Tulips with UK theme to delight at Keukenhof

LIFE may not be a tiptoe through the tulips but with Spring gradually approaching, flower lovers all over the world are looking forward to wandering around the annual dazzling display of bulbs at historic Keukenhof.

And in recognition of Holland’s strong ties with the United Kingdom, the famous attraction has joined forces with this country to launch its 2013 theme: “UK – Land of Great Gardens”.

Keukenhof is a 32-hectare historic park filled with blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other Spring bulbs, and is open for just eight weeks of the year.

One of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands, it has welcomed more than 44 million visitors over the past six decades.

Keukenhof will this Spring be paying a colourful tribute to the UK, which is an important export market for flowering bulbs, and also a growing source of tourists.

In 2012 around 70,000 British visitors passed through the gates of Keukenhof and in 2011, 1.5 million travelled to Holland.


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Paul Arkwright, British ambassador to the Netherlands, recently joined forces with Keukenhof to add the final touches to the flower bulb mosaic of the Big Ben and Tower Bridge, kick-starting the 2013 theme year.

The mosaic measures 13 by 22 metres and has been created from almost 60,000 flower bulbs, but its multitude of colours will not be revealed until Spring.

For several years, Keukenhof has chosen to feature a different theme country each season. Previously countries such as China, Germany and Russia have inspired the grounds of the garden.

From March 21 to May 20, 2013, the park’s focus will be on the UK.

The theme will be incorporated throughout the park and brings together great icons and inspiration from Britain through events, inspiration gardens and shows.


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will transform one of the pavilions into a great showcase of some great UK gardens, while Keukenhof’s inspiration gardens will have a modern take on current gardening trends in Britain.

There has been a lot of organic activity going on under the ground at the Keukenhof in Lisse.

Around seven million flower bulbs have been planted in the park’s sandy soil during the past few months and as Spring breaks, these will provide the traditional colourful splendour of the world-famous international bulb exhibition.

According to a spokesperson for Keukenhof, the floral displays in the park and the unique flower shows in the various pavilions are a “glorious visual feast”.


Aside from flowers, the gardens also boast works of art and sculptures.

Visitors can walk through 15 kilometres of footpaths through the attraction, hire a bike on-site to cycle through flowering fields around the park, or chill out on a leisurely boat tour around the bulb fields.

There is easy access for wheelchairs, and prams.

Mill Square in the park features a windmill originally built to pump water in Groningen, and offers lovely views of surrounding tulip fields.

Interestingly, people used to use windmills to send messages, with millers changing the position of the sails to communicate.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink at the park, and shops on site sell a wide range of items, from clogs to glassware.


Keukenhof is open to the public from March 21 to May 20 2013 daily from 8am to 7.30pm (ticket office open until 6pm).

The entrance fee is €15 for adults and €7.50 for children (four-11 years).

Keukenhof can be reached by car or by train and bus. Combination tickets are available when travelling by bus from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.