A Festival of Tulips at Standen House


When I was looking at the best places to see tulips in the UK, I came across Standen House, which puts on a festival of tulips every year. We are big fans of the National Trust, and Standen isn’t too far from us, in West Sussex, but for some reason is a place we’d not visited before, so I was keen to head down last year to see the tulips.

Standen is an Arts and Crafts house, filled with Morris & Co wallpapers and prints, and really is worth a look round. We arrived a little before the house opened, so we took a stroll around the grounds, finding this beautiful cottage, and then at the back of the house, a beautiful wisteria. You can tell that we visited fairly late in tulip season given that the wisteria was in bloom, but the tulips were still looking beautiful!

We don’t usually tend to head inside a National Trust house as we have two young and potentially destructive boys, but we did brave this one and it went surprisingly well. I absolutely loved the interiors – I’m a huge fan of prints and wallpaper, and everywhere you looked was another beautiful example.

The entrance to Standen House in West Sussex. Decorated for the Festival of Tulips
A wicker wreath, decorated with pink and white tulips. Part of the festival of tulips at Standen House
A bedroom inside Standen House. Pale blue printed curtains hang at the window, and a white fireplace has different coloured vases along the top
A bedroom at Standen House. An iron bedstead stands in front of an intricately patterned wallpapered wall, in traditional Morris & Co style
Inside the pantry at Standen House, with shelves displaying copper pots and pans, and china plates

I was quite taken with the beautiful sun room, filled with houseplants. I could just imagine sitting in one of those chairs and getting lost inside a good book. But sadly the boys were off, so no chance for a sit down!

Sun room at Standen House, West Sussex. Two wooden chairs sit amongst pots of plants, looking towards the windows
Two wooden tables stand in front of the windows, filled with pots containing cacti and succulents

The reason we’d not visited Standen before was that I had the impression it was all about the house, but the gardens really surprised me. They were full of bright colours and there were plenty of paths for the boys to explore. Despite visiting late in tulip season, the festival of tulips was in full swing and showing no signs of being past its best.

A little boy in a yellow coat runs down a path lined with yellow and pink tulips. Taken at the festival of tulips at Standen House
A festival of tulips at Standen House. A sea of blue flowers with yellow and red tulips poking through. A red tree stands in the background
A little boy in a yellow coat makes his way up a set of steps in a garden planted with pink tulips
A little blond boy stands at a wooden fence, which is blocking off a rock garden. Bluebells are growing in the foreground
A bleeding heart with pink flowers
A little boy explores a rock garden, planted with ferns and other shade loving plants

If you’re looking for somewhere to see tulips in the UK, I highly recommend a visit to Standen House for the tulip festival, which runs from mid-April to May.

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