Dear Mummy, seeing the tropical butterflies at RHS Wisley is a great way to combat the winter blues. We visited on an inset day to see the annual butterfly exhibit just outside Guildford. We love seeing exotic butterflies up close and don’t get that many opportunities to see so many species in one go.
At the beginning of each year RHS Wisley’s Glasshouse comes alive with more than 6,000 exotic butterflies. This year there are 50 species from Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Inside the Glasshouse’s Tropical Zone it is transformed into rainforest, which makes a welcomed relief from the cold February days.
Before we entered the Glasshouse we walked through some wonderful gardens and they are home to one of the largest collections of plants in the world. Unfortunately we weren’t able to fully appreciate them during our winter visit. We only managed to track down some snowdrops, crocuses and colourful dogwoods. The Glasshouse certainly was an imposing sight, catching the light off the lake which surrounds it from the rockery.
We loved seeing all the wonderful butterfly art installations created by artist Alison Catchlove which were dotted around outside the butterfly house and added some much needed colour to the winter landscape. We were wrapped up warm wth lots of layers as we knew that once we entered the glasshouse it would result in us stripping off our winter overcoats. As soon as we walked through the plastic drapes, designed to keep the butterflies in, we hit a wall of humidity, thankfully we could stuff our jackets into mummy’s rucksack to allow us to be hands free in order to take photos and write down our findings in the butterflies spotters guide.
We pre-planned and booked our time slot before we arrived online, which was a really simple booking system but also well worth it, as it enabled us to jump the queues and go straight in. Even though on the day we arrived (friday) there weren’t any queues it was better to be safe than sorry. We could imagine it getting very busy there. However it was crowed inside The Tropical Zone with people shuffling around the Glasshouse’s walkways and vying for spots to see the butterflies. We spent a long time inside waiting for breaks in the crowds and sat for a long time watching the butterflies float around us.
We saw a Giant Owl (butterfly!) and a Tree Nymph just as we entered which was instant gratification. Some species have never been seen at RHS Wesley before and we loved seeing the swallowtail Papilla paris (Paris peacock). The magnificent Morpho peleides (blue morphs) flew past us a couple of times too!
After we saw the butterflies, we went for a wander around Wisley’s lovely grounds. We love the outdoors. And it’s always nice going out for a winter walk, especially when it’s not raining. Wisley is one of those places where you could spend a whole day as there is so much to see especially in the Spring/Summer seasons.
A lot of the butterflies inside the glasshouse were flying around, while others were munching on old fruit and sat vertical on trees. We had fun spotting them with the help of our butterfly spotting guide for £1 which was lovely to take away with us afterwards.
Also inside, we saw two glass fronted cases where butterfly chrysalises were incubating and large posters explaining and showing butterflies of the UK. We stopped for a much needed hot chocolate and while I munched on my butterfly cupcake, which looked too good to eat, we chatted about what we’d seen.
If you want to see the butterflies at Wisley, we’d recommend booking your tickets online for a 10% discount and pre-booking a time slot so you don’t have to wait in line. Tickets for a family of four (two adults and two children) costs £40.70 including Gift Aid. RHS Wisley members enter for free. If you can’t see the butterflies here this year why not try and entice them into your garden? Try a couple of Buddlejas, commonly known as butterfly bushes as their showy, fragrant flowers are loved by pollinators!
Love Bella x
35 thoughts on “Beautiful Butterflies at RHS Wisley”
I love butterflies. Sounds like a fantastic day out. We went to a butterfly house when we went to South Africa and the size and colours of some of the butterflies was amazing!
I love butterfly houses. Beautiful and educational at the same time. This looks like a lot of fun, and those little cupcakes are so cute as well.
What an amazing experience, I have never been inside a glasshouse, surrounded by butterflies! It’s so nice that you were able to look at them from such a short distance, observing how they munch on fresh fruits 🙂
Wow, it all looks so beautiful! I would love to visit some time. I’ve just looked it up and it’s just under an hour’s drive, so it’s definitely being added to our to-do list (probably when our little one is a bit bigger). #AnythingGoes
This looks so much fun, I can’t really go to butterfly places as it triggers my son because of his autism. But it is lovely to be surrounded with nature X #anythinggoes
The gardens were beautiful with all the snowdrops, being surrounded by nature is wonderful x
What an absolutely awesome looking place to get to go and visit. I have to admit I love visiting butterfly houses they are often just such beautiful places to go!
Ahhh I bet they loved spotting the butterflies and jotting down the ones they find! It looks really cool, great little day out!
Oh I keep meaning to visit this. I love Wisley but haven’t visited for a while you look like you all had a wonderful day out #TwinklyTuesday
It looks like a wonderful day out. Have had to look up where it is and its a couple of hours from us, so doable
What a stunning place to visit! I’ve always wanted to visit a butterfly sanctuary but it’s never happened yet. One day!
We have a similar place called butterfly world here in Cape Town. Seems as if you had a lovely time.#TwinklyTuesday
We’d love to see the butterflies in Cape Town!
Oh gosh what beautiful photos! I Love a butterfly farm, we have a couple local to us and its one of the children favourite places to go!
Beautiful gardens, I love butterfly houses as it’s always so nice to get up close and personal x
Ooh, this looks good. The children would love it! They loved the butterfly house at Chester Zoo.
I remember going to a butterfly house when I was a child and being mesmerised! I wil need to find one nearby so I can take my little one. Great post! #AnythingGoes
Butterfly farms are really few and far between, we waited a long time for this exhibition to crop up, it happens just once a year around this area. Worth waiting for though x
Those cupcakes do look too good to eat! What a fun day. We just went to visit a butterfly place in December and I felt like I could have watched them all day. #ExplorerKidsLinky
Wow what a fun day out! I’d love to do something like this! Really nice read.
This looks an amazing place to visit we love butterflies and the art instillations look fab. You look like you’ve had such a great day love the cupcakes too! Mandyxxx #explorerkids
What a fun day out. I just love butterflies – they are so beautiful and delicate.
What a lovely place to visit, especially teeming the nature with the art installations, my kids would love to visit.
Those butterfly cupcakes looks so yummy! I’m craving for a hot chocolate right now. That’s a lovely place!
They tasted as good as they looked – I even ate the butterflies on top! They looked so realistic!
As a new visitor to your blog, I have to say I love the idea of it being narrated by a child! I love butterflies too, and would love to visit this type of place! #ExplorerKids
Aww thanks! It’s a joy to write and as I’m so small I can get away with poor grammar 😉
Wow this looks absolutely incredible! I used to love visiting the butterfly park when I was younger, but this looks much bigger than the lil local one I use to frequent. Hope you saved a cupcake for me!
This looks really lovely! We’ve got a place nearby which has a small butterfly tunnel, this reminds me that we should visit there again soon 🙂🦋x
What a lovely place to visit and those cupcakes looked amazing!
Wow, such beautiful butterflies, Mother Nature really is very clever! #ExplorerKids
Wisley is one of those places we have still never been to which is silly as we live in Surrey. I love butterflies and we’ve been in the butterfly house at London Zoo. Must add this to our list. Sarah #ExplorerKids
We love Wisley – there’s something all year round & the gardens are just fab #twinklytuesday
What a lovely visit! I remembered going to a butterfly farm when I was a kid. I can’t remember which butterfly farm I went though. I love to take my E&E to one one day. RHS Wisley seem like a lovely place to visit. I love those cupcakes too! 🙂 x
Thank you very much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids
oh wow this looks and sounds like an amazing place to visit with the little people and I too would love just to go for those cupcakes