- UK - Scotland and England
- Britain has a long gardening tradition and so many glorious gardens, castles and stately homes to visit. Join passionate gardener Lynne Walker on this delightful tour visiting a diverse range of exceptional gardens in beautiful settings.
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– Romantic Gresgarth Hall—designed by landscape designer and plantswoman – Arabella Lennox Boyd
– Sissinghurst—designed by Vita Sackville West
– Castles and stately homes, including Glamis Castle, Alnwick Castle, Hatfield House and Hampton Court
– West Green Garden – designed by Australian Marylyn Abbott
– David Austin’s Rose Garden and Nursery
– Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill
– Munstead Wood, former home of Gertrude Jeckyll
– Beth Chatto’s Garden and Nursery
– Three nights in the beautiful Cotswolds region
– Guided tours of Edinburgh, Cambridge and London
This is a small group tour with exclusive use of a Mercedes Benz coach providing access to small villages and country lanes.
Day 1 Depart Australia – Mon 1 June
Meet your tour escort, Lynne Walker, at Sydney International Airport and depart on the flight to Scotland via Dubai.
(Meals inflight )
Day 2 Arrive Scotland – Tue 2 June
Early afternoon arrival Scotland. Arrive Glasgow. Meet your tour manager/driver and transfer to the historic town of St Andrews. Welcome dinner tonight in the hotel.
(- – D) Overnight: St Andrews
Day 3 St Andrews – Wed 3 June
Visit St Andrews Botanic Gardens for an introduction to the plants of the Northern Hemisphere. Over 8000 species of plants and trees are grown here; some are native to Scotland but most grow wild in other regions of the world. Afterwards there’s free time for lunch in the centre of this charming town. After lunch visit Falkland Palace Garden then return to St Andrews for free time to wander through the historic centre.
(B- -) Overnight: St Andrews
Day 4 St Andrews to Edinburgh – Thu 4 June
Leave St Andrews in the morning and drive to the garden at House of Pitmuies. Here, two semi-formal wall gardens adjoin an 18th century house and shelter a long border of herbaceous perennials. The garden has spacious lawns, river and lochside walks beneath tall trees. Continue to Glamis Castle near Forfar for a tour of the castle and impressive gardens. The Italian Garden includes a raised terrace between two small gazebos, and fan-shaped parterres of formal beds separated by gravel walks. This was the family home of the Queen Mother and the tour provides a fascinating insight into her life. Later this afternoon travel on to Edinburgh, the nation’s capital. Dinner will be included in the hotel this evening.
(B – D) Overnight: Edinburgh
Day 5 Edinburgh – Fri 5 June
Depart after breakfast for a guided sightseeing tour of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Newtown, Holyrood Palace, and Princes Street. After some free time for lunch, travel out of the city to visit Broadwoodside Garden where the garden was started with a blank canvas in 2000 and continues to develop today. Everything has been planted and maintained by the gardener Guy Donaldson, who has lived and worked there from the start. Return to Edinburgh where the remainder of the day and evening are at leisure.
(B — ) Overnight: Edinburgh
Day 6 Edinburgh to Durham – Sat 6 June
Depart this morning after breakfast for Alnwick Castle for a visit to the castle and gardens followed by lunch. Created by the Duchess of Northumberland over the past ten years, Alnwick includes the country’s largest collection of European plants, the Grand Cascade water feature, interactive water sculptures, the infamous Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest wooden tree houses. Depart early afternoon and travel to Cragside Garden near Rothbury. The Formal Garden of over three acres is a magnificent example of a Victorian garden laid out in three terraces and is an idyllic, colourful spot to take in views of Northumberland. Continue to Durham for overnight. Dinner will be included in the hotel this evening.
(B L D) Overnight: Durham
Day 7 Durham to Lancaster – Sun 7 June
This morning travel south into Yorkshire and visit Scampston Walled Garden at Malton, acclaimed as one of the finest gardens in North Yorkshire. This is a stunningly beautiful contemporary garden, designed by the renowned Dutch plantsman, Piet Oudolf. Continue to the historic city of York for independent lunch and time to visit York Minster. Travel on to Harlow Carr Gardens near Harrogate. Set in a valley and covering 68 acres it is very much a part of the Yorkshire landscape, woodland and wildflower meadows as well as acidic soil which affords a fabulous environment for rhododendrons and Himalayan blue poppies. Continue later this afternoon to Lancaster for dinner.
