Arundel Castle Tulip Festival 2022

20 April 2022

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in early April, we had the opportunity to hop along to visit Arundel Castle Tulip Festival. The famous annual Arundel Castle Tulip Festival is now open from the 5th April 2022, featuring 60,000+ new tulips and over 130 varieties it’s a must-do for any flower lover! A Kaleidoscope of colour, it is the perfect welcome to Spring.

Thanks to the unusually warm (and extra wet) winter months this year, the Spring bulbs are popping up extra early to show off their vibrant petals meaning that Arundel Castle Tulip Festival is open a little earlier than normal.  Tulips, Daffodils, Scillas, Crown Imperiallis, Primroses and Snakes Head Fritillaries are just a handful of the seasonal blooms you can spot throughout the Castle gardens and grounds this year. The Tulip Festival is presented in the Collector Earl's Garden – which was opened in 2008 by Prince Charles and is a beautiful memorial garden to the 14th Earl of Arundel.

We share some of the highlights, photos and favourite tulips from our visit to Arundel Castle Tulip Festival.

The Water Rill

As you walk under the beautiful domed pergolas entwined with lush green hornbeam, you get your first glimpse of the Water Rill section. Giant oak urns with gilt lion water fountains cascading into the pool are normally the talking point of the Water Rill – until Tulip Festival time! Stunning Pink Impression Tulips add a big pop of colour, and with their giant hot pink velvety petals, they really create the wow factor as you start your journey through the gardens.

The Temple

Or as I call it, the Flower Temple of Tulips. Not many visitors (myself included) could resist the photo opportunity here, nestled in the sea of vibrant tulips. Tulip varieties included Annie Schilder, Strong Gold and Purrissima. I love the mix of colour palette and petals here; from frilly white edges, crown shaped petals to fire flame colouring; it is a visual explosion of the beauty of tulips.

The Labyrinth Garden

As you walk down the stone steps into the next section, you are met with a sea of ash white Thalia Narcissus and Oxford Red Tulips marking out a magical maze of flowers. Over 20,000 bulbs are used to create this stunning floral display, and it certainly takes your breath away!

The Labyrinth Garden is set with the grand Arundel Cathedral as the backdrop, and framed by exotic windmill palms and tropical planted borders.

The Thatched Roundhouse

The Wild Flower Garden surrounding the Thatched Roundhouse was a vision of rich colour this year; Passionale, Mistress, Paul Scherer & Bastogne tulips in shades of crimson red and jewel purples. I really loved the pointed tip tulips in the display - looking like floral crowns they are perfectly used in a castle garden I think. The Thatched Roundhouse is the perfect spot to take a seat under the traditional roof and soak in the scents and grand scenery that surrounds you.

The Wedding Cake

I love cake, so what could be even better – try a Wedding Cake of Tulips! So called because of the bulb arrangement is in tiers like a cake; Coral pink, ruby red and jewel purple tulips layered up to create the Wedding Cake effect. Tulip varieties used here includes Tulipa Pink Impression, Rams Favourite, Shirley and Negrita. Just look at those petal colours!!

The Pots

Nestled in the nooks and crannies’ of the gardens were beautiful pots and mini displays of Tulips, joined by other Spring favourites such as Hyacinths, Daffodils, Narcissus, Forget Me Not and Cowslip. I adored the 'Volunteer Gardener' found in the kitchen garden with her wheelbarrow of colour! We also spotted peonies and alliums in bud, waiting their turn to burst out in all their glory at the first signs of summer.

The Castle

After exploring the Tulip Festival section, we wondered around the grounds of the castle. The steep grass banks surrounding the castle turn into a carpet of colour; full of gorgeous Primroses, Daffodils and Narcissus - with the backdrop of the historic castle it is a stunning sight.

With nearly 1000 years of stories, Arundel Castle is one of the most famous and breath-taking scenes in Sussex. Nestled in the heart of the Arun Valley – between Worthing and Chichester – the majestic Arundel Castle is built on the banks of the River Arun and rises above the historic market town of Arundel. Dating back to 1067, the castle has a grand old history full of Queens, Kings, Dukes, and most likely some ghosts! The main building was badly damaged in a war, and so was almost completely rebuilt in the late 1800s thanks to the Duke of Norfolk, reflecting the popular gothic style architecture from the era with a romantic twist.

The grounds and gardens of Arundel Castle are magnificent, with beautiful award-winning Tropical & English style gardens cared for by Head Gardner Martin Duncan and his team. The Rose Garden is full of fragrance, explore the kitchen Gardens and Glasshouses for inspiration, or enjoy the tranquillity of Fitzalan Chapel’s White Garden. Martin Duncan also has some fabulous videos of the gardens, were he explains in greater detail the flowers and plants, ideas and structure of the gardens.

Are you planning a visit to the Arundel Castle Tulip Festival?

If you are, I hope you enjoy your experience as much as we did! If you have a favourite tulip variety you spot at the festival, we would love to hear what it is. I highly recommend a trip to the Tulip Festival for florists, garden enthusiast or just for a lovely family day out - there is so much to explore. 

Arundel Castle & Gardens are open to visitors 1st April – 31st October, with a host of key events held throughout the year including the Arundel Castle Tulip Festival, Midsummer Night Dream and the Medieval Tournament in Summer months. Check out their website and What's On at Arundel Castle page for more information and bookings.

Arundel Castle Tulip Festival 2022
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