Where To See Wisteria In Bloom In London This Season

By Londonist Last edited 7 months ago
Where To See Wisteria In Bloom In London This Season
wisteria, wisteria in london, where to see wisteria in london, wisteria spots in london, wisteria hysteria in london, wisteria hysteria, wisteria season, wisteria in bloom, when to see wisteria in london, wisteria houses in london, good wisteria in london
Wisteria hysteria is here. Image: Shutterstock

When to see wisteria in London

Wisteria — that pretty purple member of the Fabaceae family — usually starts blooming in London towards the end of April and into May. Gushing forth from the city's houses, walls and pagodas, it adds a delightful pop of colour, announcing that spring has finally arrived in the capital.

wisteria, wisteria in london, where to see wisteria in london, wisteria spots in london, wisteria hysteria in london, wisteria hysteria, wisteria season, wisteria in bloom, when to see wisteria in london, wisteria houses in london, good wisteria in london
Wisteria is a member of the Fabaceae family, don't you know. Image: Shutterstock

If you're keen to get your #wisteriahysteria snaps, or just catch a glimpse of it in bloom, here are some of our favourite wisteria spots in the capital, where you'll find it in growing in abundance:

Wisteria in Golders Hill Park and pergola, Hampstead Heath

There's no time of year the pergola in Golders Hill Park doesn't look lovely. To the west of Hampstead Heath, but technically part of the same nature conservation zone, Golders Hill Park is more structured than its wilder neighbour — think landscaping, flower gardens, duck ponds. Still great to wander through in winter (when the neoclassical pillars and hilltop spot give it a bare, windswept beauty), by late spring Golders Hill Park is an explosion of purple — wisteria creeping across the trellises, framing views over the Heath from every angle.

The Pergola promenade at Golders Hill Park. Photo credit: M@.

Wisteria in Peckham Rye Park

Walk through the Sexby Garden (no sniggering) in Peckham Rye Park at any other time of year, and the main attraction is that very blue fountain (seriously, what do they put in it?). But for a few weeks in spring, the usually-naked pergola transforms into a stunning lilac tunnel, dripping with tendrils of wisteria. It's satisfyingly symmetrical, with plenty of other green foliage surrounding it... and it's far enough out of central London that it's not plagued with photographers (head there shortly before sunset and you may have the park to yourself). Ideal photo territory.

Wisteria in Kynance Mews, Kensington

For photographers, this quiet part of Kensington is the gift that just keeps giving. In autumn, the beige stone arch drips with blood red foliage, creating a gothic-like illusion. Then spring rolls around, and the wisteria comes out to play.

The best wisteria hunting ground lies to the western side of the road, past Launceston Place, where one house in particular disappears behind a lilac curtain for a few weeks of the year. The cobbled street and mews-style houses combine for an extremely bucolic look, making for great photos — just be mindful that someone lives there.

Wisteria in Bedford Gardens, Notting Hill

There's one particular house on this Notting Hill back street that attracts photographers like... well, like Instagrammers to wisteria. The plant itself is a looker, a well-established tree that blooms in abundance every year. But it's the backdrop that makes it so Insta-famous; a pastel pink door is perfectly framed within those blossom-laden branches.

View this post on Instagram

💜💜 Winning #wisteria; #fantasyexteriors #BedfordGardens 💜💜

A post shared by Fiona McKenzie Johnston (@fionamckenziejohnston) on

The building's blue plaque — dedicated to composer Frank Bridge who once lived here — is the cherry on the top of a particularly pretty cake. It's the London house we dream of living in, until a little thing called reality kicks in.

Find the house towards the eastern end of the street.

Wisteria at Walden Books, Chalk Farm

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lilyana (@lilyana_london)

One of our favourite second hand book shops in London, Walden Books is worth a visit at any time of year, but it comes into its own during wisteria hysteria, when the frontage of the Victorian terrace drips in lilac fronds. It's made all the more special by its location on an otherwise quiet and unassuming residential street — you'll get none of the grandstanding here that you see in the mews streets of west London. Find Walden Books at 38 Harmood Street, NW1 8DP.

Wisteria at Eastcote Gardens, Hillingdon

wisteria, wisteria in london, where to see wisteria in london, wisteria spots in london, wisteria hysteria in london, wisteria hysteria, wisteria season, wisteria in bloom, when to see wisteria in london, wisteria houses in london, good wisteria in london
Puts us in mind of The Secret Garden. Image: Shutterstock

We assume it's the outer London location that prevents this wisteria tunnel getting more online love than it does — because by heck, does it deserve it. The walled garden is thought to date to the 17th century, and underwent a renovation in 2014, but thankfully the wisteria-smothered pergola was left standing. It was planted in 1986 so is a fairly well-developed tree, creating a foliage tunnel leading to a gate in the brick wall, a sight that puts us in mind of children's book The Secret Garden.

Wisteria at Eltham Palace

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cooks & Partners (@cooksandpartners) on

Not content with wowing us with twinkly lights at Christmas and a sea of colourful tulips in April, English Heritage-owned Eltham Palace offers something for wisteria hunters too.

The decorative stone column pergolas at the eastern end of the building look somewhat bare for a lot of the year, but come May, wisteria twists and twirls its beautiful way round them. The wooden footbridge across the (empty part of the) moat gets in on the action too, the rugged brickwork and rustic wood railings draped in the grape-like bunches.

It's not the biggest wisteria offering in London — and you will have to pay an entry fee to catch a glimpse — but the art deco/Tudor mansion is worth a visit in its own right, and makes for an inimitable photo backdrop.

Wisteria in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Temperley London (@temperleylondon) on

For riverside wisteria hysteria, Chelsea's petite Cheyne Walk has a cluster of houses where pink-purple blossoms curl around the wrought iron railings, drowning a first-floor balcony in a riot of pastels.

Other places to see wisteria in London:

Streets that have a lesser amount of wisteria, but still worth seeing if you're in the area during the season:

  • Horbury Mews, Notting Hill
  • Christchurch Street, Chelsea (look out for the house with the blue door)
  • Chelsea Manor Street
View this post on Instagram

#London #bloom #prettycitylondon #elmplace #wisteria

A post shared by Eléonore 🇫🇷🇬🇧 (@elleandco) on

  • Ensor Mews, Kensington (similar to Kynance Mews, above)
  • Elm Place, Chelsea — several houses on the street get in on the wisteria action.

Last Updated 13 April 2022

Continued below.