Countries
UK - England, Northern Ireland and Scotland; Ireland; Guernsey; France
Highlights
Highlights include 12 nights aboard the luxurious Royal Princess, the famous Hampton Court Flower Show, 3 nights in Canterbury with a visit to the stunning Sissinghurst Castle garden, Monet's house & garden in Giverny and the glorious gardens of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Cork, Dublin & Liverpool.

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TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1 Thursday July 2, 2015 Depart Australia
Today we depart Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth on our overnight flight to London.

Day 2 Friday July 3, 2015 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 in 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 with the group, in the lobby to suggest restaurants for dinner.

Day 3 Saturday July 4, 2015 London, England
The highlight of our time in London will be an escorted visit to the famous Hampton Court Flower Show. One of the main events in the English horticultural calendar, it boasts fine displays of flowers, plants, trees and interesting garden layouts. Jane will ensure that you explore all areas of this wonderful show. The rest of the day will be free for independent activity. Tonight we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of our tour and to formally introduce Jane Edmanson.

Day 4 Sunday July 5, 2015 Canterbury
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 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 5 Monday July 6, 2015 Canterbury
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. Jane will make sure that you get the most out of this inspiring garden. The tour manager will meet those wishing to dine with the group in the lobby.

Day 6 Tuesday July 7, 2015 Canterbury
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 Old Place Farm. Jane will lead us around the superb four-acre garden, surrounding a Tudor Farmhouse. Ann Eker, with the help of designer Anthony Pasley, has created a series of stylish spaces. A burgeoning herbaceous border leads to a sheltered herb parterre and a charming cutting garden, where a decorative pottager is screened by vines and roses.

Day 7 Wednesday July 8, 2015 Board
Royal Princess In the morning, we are transferred to Southampton to board the Royal 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 8 Thursday July 9, 2015 Le Havre
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. They have been painted by many Impressionist painters.

Day 9 Friday July 10, 2015 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. The group will be divided into teams and there will be prizes awarded to the winners.

Day 10 Saturday July 11, 2015 Edinburgh
Today we visit Edinburgh, the Royal and ancient capital of Scotland, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. On our 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. The views from the castle ramparts are just simply stunning. In the afternoon we visit Greywalls. The house was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens as a golfing holiday home in 1901. The whole property is surrounded by local honey-coloured stone walls. The six-acre formal gardens were designed by Gertrude Jekyll and the main gardens lying to the south have 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 11 Sunday July 12, 2015 Invergordon
This morning we dock at Invergordon. We travel along beautiful Cromarty Firth to visit Novar. The walled garden and park, created by Sir Hector Munroe to complement his Georgian mansion, are a model of 18th-century garden making. The walled garden has charming arched entrances and an oval fountain is embellished with a contemporary bronze fountain. In the 20th century, a water garden was established with a delightful series of well planted ponds.

Day 12 Monday July 13, 2015 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 Jane about her life in the media.

Day 13 Tuesday July 14, 2015 Glasgow
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 we 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 the Peninsula of Stranraer, which is the most westerly point of Scotland and has a remarkably mild climate for its northern latitude, because of the Gulf Stream. We visit Castle Kennedy and Lochinch Gardens, which are set on a peninsula between two lochs. These gardens, originally laid out in 1730, are well-known for the variety of tender trees and species of rhododendrons. This afternoon we visit Logan Botanic Gardens. The exceptionally mild climate allows the creation of a formal garden in the Mediterranean style. Logan has a fasc inating collection of rare and unusual sub-tropical plants.

Day 14 Wednesday July 15, 2015 Belfast
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 thirty 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, Jekylls favourite colours.

Day 15 Thursday July 16, 2015 Liverpool
This morning we dock in Liverpool. We travel to Norton Priory Museum and Gardens. The twin strengths of this garden are bold, coherent design and a great variety of plants. Built in the mid-eighteenth century the stunning walled garden has now been redesigned to feature a rose walk running down the centre and two broad borders planted with a variety of shrub roses. It also contains an orchard, a vegetable and herb garden.

