United Kingdom - England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, and Ireland (Eire) and France
Join Sue McDougall, resident ‘Gardening Goddess’ on 6PR’s Weekend Garden Party radio program, on a journey through Europe’s spectacular gardens.
Highlights include a luxurious 12-night cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess, a visit to the stunning Sissinghurst Castle garden, the spectacular antique greenhouses of St Peter Port’s Victorian-era Candie Gardens and Monet's house & garden in Giverny.

2016 Britain and Ireland Garden Cruise, hosted by Sue McDougall


DAY 1 Saturday June 11, 2016 Depart Australia
Today we depart Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth on our flight to London.

DAY 2 Sunday June 12, 2016 London, England
This morning we arrive at London’s Heathrow Airport. After clearing customs, we will be met by our private coach and transferred to our well-located hotel before travelling on a sightseeing tour with a local Blue Badge guide. Some of the great sights included on our tour are Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the Palace of Westminster, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. The Tour Manager will meet those wishing to dine as a group in the lobby to suggest restaurants for dinner.

DAY 3 Monday June 13, 2016 Southampton, England
In the morning we are transferred to Southampton to board the Caribbean Princess for our voyage around the British Isles. Southampton served as Britain’s historic ocean liner gateway for the British Empire and the intense North Atlantic passenger trade to the U.S. and Canada. Today it is the U.K.’s leading cruise port.

Day 4 Tuesday June 14 2016 St Peter Port, Guernsey
This morning we arrive at St Peter Port, Guernsey’s main town, built in a steep valley leading down to the harbour, with spectacular views across to Alderney and the other islands. The granite buildings now occupied by shops were once the homes of the town’s wealthy and the High Street still has its original cobbles. The town was put on the map in 1855 when Victor Hugo, exiled from France, made his home at Hauteville House and where he wrote Les Miserables. We visit the Victorian era Candie Gardens, where we see spectacular antique greenhouses. The view from the gardens over St Peter Port is stunning.

Day 5 Wednesday June 15, 2016 Cobh, Eire
This morning we arrive at the port city of Cork, the third largest city in Ireland after Dublin and Belfast. On our tour today we first visit the privately-owned 1.2 hectare Glenview garden. This gorgeous garden features a white sunken garden, a Mediterranean and Japanese garden, as well as a beautiful wildflower meadow. In the afternoon we visit The Cobh Queenstown Story Visitor Centre. We will explore the conditions on board the early immigrant vessels, including the “coffin ships”, experience life on board a convict ship bound for Australia in 1801 and discover the connection of Cobh with the Titanic.

Day 6 Thursday June 16, 2016 Dublin, Eire
Today we arrive in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland and well-known as being a place of friendliness and ‘craic’, and a city well over 1000 years-old. Ireland’s famous capital is located on the River Liffey and looks seawards to its port and the waters of Dublin Bay. In the morning we visit Helen Dillon’s acclaimed garden often featured in lists of top ten world gardens. Within a walled rectangular garden, typical of Dublin’s Georgian town houses she has created one of the best town gardens in Ireland. Set around a newly created canal, the mixed borders of shrubs and herbaceous perennials change every season revealing unusual plants and exciting colour combinations. During our sightseeing tour in the afternoon we see elegant Georgian squares and streets including Merrion Square laid out in 1762. We see Trinity College founded in 1592 by Elizabeth 1. It developed according to the traditions of Oxford and Cambridge. Many buildings were added to the university in the 18th and 19th century. We visit Grafton Street, Dublin’s finest pedestrian shopping street. We see Leinster House, converted to house the Republican parliament in 1922, and St Stephen’s Green, formally common land, enclosed in 1663. They are now beautifully landscaped gardens.

Day 7 Friday June 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland
We dock in Belfast this morning. Belfast is one of the great industrial and commercial cities of the Victorian era. We see Donegall Square the hub of Belfast. Bordering the Square are Yorkshire House and the Linden Hall Library two grand buildings. We see City Hall, the Grand Opera House and St Anne’s Cathedral and learn about the troubles that blighted the cities growth for 30 years. This afternoon we travel to visit Mount Stewart House and Garden. The magnificent formal gardens extensive parklands and the palatial mansion were home to one of the most eminent and influential families in the Unionist cause. Sir Edward Lutyens and his garden designer Gertrude Jekyll were employed to design a garden that linked the garden to the house. The Italian garden grows a superb array of herbaceous borders. There is a Spanish Garden and a Sunk Garden which displays yellow, blue and orange flowering plants, Jekyll’s favourite colours.

