Events for Wakehurst

Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst


Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex

25th May 2019 - 26th May 2019

Science comes alive at Wakehurst with a wild weekend of workshops, hands-on experiments, shows and more.

Festival highlights
Kew scientists bring their work out of the labs and into the landscape
TV presenter Simon Watt hosts a Science Café – tasting and talking foods of the future
Go behind the scenes at the Millennium Seed Bank
Pop-up science – hands-on experiments, activities and demos
Wild science – explore trails, guided walks and field activities
A scientific extravaganza
Wriggle into a crisp white lab coat and pop on some protective specs as you prepare to take part in the second Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst!

With over 300 scientists and work spanning 110 countries, Kew is a global leader in plant and fungal science; from carrying out exciting plant discovery expeditions in Mozambique, to vital conservation work in biodiversity hotspot Madagascar, and unearthing the fundamental impacts of plants on our daily lives.

This year’s scientific extravaganza will not only focus on the vital importance of conserving the world’s plant biodiversity, but will bring to life, for all ages, the crucial value of plant and fungal science.

The two-day festival is a rare chance to experience vital plant and fungal science first hand and find out what Kew scientists are doing to protect rare and threatened species. Set around the world-renowned Millennium Seed Bank, the festival features marquees on the lawns and will house an extensive programme with something to intrigue everyone.
Pop-up science
Chat to real scientists as they run hands-on experiments for budding botanists in the lab and the field. Discover why we save seeds, how they carry out cryopreservation and exactly what DNA looks like.

Walk on the ‘wild side’ of science
Explore the wilder side of Wakehurst and uncover how we carry out science in the gardens and in the wild, including a look at some of the rare plants and trees we seek to conserve.

Exclusive behind the scenes tours
Go deep underground for a tour of the vaults in the Millennium Seed Bank to see where we store over two billion individual seeds from more than 38,000 species. Glimpse inside our glasshouses where some of the world’s rarest plants live. (tours can be booked on the day).

Science Café
Hang out with TV science presenter Simon Watt and take part in family games and quizzes.

Award-winning theatre shows
Talented actors will make sure science has you both spellbound and howling with laughter.
Discover how the yummy stuff is made in The Science of Chocolate Show (guide 7+). Just why is it so delicious? For our younger guests (guide 4+) we have two multi-award-winning outdoor theatre pieces Grass (Saturday) and Me and My Bee (Sunday) co-presented by Kew’s Grow Wild Outreach Programme.

Drop in to the Botanical studio
Unearth fun and lively plant science – perfect for budding botanists. Try out the techniques our scientists use as you identify, draw, press and photograph plants. Watch botanical illustrators from Kew’s best-selling book, Botanicum, at work, and dip into block printing and dye workshops.

An exciting array of workshops will be on offer over the course of the weekend, including Foods of the future, Cartoon drawing, Film making, Plant evolution and Botanical drawing.

Make a day of it and enjoy a delicious selection of food and drink served throughout the festival.
For further details and to plan your visit see:
For more information contact Sandra Howard, Communications and Content Manager on 01444 894336 / 07753 938682

May Half-Term Fun


Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex

27th May 2019 - 31st May 2019

Join in the family fun at Wakehurst this May half-term with fungi-themed activities and a caterpillar workshop.

Lilly the Pesky Caterpilly workshop
Location: Around the Millennium Seed Bank and Bug Garden (Bughurst)
Time: 11am – 1.30pm and 2.30 – 5pm
Age guidance: Best suited for families with children aged 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: £15
The workshop includes:
Bug Hunt: A Lilly the Pesky Caterpilly bug hunt through the gardens will let kids discover good bugs from bad bugs
Creative wood work: Carefully create your own caterpilly from wood that will be a great memory of a fun day out
Master class in fire-lighting
Fireside cookery: and then roll up your sleeves and get kneading some super tasty caterpillar bread in which you can stir in herbs and edible fungi
Storytelling around the fire

Funky fun with fungi
Location: Outside the Millennium Seed Bank
Time: 10am – 5pm
Time Trials
Cost: £2
Race against the clock while imagining yourself as a puff ball fungus strategically throwing your spores at target. Play plant ‘pick up sticks’ and save precious fungi from pests in the soil.
Fungi Trail
Cost: Free
Grab a map and join a self-led trail where you will discover lots about fungi – both what you see above ground and what is secretly happening beneath your feet.
Giant fungus installation
Cost: Free
Do you want to be a part of the Wood Wide Web? Let our giant fungus introduce you to the wonders of Kingdom Fungi, help you communicate with each other and join the most extensive network ever imagined! It's a dynamic and interactive installation from Kew’s outreach project, Grow Wild.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex

31st August 2019 - 1st September 2019

Enjoy an evening of open-air theatre at Wakehurst as Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedy is presented by Chapterhouse Theatre Company.
You’ll be whisked away on a thrilling journey to the most magical of forests, meeting star-crossed lovers, playful fairies, and hilarious travelling players.
Beautifully designed Elizabethan costumes, a wonderful musical score and enchanting woodland creatures come together to make this an evening of unmissable summer garden theatre.
Last year’s show had some fabulous reviews:
“What Chapterhouse does is theatre at the coalface, carried by the power of acting… and they do it with distinction” – The Stage
“Up there among the highlights of my family’s summer” – Stratford Herald
“Hilarious, well cast and a reassuringly English way to spend a fine summer’s evening” – Nottingham Post
Make your evening one to remember with a picnic hamper to enjoy on the lawns. When you are making your booking you can add one of the options below...
Hampers for 2 or 4 persons
£39.95 for 2 people including an alcoholic drink
£79.95 for 4 people
All hampers can be offered as gluten free/dairy free/nut free options
A Taste of Sussex
Bread selection with chive butter
Homemade tomato chutney
Homemade pickled onions
Mini homemade scotch egg
Sussex brie, Sussex charmer and Brighton blue cheeses
Local cured meats
Home-smoked salmon mousse and crostini
Wakehurst sausage roll
Wakehurst salad
Wine for two
Classic Ploughman’s
Bread selection with chive butter
Homemade tomato chutney
Honey-roasted gammon
Mature cheddar
Homemade pickled onions
Home-cured salmon and dill potato salad
Chestnut mushroom, spinach and cheddar tart
Wakehurst sausage roll
Wakehurst salad
Wine for two
Vegan Delights
Bread selection with vegan butter
Two salads
Vegan sausage rolls
Vegan cheese and homemade pickled onions
Homemade vegan hummus, roasted red pepper, basil and chervil salad
Coconut yoghurt and granola pot
Two vegan desserts
Wine for two
Classic Afternoon Tea
Finger sandwich selection:
Home-cured trout, lemon and herb crème fraiche, watercress
Sussex brie, tomato chutney, wild rocket
Coronation chicken, baby spinach
Homemade hummus, roasted red pepper, basil and chervil salad
Mini cakes and sweet treats:
Victoria sponge, lemon cake, chocolate brownie, salted caramel tart, macaroons
Two fruit scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam
Wine for two
Important information
Doors open at 6.30pm with the performance starting at 7.30pm. Last entry will be 7.15pm – you will not be able to join the event after this time.
It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the theatre location from the Visitor Centre.
Your ticket does not include daytime entry to the gardens. If you are a Wakehurst or Kew member, or have purchased a day ticket separately, you will need to return to the Visitor Centre when the gardens close at 6pm (last entry 5pm). If you have a ticket for A Midsummer Night’s Dream the same evening, you can re-enter at 6.30pm when the doors open. The Seed Café at the Visitor Centre will be open throughout.
Tickets and entry
All visitors (including children under 5 years) must have their own valid ticket, which must be produced to gain entry to the event.
After purchasing your tickets online, you will receive a confirmation email which is your entry ticket. The square QR code on the email will be scanned on entry to the event.
You can bring a printed copy of your booking confirmation email or show your email ticket with QR code on your mobile phone.
Your ticket can only be scanned once, so all members of your party must enter at the same time. Do not attempt to duplicate the email ticket as second and subsequent scans will fail.
Please arrive from 6.30pm and by 7.15pm at the latest. The performance will start at 7.30pm.
What to bring and wear
The event is outdoors and there are no covered areas, so ensure you have sufficient warm and waterproof clothing in case the summer weather turns cold and wet. While all paths to the theatre location are on hard surfaces, sturdy outdoor footwear is essential.
At the end of the performance, low level lighting will guide you back to the car park.
Cash will be the only form of payment accepted for the outdoor food and drink offers and some retail options, so please plan accordingly.
The performance takes place on a grass field which is suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Wheelchairs are available to borrow on a first come, first served basis. Two mobility scooters per evening can be made available and should be booked in advance on 01444 894070.
Guide dogs or registered disability assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens. Other dogs are not allowed.
There are accessible toilets in the Visitor Centre, Stables restaurant, and at the Kangaroo Penn (closest to the theatre location).
Terms and conditions and important information
For safety reasons, no naked flames (e.g. candles, night lights, flares and lanterns) are allowed.
As per our ticket terms and conditions, we would like to remind you that as a ticket holder you are consenting to photography and filming by Wakehurst that may be used for promotional purposes.
Last entry for ticket holders is 7.15pm. There will be no admittance to the event after this time.
Please leave quietly at the end of the event out of consideration for our neighbours.
Place all litter in the bins provided.
The event will go ahead whatever the weather unless it is deemed unsafe to do so.
If you have a query relating to your ticket purchased by phone or online, please contact See Tickets customer services or call them 0844 871 8819 (standard call charges apply).
Refunds/event cancellation
Wakehurst/Kew and its ticketing partners See Tickets and Ticketmaster are unable to exchange tickets once purchased. We are also not able to offer refunds/duplicates on unwanted/lost tickets.