Day 16 Friday July 17, 2015 Dublin
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. We see elegant Georgian squares and streets including Merrion Square, laid out in 1762. We see Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. 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. In the afternoon we visit Helen Dillon’s acclaimed garden. Within a walled rectangular garden, typical of Dublin’s Georgian town houses, she has created one of the b est 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.

Day 17 Saturday July 18, 2015 Cork
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 visit The Queenstown Story Visitor Centre, which explores Ireland’s emigration phenomenon. We continue our journey to visit the three-acre Glenview garden. It features a white sunken garden, a Mediterranean and Japanese garden as well as a beautiful wildflower meadow. The afternoon will be free for individual exploration.

Day 18 Sunday July 19, 2015 St Peter Port, Guernsey
This morning we arrive at St Peter Port, Guernsey’s main town, built into 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. Tonight will be our last night on board the Ruby Princess, as she crosses the English Channel. We will enjoy an included cocktail party to toast our great journey on the Royal Princess.

Day 19 Monday July 20, 2015 London
Early this morning we arrive back into Southampton. After breakfast and clearing customs, we are transferred to London. We visit Capel Manor Gardens, with 30 acres and more than 60 gardens and landscapes to explore, surrounding a Georgian manor house. 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 our well-located hotel by private coach. The remainder of the afternoon will be free. The tour manager will meet those wishing to dine with the group, in the lobby to go to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Tonight you might like to catch one of the many splendid London shows.

Day 20 Tuesday July 21, 2015 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 Wednesday July 22, 2015 In flight

Day 22 Thursday July 23, 2015 Australia
We arrive in Australia this evening and tour arrangements conclude.

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PRICING

INSIDE CABIN
Inside Aft Cabin, $9495pp twin share, $12065 single fare
Inside mid-forward and mid-aft, $9595pp twin share, $12215 single fare
Inside mid-forward and mid-aft, $9695pp twin share, $12375 single fare

BALCONY CABIN
Balcony view obstructed, $10495pp twin share, $14745 single fare
Balcony aft, $10595pp twin share, $15215 single fare
Balcony mid-forward and aft, $10650pp twin share, $15300 single fare
Balcony mid-forward and aft, $10695pp twin share, $15385 single fare

DELUXE BALCONY CABIN
Balcony view obstructed mid-aft & for, $10795pp twin share, $15515 single fare
Balcony aft, $10895pp twin share, $15785 single fare
Balcony mid ship, $10950pp twin share, $15870 single fare
Balcony mid ship, $10995pp twin share, $15955 single fare

MINI SUITES
Mid-forward and aft, $11350pp twin share, $16650 single fare
Mid-forward and aft, $11395pp twin share, $16765 single fare

Plus air taxes and government surcharges at 29 August 2014 $1010 per person

Included in the price:
• Return economy flights with Singapore Airlines from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to London.
• 12 nights in your luxurious stateroom on board Royal Princess.
• 3 nights in London and 3 nights in Canterbury in first-class hotels including breakfasts.
• Sightseeing tours and visits to gardens in London, Canterbury and Liverpool, England; St Peter Port, Guernsey; Cork and Dublin, Eire; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Glasgow, Invergordon and Edinburgh, Scotland and Monet’s Garden, France.
• The services of a private English-speaking guide while on sightseeing tours.
• Led by well-known garden expert Jane Edmanson.
• Managed by an experienced tour manager meeting the group at London Heathrow.
• All port taxes and on-board gratuities.

Not included in the price are:
• Travel insurance.
• Passport and visa fees.
• Air taxes and government fuel surcharges.
• Drinks on board. Meals when not on the ship except where stated in the itinerary.
• Additional travel arrangements not detailed in the itinerary.

Availability:
All cabins are subject to availability. Please call for fares and information on other cabin categories. A limited number of cabins are available for single occupancy at a single supplement. For details please contact Travelrite International on 1800 033 436

Extending:
You can stay longer in London for minimal extra cost. Please contact Travelrite on 1800 033 436 for more information.