Waddesdon Chilli Festival


Article by David Marks

Waddesdon Chilli Festival is held in the grounds of the spectacular Waddesdon Manor. Included in the admission price (see below) is entry to the gardens although not the Manor House.

This totally independent guide from GardenFocused is intended to provide you with information about the show to help you enjoy it more.

For 2019, the show will be held at in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire. It lasts for two days from Saturday 3rd September to Sunday 4th September. For both days opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5.00 for children and a family ticket for £25.00. This also includes entrance to the gardens.

Car parking is free and more than adequate. Both the gardens and the festival area are wheelchair friendly. Dogs on a lead are welcome in most but not all areas. The queue for entrance can be long depending on the time you arrive – expect a queuing time of about 15 to 20 minutes from 11.00 onwards.

There are paths throughout the chilli festival festival but these are likely to get muddy if it has rained recently so take appropriate footwear.

The review below is for the 2018 festival to give to you a taste of what to expect for 2019. As soon as more details emerge of the 2019 show we will update this article.

Waddesdon Manor gardens
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Gardens at Waddesdon Manor


The stalls selling exhibitors products is separate from the food area. There are just over 40 stalls and over half of them sell nothing to do with chilli or only vaguely connected. These include cheese, drinks, pastry and other stalls.

The majority of chilli related stalls are selling pickles, condiments spices and similar products. When we wandered round the stalls we could only find one selling chilli plants and chillies. See the picture below.

Stall selling chilli plants at Waddesdon Chilli Festival
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Stall selling chilli plants and chillies

In our opinion some of the stalls’ area is rather crowded, a bit more space would make getting around, especially for those with children and pushchairs, a lot easier.

The next attraction of the festival is the food area and we believe this was far better. The standard of the food, not only our own account, but also according to the comments of others nearby, is very high. Lots of highly spiced food but also less spicy food for those who prefer that.

Food area at Waddesdon Chilli Festival
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Entrance to the food area

The prices for the food was very reasonable, expect to pay around £5 / 6 for a large portion of whatever takes your fancy. Seating is arranged all the way up the middle of the food area and was adequate, wasps however were a problem for some people.

But take your meal away from the main, crowded area and in less than a minute you have a peaceful, relatively wasp free space in beautiful surroundings. Some people like to eat in crowded areas, some like a bit of space and beauty – Waddesdon Chilli Festival gives you the choice of both.

The aviary (which is free) is one of the advertised attractions of this show but actually seeing the birds in the cages is a definite challenge! They are well hidden behind foliage and branches in the very large cages.

Aviary at Waddeson Manor
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The grounds are well worth walking round, they are well kept and very attractive. Be sure to walk around the rear of the house which is spectacular with working fountains and a lake.

Our conclusion is that the £10 entry at the Waddesdon Chilli Festival is not worth the money for the chilli festival alone. However if you include a walk around the grounds then you will have an enjoyable day.