterflies which flutter around you as you walk through – it’s a really magical experience.

We visit Wisley often as we are lucky enough to live close by and our most recent visit was this week at half term. It was our first time seeing the butterflies this year as the queue had looked too long on our other visits. This time we got there early in time for the park opening when there was no queue at all! If you don’t like to queue you can pre-book your slot online, but I am not that organised!

Butterflies in the Glasshouse RHS Wisley

The garden is filled with butterfly and caterpillar sculptures by Alison Catchlove – really colourful and eye-catching on your walk around the garden.

Butterflies in the Glasshouse RHS Wisley

Butterfly Sculpture Alison Catchlove RHS WIsley

Green caterpillar sculpture

Butterflies in the Glasshouse

Pushchairs aren’t allowed in the Glasshouse during the butterfly exhibit, so you’ll need to leave your pushchair outside. I would recommend leaving what you can (coats certainly!) with the pushchair before heading in – you won’t be needing them inside, it’s sweltering!

There are butterfly feeding stations set up as you walk around to attract the butterflies and give you the opportunity to watch them feed. There are huge stunning bright blue butterflies (Blue Morpho)  and the Giant Owl which is an uninspiring brown colour but has the most beautiful detailing on it’s wings. You can pick up a leaflet to help you spot each type of butterfly and tick them off as you go.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture any photos of the butterflies as the humidity meant my camera steamed up, and I was also laden with coats and bag while trying to chase after a toddler! (You’ll note that I did not take my own advice above about leaving things with the pushchair!)

Max loved the butterflies – we’ve visited the Glasshouse many times before, but I’ve never seen him so willing to run around and explore independently before. I think the photo below of his little face (before my camera steamed up!) captures his excitement quite nicely!

RHS WIsley Butterflies

All around the garden there are signs of spring with daffodils, snowdrops and camellias all blooming.

Daffodils RHS Wisley

RHS Wisley - Snowdrops

RHS Wisley Statue

We stopped off in the cafe afterwards for a hot chocolate and a yummy apricot, almond and polenta cake – delicious!


The Butterflies in the Glasshouse exhibition is on until 6th March, so there is still time to catch it. The admission is included in entrance to the garden, so £14.50 for adults and £7.25 for children on the gate, or pre-book and save 10%, or free for RHS members who can also bring a guest (RHS Annual Membership is only £42.75 – a complete bargain!)

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  • Corinne C
    February 20, 2016

    Aw, it’s a pity you couldn’t get any pictures! I went to one in Epcot Disney Florida and managed to get some great photos. It sounds like a lovely place to visit.

    Corinne x

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 21, 2016

      I know, I was gutted! I’m considering going back armed with a few lint free cloths – I’ve seen photos from other people and they even run photography mornings, so it must be possible, just unlucky on the day (everyone seemed to be having similar misting issues!)

  • Natalie
    February 22, 2016

    Oh I love his little face!
    We went to the butterfly house at Blenheim Palace a long time ago, it was lovely to see them up close. I haven’t taken the kids yet but I bet they’d love to go.

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 23, 2016

      Oh, I didn’t know there was a butterfly house at Blenheim (it’s years since I’ve been!). That sounds like a visit for another day for us! Thanks 🙂

  • Min
    February 22, 2016

    Sounds lovely, and that’s an adorable picture of your son. He looks like he’s enjoying it! #bigpinklink

  • Katie @mummydaddyme
    February 22, 2016

    Ah it looks lovely and he looks so in awe bless him. We have been meaning to make a trip to RHS Wisley for ages, lots of people say that its amazing.

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 23, 2016

      I adore Wisley – my membership saved my sanity on numerous occasions during my maternity leave. We pop over at least once every two weeks – it’s a lovely place to wander, for the kids to run around, and to get a nice coffee and cake!

  • Louise George
    February 23, 2016

    This sounds like a great way to spend a day – might have to try and see the butterflies while they are still there. Love all the butterfly and caterpillar scultpure and that photo of Max’s face when he saw the butterflies is just gorgeous 🙂

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 23, 2016

      Thanks Louise – the butterfly sculptures are lovely, aren’t they? So pretty and colourful. Still can’t quite believe his little face – he’s been very very into The Very Hungry Caterpillar ever since this visit!

  • This Mum's Life
    February 23, 2016

    This looks like a fabulous day out! And yes, the look on your son’s face says it all!! What a great shot! All of the pictures were amazing. My 2 love butterflies, they love the small butterfly enclosure at the local zoo, so they would be in love with green houses full of them! Thank you so much for sharing with us at #bigpinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 26, 2016

      There’s something about kids and butterflies, isn’t there? I’m not sure if it’s the pretty colours, or the movement, or all the stories we tell them about butterflies and caterpillars?

  • Becca @keepingupwithejoneses
    February 26, 2016

    We literally just discovered Wisley a few weeks ago thanks to a friend and even though it was pouring with rain when we went, it was so beautiful! The photo of your son is brilliant, it really captures his excitement!! Thank you so much for linking up to #CityCountryLife, my friend Lizzie will be hosting it next Wednesday on her blog http://www.lizziesomerset.com and we’d love to have you join us again xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 26, 2016

      Thanks so much Becca – it’s just a shame I couldn’t get any photos of the butterflies! I was quite pleased to capture that expression though – it’s worth a hundred butterfly pictures 🙂

      I love Wisley – it’s gorgeous throughout the year, even in the rain (although I’m looking forward to when the weather warms up and we don’t end up making a beeline for the glasshouse to warm up!) Thanks for the invite as well, I’d love to join you next week too!

  • Elsie Pop
    February 27, 2016

    Oh! Max’s little face! xx

  • Elizabeth May Roles
    February 29, 2016

    Bless your little boy, it’s just that look of childhood wonderment, I love it! What a great day out, and yes I would be running after my little girl with coats, hats, bags etc too! Thanks for linking up to #CityCountryLife and hope to see you again Lizzie xo

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