(B – D) Overnight: Lancaster
Day 8 Lancaster to Shrewsbury – Mon 8 June
Depart this morning for Gresgarth Hall, home of world-renowned landscape designer and plantswoman Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Since 1978 she has created a beautiful romantic garden, combining the best of Italian style and British plantsmanship. With lavishly planted terraces leading down to a lake, wild and bog gardens, large herbaceous borders, an extensive walled kitchen garden, a magnolia and rhododendron hillside and a serpentine beech walk. Continue to the pretty and historic market town of Shrewsbury. Dinner will be included in the hotel this evening.
(B – D) Overnight: Shrewsbury
Day 9 Shrewsbury – Tue 9 June
Enjoy some time at leisure this morning before visiting Biddulph Grange, an amazing Victorian garden created by Darwin contemporary James Bateman. His plant collection comes from all over the world and includes the oldest surviving golden larch in Britain. A visit takes you on a global journey from Italy to Egypt and the Himalayas to China! Afterwards continue to The Combermere Arms for lunch before visiting Combermere Abbey near Whitchurch, where the Walled Gardens are a remarkable testament to a way of life which almost completely disappeared between the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
(B L -) Overnight: Shrewsbury
Day 10 Shrewsbury to The Cotswolds – Wed 10 June
Depart this morning for a visit to Wollerton Old Hall near Market Drayton. This is a spectacular garden with extensive hedges, walls and paths that have created a number of separate gardens, each one having its own style and ethos. Colour, form and scale are all important and the planting style is best described as controlled exuberance with a definite emphasis upon perennials. This afternoon, continue to the ever-popular nursery of David Austin in Albrighton. After fifty years of intensive breeding, David Austin’s English Roses combine the beautiful forms and wonderful fragrances of old roses with the wider colour range and repeat-flowering nature of modern roses and this visit allows you to appreciate his familiar and unfamiliar roses on their home turf! Afterwards continue to the Cotswolds area. Dinner at the hotel.
(B – D) Overnight: Cotswolds
Day 11 The Cotswolds – Thu 11 June
Travel through the delightful picturesque Cotswolds region to the gardens at Cerney House. Featuring brightly coloured tulips, herbaceous borders packed with old-fashioned favourites, and surrounded by roses and companion climbers Cerney House also has a working Kitchen Garden, herb garden and medicinal garden. Continue to Barnsley to have lunch at Barnsley House Hotel with the opportunity to wander afterwards in the gardens famously created by Rosemary Verey. You can stroll through sunny terraces, formal lawns, ancient meadows and wilderness; or take some to time to explore the many twists, turns, nooks and crannies of the garden. If possible continue to Highgrove. Over 30 years in the making, the organic gardens at Highgrove are some of the most creatively inspiring and innovative in the United Kingdom.
(B L -) Overnight: Cotswolds
Day 12 The Cotswolds – Fri 12 June
After breakfast visit Mill Dene, a classic English country garden with a tranquil mill pond and grotto, a Fruit Garden with wonderful views over the hills, and a herb potager that has plants with medicinal, culinary and pot pourri uses. After lunch visit the gardens of Hidcote Manor, laid out by Major Lawrence Johnston in the early part of the 19th century and one of the most famous gardens in Britain. The various garden ‘rooms’ here have influenced garden styles throughout Britain. Later visit Bourton House Gardens, with its imaginative topiary, including a knot garden, parterre and topiary walk; natural springs to create water features; an unusual shade house and wide herbaceous borders with exotic plants. Bourton House Garden came under new ownership in 2010 and today, the garden continues to evolve, constantly surprising visitors with its inspirational planting, stunning colour combinations and rare, unusual and exotic plants. Dinner at hotel.
(B – D) Overnight: Cotswolds
Day 13 The Cotswolds to St Albans – Sat 13 June
Today visit Chenies Manor, an historic and enchanting Tudor Manor House with award-winning gardens set in the charming village of Chenies in Buckinghamshire, overlooking the Chess valley. There will be a guided tour of the house and gardens, which are divided into a series of compartments, with various colour themes and structural forms, combining imaginative plantings and beautiful plant associations.
(B – D) Overnight: St Albans
Day 14 St Albans to Cambridge – Sun 14 June
Depart this morning for Hatfield House where the garden dates from the early 17th century when Robert Cecil employed John Tradescant the Elder to collect plants for his new home. Tradescant was sent to Europe where he found and brought back trees, bulbs, plants and fruit trees, which had never previously been grown in England. See the sundial garden and fountains, and view the famous knot garden adjoining the Tudor Old Palace where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood. Continue this afternoon to the great English university city of Cambridge, where there will be a guided walking tour of the city including some of the impressive colleges, King’s College Chapel and the tranquil setting of ‘The Backs’.
