- England, France, Spain
- Visiting London for the Chelsea Flower Show, Canterbury, Paris for Jardins Jardin, Amboise, Clermont-Ferrand, Avignon & Barcelona
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DAY 1 Tuesday May 20, 2014 Depart Australia
Today we board our Singapore Airlines flight to London.
DAY 2 Wednesday May 21, 2014 London, England
Today we arrive in London, where we will spend the next three nights. To begin our exploration of this fascinating and historic city, we meet our London Blue Badge guide for a comprehensive tour of the main sights. We will see Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, The Strand, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, before being transferred to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure in this exciting city. Our tour manager will meet those wishing to dine with the group to go to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
DAY 3 Thursday May 22, 2014 London, England
The highlight of our time in London will be an escorted visit to the famous Chelsea Flower Show. Chelsea is the main event in the English horticultural calendar and boasts amazing displays of the world’s best flowers and plants. You will see fabulous show gardens, specially created by leading designers. Angus will ensure that you get the most from this wonderful show. We return to our hotel early afternoon, with an optional drop off at Harrods. This evening, we will have an included dinner, so group members can get to know Angus Stewart and each other.
DAY 4 Friday May 23, 2014 London, England
This morning we visit Hampton Court Palace and Garden. The Palace is an interesting place to study the activities of British monarchs from Henry VIII onwards. The garden is most famous for its Great Vine, planted in 1768, which still produces hundreds of Black Hamburg grapes each year. The Pond Gardens offer a magnificent display of bedding plants. The newly restored Privy Garden of William III is a spectacular example of the baroque, with parterres, cut work, clipped yews and spring and summer displays of 17thcentury plants. This afternoon will be at leisure. In the evening, you may like to take in a show in London’s theatre district.
DAY 5 Saturday May 24, 2014 Canterbury, England
We travel to Kent today. 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 plants man, 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 6 Sunday May 25, 2014 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. Angus will make sure that you get the most out of this inspiring place. We return to Canterbury. The tour manager will meet those wishing to dine with the group, in the lobby.
DAY 7 Monday May 26, 2014 Paris, France
We travel to Paris by Eurostar this morning. On arrival, we are met by a private coach and transferred to our hotel. After time to refresh, we have a sightseeing tour of the romantic city of Paris with a local guide. Highlights include the Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Tuileries and a drive along the Champs-Élysée to the Arc de Triomphe. Those wishing to dine together, can meet in the lobby where the tour manager will suggest good value restaurants for dinner.
DAY 8 Tuesday May 27, 2014 Paris, France
This morning we visit Claude Monet’s famous house and garden at Giverny. The garden, with its ponds and water lilies and Japanese bridge, appear 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, spring bulbs, poppies and more. It has been magnificently restored and gives a vivid impression of Monet’s inspiration. Angus will make sure that we get the most out of this garden. The remainder of the afternoon and evening will be for your own exploration.
DAY 9 Wednesday May 28, 2014 Paris, France
This morning we will visit a mystery private garden. In the afternoon, we visit Jardins Jardin at the Tuileries, which is dedicated to the art of living in the garden and outdoor design. We will see a range of innovative and intriguing garden designs. The tour manager will suggest nearby restaurants for dinner.
DAY 10 Thursday May 29, 2014 Amboise, France
Today we journey south-west to Amboise in the scenic Loire Valley, stopping along the way to visit Chateau Vaux le Vicomte. Angus will lead us around this baroque garden, which was the first great work by Andre Le Notre, who went on to design the Versaille gardens. Organised on a central axis, the gardens stretch for 3km and include elaborate parterres, ornate fountains, ponds, topiaries and statues. Chateau Amboise is located in the town where Charles VIII was born. The attractive, hilly quarter is enclosed by the chateau, cathedral and river. The tour manager will recommend nearby restaurants that offer good food and value.
DAY 11 Friday May 30, 2014 Amboise, France
Today we travel through the Loire Valley to visit the Festival des Jardins de Chaumont sur Loire. Jean-Paul Pigeat established the festival in 1992, with the aim of introducing the public to imaginative and innovative new design. The 30 show gardens are in leaf -shaped enclosures, hedged by beech or hornbeam. In the afternoon, we visit the fabulous 16th-century Chateau Villandry. The gorgeous formal garden has been terraced into three levels, displaying hedges and motifs of box, fine yew topiaries and flowers in season. The lowest level is the potager, which elevates vegetable growing to a fine art. We will return to Amboise for an evening at leisure.