Day 8 Saturday June 18, 2016 Liverpool, England
This morning we dock in Liverpool and travel to Cheshire to visit the vast Tatton Park Estate, home of the Egerton family for nearly 400 years. There are historic parterres around the house, a palm house, a conservatory, an impressive Japanese garden and a sunken rose garden. We will visit the garden and house. On our return to Liverpool we have free time to explore Liverpool’s restored city centre.

Day 9 Sunday June 19, 2016 Glasgow, Scotland
Today we arrive at Glasgow, a city full of style, energy, and its own gritty history. From its humble beginnings, Glasgow reaped the wealth of the industrial revolution, as we will see on our tour when you pass Glasgow Cathedral and travel through the Merchant City. From Glasgow Cross we move into the medieval part of town and Glasgow Green. Here we see the People’s Palace and the Victoria Fountain, the world’s largest terracotta fountain. We travel to Fintry to visit two stunning privately-owned gardens. At Dun Ard we see an exceptionally well-planned organic garden, incorporating many of the elements of contemporary horticultural design. We will see a potager, a rose parterre and more.

Day 10 Monday June 20, 2016 At sea
A day at sea to enjoy the facilities of the ship. Late morning, come and test your knowledge with a fun game of Garden Trivial Pursuit organised by Sue McDougall. The group will be divided into teams with prizes awarded to the winners.

Day 11 Tuesday June 21, 2016 Invergordon, Scotland
This morning we dock at Invergordon. We travel along beautiful Cromarty Firth to Cawdor Castle, which dates from the late 14th century, and explore the various gardens within the castle grounds. The Walled Garden is the oldest garden, dating from 1620, and cultivated with soft fruit, flowers, vegetables and orchards growing closely together. The Flower Garden was laid out circa 1710 by the Thane of Cawdor’s brother, Sir Archibald Campbell. The Thane as a young man was sent to Blois and Paris to study law and fencing, which may be the reason behind the French influence in the formal design of this garden.

Day 12 Wednesday June 22, 2016 Edinburgh, Scotland
Today we visit Edinburgh, the Royal and ancient capital of Scotland, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. On our panoramic sight-seeing tour we see the ancient Royal Mile with its cobbled streets that form the backbone of the medieval Old Town and lead from the Palace of Holyroodhouse (HM The Queen’s official residence in Scotland) all the way to Edinburgh Castle. This impressive fortress is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels and the historic Stone of Destiny. During the afternoon we will visit Greywalls. The house was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens as a golfing holiday home in 1901. The 2.5 hectare formal gardens were designed by Gertrude Jekyll and the main gardens, lying to the south, has recently been re-designed by Laura McKenzie using many of Jekyll’s favourite plants. There is a single herbaceous border, a lavender border and a charming parterre of box.

Day 13 Thursday June 23, 2016 At sea
A day at sea to enjoy the facilities of the ship. Perhaps enjoy a little pampering or a massage in the Day Spa. Late morning join us for an interesting talk by Sue about her life involved with gardening.

Day 14 Friday June 24, 2016 Le Havre, France
We dock in Le Havre this morning. We visit Claude Monet’s famous house and beautiful garden at Giverny. This garden, with its ponds and water lilies and its Japanese bridge, appears in many of the artist’s paintings. Another section of the garden has a more formal layout, featuring espaliered apples and pears and abundant plantings of roses, irises, poppies and more. It has been magnificently restored and gives a vivid impression of Monet’s inspiration. On our return journey we visit Honfleur, which overlooks the Seine estuary. It is a very picturesque port with streets and quayside full of character. The old harbour shelters a fishing fleet as well as yachts and pleasure craft.

Day 15 Saturday June 25, 2016 Canterbury, England
Early this morning we arrive back in Southampton. After breakfast and clearing customs we travel to the county of Kent. Known for its apple orchards and hop oast houses the county is very lush. We visit the house and gardens at Great Dixter. One of the best-known gardens in Britain surrounds a thatched 15th-century manor house. The sunken garden was designed and constructed by Christopher Lloyd, a noted plantsman, gardener and writer who lived and gardened here all his life, composing a series of gardens, including fine topiary and a magnificent mixed long border. This garden is a true gem. We continue to bustling Canterbury where we check in to our hotel and the remainder of the afternoon will be free for individual activity.

