Tulips set to bloom at Arundel Castle

The Collector Earl’s Garden at Arundel Castle is celebrating its 10th birthday by hosting its largest ever tulip festival.

From mid-April to early May, about 60,000 tulips will flower throughout the gardens of the castle, which is this year celebrating the 950th anniversary of its initial construction.

A total of 120 named varieties of tulip will be on display at this year’s event, including ‘Pink Impression’, and ‘Carnival de Rio’, which making its debut.

Head gardener Martin Duncan said: “The tulip festival is a real highlight of the season at Arundel Castle, with months of planning going into the event.

“The long hours of bulb-planting during the closed season are more than worth it when the gardens explode into colour.

“Visitors will be able to see a breath-taking range of tulips during the festival. One of my personal favourites is the ‘La Belle Epoque’, a new variety for the Castle which is the most incredible coffee mousse colour, flushed with pink.”

The castle’s will hold its first plant fair on April 29, then in May and June alliums will take over the castle gardens and grounds in the annual ‘Allium Extravaganza’.

The castle gardens will reopen on Good Friday, March 30.

• Visitor numbers at Arundel Castle reached a record of more than 180,000 in 2017, up by 4% year-on-year.

The West Sussex attraction celebrates the 950th anniversary of its initial construction in 2018, and hopes its calendar of events will mean that visitor numbers reach another record this year.

Highlights include the six-day Jousting and Medieval Tournament, one of the longest events of its kind in the world, which will be celebrating its 10th year at the castle in 2018.

Stephen Manion, castle manager, said: “It’s a real thrill to see that Arundel Castle continues to draw in increasing numbers of visitors from across the UK and the rest of the world.

“With 950 years of history and a packed calendar of events there really is something for everyone.”

Picture credit: Julia Claxton.