DAY 12 Saturday May 31, 2014 Amboise, France
The morning is free for you to explore the charms of Amboise. The afternoon’s treat is a visit to Chateau de Chenonceau, spanning the River Cher, which reflects the castle’s unique beauty. Known as the Ladies’ Castle, its design and charm are a result of six important women throughout its history. Two large formal gardens and extensive woodland surround this fairytale chateau. The remainder of the afternoon will be free for individual exploration.
DAY 13 Sunday June 1, 2014 Clermont-Ferrand, France
This morning we travel to Clermont-Ferrand, one of the oldest cities in France. Upon arrival we will take a tour of the Old Town, where we will find medieval and romanesque masterpieces, gothic and renaissance private mansions, great gothic sanctuaries like the cathedral. This evening the tour manager will suggest restaurants for the evening meal.
DAY 14 Monday June 2, 2014 Avignon, France
We travel south-east through the beautiful French countryside to Avignon today. We will stop at an interesting French town for lunch during the journey. The tour manager will suggest a good local restaurant for dinner.
DAY 15 Tuesday June 3, 2014 Avignon, France
This morning we have a sightseeing tour of Avignon with a local guide. We will see the Palace of the Popes, which was the seat of the popes from 1309 until 1377 and the Place de l’Horloge, an attractive square shaded by plane trees. We see the theatre and town hall located in this square. This afternoon will be free to explore Avignon. The tour manager will suggest restaurants for the evening meal.
DAY 16 Wednesday June 4, 2014 Avignon, France
This morning we visit Jardin de la Noria for a guided tour. Jardin de la Noria is a private garden designed by noted French designers, Arnaud Maurieres and Eric Ossart. The owners, Mr and Mrs Deparis, commissioned them to transform a hectare of level orchard in the grounds of their farmhouse, called Mas de Licon. The remains of an old noria, or water wheel, determined the hub of the new garden, influenced by the spirit of Islamic paradise gardens. We will have free time for lunch in the attractive medieval city of Uzes. In the afternoon, we visit the Bambouseraie, a unique bamboo forest. The garden was started by Eugene Mazel in the middle of the 19th century. There is a surprisingly wide variety of bamboo, with coloured stems, glaucous green, emerald, yellow and black are among the interesting species.
DAY 17 Thursday June 5, 2014 Barcelona, Spain
Today we drive around the Mediterranean coast to Barcelona, capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain. It has a population close to two million people and is the most cosmopolitan of all Spanish cities. It is a Mediterranean metropolis, a major port, a centre for modern art and a city that lives life to the full. The tour manager will recommend a good restaurant this evening to enable you to soak up a little of the atmosphere of this historic city.
DAY 18 Friday June 6, 2014 Barcelona, Spain
This morning we have a city tour with a local guide. We will see the historic cathedral and the beautiful streets of the Gothic Quarter. We visit the modernist Eixample district and see examples of Gaudi’s stunning architecture, including the famous Sagrada Familia. We will visit Parc Guell, which combines architectural and landscape features with mature and natural-looking plantings. Among them is the grand iron-balustrade entrance, with its mosaic tile work on the walls and the imposing staircase dragon. Angus will make sure that you get the most out of this unique garden. This afternoon will be free for individual exploration.
DAY 19 Saturday June 7, 2014 Barcelona, Spain
This morning we travel north to the Costa Brava to visit the Jardi Botanic Marimurtra, which was created by Karl Faust. He created several different gardens to house the plants he collected from all over the world. Marimurtra is now divided into tropical, temperate and Mediterranean garden areas. In the afternoon, we will travel to visit Santa Clotilde, a large property built on the site of an old vineyard. It is an italianate garden in the renaissance style, where the symmetry of paths, planting and interesting focal points define the garden. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner to say goodbye to our new friends.
DAY 20 Sunday June 8, 2014 Barcelona, Spain
This morning we are transferred to Barcelona airport where we will board our plane to fly to Australia.
DAY 21 Monday June 9, 2014 Australia
Tour members arrive back in Australia. The tour concludes.
- Travelrite Garden tour of England, France and Spain Download
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Tour Price Per person $9250 Twin Share Fare; $1985 Single Supplement
Air taxes and fuel charges pp $920
Total Package per person $10170 Twin Share; Single $12155
Return economy-class air travel from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Europe.
Travel in first-class chartered coaches.
Accommodation in first-class and moderate first-class, centrally located hotels with private facilities throughout the tour. Hotel taxes and service charges.
Buffet or continental breakfasts in Europe and England. One dinner in London and a farewell dinner in Barcelona.
Entry to gardens, museums and attractions as detailed in the itinerary
Tour leadership by Angus Stewart.
Tour management by Travelrite International Pty. Ltd. with a tour manager meeting the group on arrival in London and travelling with the group.