Day 16 Sunday June 26, 2016 Canterbury, England
This morning is free to explore Canterbury. It was an important town in Roman times. With the building of the cathedral and the martyrdom of Thomas Becket in 1170 AD it became more famous. This afternoon we visit Goodnestone Park Gardens, a haven of beautiful tranquillity. The gardens, with centuries of history, have been lovingly created by generations of the Fitzwalter family who have lived here since they built the house. The Walled Garden has climbers and wall plants such as clematis and jasmine hanging from its wall, some of which are older than
the house itself.

Day 17 Monday June 27, 2016 Canterbury, England
Today we visit two of the finest gardens in England. We first visit Scotney Castle Garden. The formal garden overlooks a quarry garden while the grounds of the old castle enclose a rose garden. The lakeside planting adds an air of informality. Evergreens and deciduous trees provide structure while many shrubs and flowering plants ensure something is in bloom at every season. This afternoon we visit the renowned garden at Sissinghurst Castle, created by Vita Sackville West and her husband Harold Nicholson. This romantic garden is one of the outstanding gardens of the world. Sue will make sure that you get the most out of this inspiring garden. The Tour Manager will meet those wishing to dine as a group in the lobby.

Day 18 Tuesday June 28, 2016 London, England
This morning we drive to London. On the journey we will visit the Royal Horticultural Garden, Wisley. The RHS was given Wisley Estate in trust by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1903. The garden will capture the imagination with richly planted borders and luscious rose gardens and amazing glasshouses which recreate tropical, moist temperate and dry temperate habitats. Trials of flowers, vegetables and fruit were expanded at Wisley and they continue to be some of the principal features of the garden. Several Chelsea Flower Show prize winning gardens are displayed in the grounds. We continue to check into our London hotel. The remainder of the afternoon will be free. The Tour Manager will meet those wishing to dine as a group in the lobby to go to a nearby restaurant for dinner, or you might like to catch one of the many splendid London shows.

Day 19 Wednesday June 29, 2016 London, England
We visit Capel Manor Gardens, with over 12 hectares and more than 60 gardens and landscapes to explore, surrounding a Georgian manor house this morning. It contains some previous gold-medal winning show gardens from Chelsea, including The Australian Garden from 2011, as well as a 17th-century walled garden, Italianate maze, vegetable plots and plant collections of scented pelargoniums and salvias. Capel Manor College is an esteemed horticultural college. We continue to with a visit to the private garden of Mr and Mrs Raworth in West London. This is a true collectors’ garden with some rare and unusual plants. Among its many features are impressive hedges of privet yew. We will enjoy afternoon tea during our tour of the garden. We will have a farewell dinner this evening to say good-bye to our new friends. D

Day 20 Thursday June 30, 2016 Departure
This morning is free for individual exploration. We continue our day with a visit Mr and Mrs Whittington’s garden, Southwood Lodge in north London. An imaginatively designed garden created in 1963 from a much larger one. By the house dense planting and container displays surround a paved area enclosed on two sides by tall hedges. Through an arch in the beech hedge, steps lead down to a grassy walk edged by mixed borders. After our visit we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Australia.

Day 21 Friday July 1, 2016 In flight

Day 22 Saturday July 2, 2016 Australia

  • Travelrite 2016 Britain Ireland Garden Cruise with Sue McDougall Download

No testimonials exist at this time.

Inside Cabin from $9895 per person Twin-share, Single Supplement $3025
Oceanview Cabin from $10195 per person Twin-share, Single Supplement $3190
Balcony Cabin from $11045 per person Twin-share, Single Supplement $3950
Mini-suite from per person Twin-share, Single Supplement $11645 $4520
* Plus air taxes and government surcharges at 20 August 2015 of $1010 per person

Included in the price of the Sue McDougall Britain and Ireland Garden Cruise and tour:
• Return economy flights with Singapore Airlines from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Perth to London
• 12 night cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess
• 3 nights in London and 3 nights in Canterbury including breakfasts
• Sightseeing tours in London, Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh, UK; Peter Port, Guernsey; Cork and Dublin, Eire; and Monet’s Garden, France.
• Entry to gardens and houses as stated in the itinerary.
• Led by the well-known garden expert Sue Mc Dougall.
• Tour management by Travelrite International.