(B-— -) Overnight: Cambridge
Day 15 Cambridge to Tunbridge Wells – Mon 15 June
Leave Cambridge and travel to the inspirational Beth Chatto Gardens and Nursery near Colchester. Commenced in 1960 from an overgrown wasteland with poor gravel soil and boggy hollows, the garden has been transformed into an informal garden harmonising with the surrounding countryside. The gardens are an inspiration to anyone who visits them. This afternoon, continue into the county of Kent, with a visit to Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill. A tour of the house provides a unique glimpse into the life of this extraordinary man. The garden here once produced fruit and vegetables for all his homes, including 10 Downing Street. The rose garden was built and planted specifically for Lady Churchill to view from her window. Continue to Tunbridge Wells.
(B – -) Overnight: Tunbridge Wells
Day 16 Tunbridge Wells – Tue 16 June
Depart this morning to visit Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, perhaps the most famous of Britain’s romantic gardens, created by the poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West, and her husband, Sir Harold Nicholson. Utilizing the design concept of garden rooms and incorporating it with ruined castle walls makes this garden most spectacular. Later this afternoon visit Great Dixter, which has been the home of the Lloyd family since 1920. Here gardening writer Christopher Lloyd has continued the work started by his father, creating a series of colorful gardens. Dinner will be included in the hotel this evening
(B – D) Overnight: Tunbridge Wells
Day 17 Tunbridge Wells to Surrey Hills – Wed 17 June
This morning visit West Dean Garden; a large historic property of 36 hectares, where a bold re-development program has been designed to bring the nineteenth century gardens into the twenty-first century. After lunch visit Munstead Wood, the home of Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). Now in private ownership, the house was designed by a young Edwin Lutyens and constructed from bargate stone and other local materials. Miss Jekyll incorporated many of her own ideas into the design, all of which add to its charm. It was completed in 1896 and now both the house and garden are Grade I listed.
(B L -) Overnight: Surrey Hills
Day 18 Surrey Hills to London – Thu 18 June
This morning visit the stunning West Green House Gardens. Designed by Australian Marylyn Abbott and described as a garden with a special and distinctive sense of place, it features a magnificent walled garden, creative plantings, perennial borders, imaginative topiary, follies and elaborate potager with berry filled fruit cages, espaliered fruit trees, annual flowers and colourful vegetables. The Lakefield carpeted in the spring with fritillaries and daffodils, embraces one of England’s most eclectic collections of garden follies and leads to the Paradise Water Garden and contemporary Garden of the Five Bridges. A real delight! Continue to RHS Wisley , the inspiring flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society with a large shop that sells a huge selection of gardening literature. Continue to London later this afternoon. This evening dinner will be included in your hotel.
(B – D) Overnight: London
Day 19 London – Fri 19 June
This morning enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of London including the famous sites such as Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The rest of the day will be free for rest and relaxation, individual activities and shopping.
(B – -) Overnight: London
Day 20 London – Sat 20 June
Morning visit to the Chelsea Physic Garden. Situated in the heart of London, this ‘hidden gem’ has a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful, medicinal and historical plants and is a peaceful green oasis in which to enjoy a relaxing stroll and lunch. This afternoon visit the Maze and Gardens at Hampton Court, all set within a loop of the River Thames. Highlights include the Great Vine – planted in 1768 by the celebrated gardener ‘Capability’ Brown; and the 20th Century Garden – contemporary style planting with trees and shrubs in an informal setting that creates a place of peace and tranquility away from the busier areas of the Hampton Court gardens. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow-travellers.
(B – D) Overnight: London
Day 21 Depart London – Sun 21 June
Day at leisure before transferring to Heathrow for the flight home or onward individual travel.
(B & Meals inflight)
Day 22 Inflight – Mon 22 June
Day 23 Arrive Australia – Tue 23 June
Arrive into Sydney and make connections to home locations
No testimonials exist at this time.
Tour Costs: (Per person twin share /double room)
Land Only AUD $ 10,985 (excludes flights)
All inclusive AUD $ 13,375 * (includes flights)
Single Supplement AUD $ 1350
* Includes international airline taxes and surcharges
Upgrades to business class air travel can be arranged at an additional cost
All inclusive price includes economy class flights from Australia to Glasgow and return from London
All land travel in the private use of modern Mercedes Benz coach
Accommodation in 3 to 4 star hotels plus porterage of one bag per person
Entry to all gardens and stately homes plus guided tours and sightseeing as listed
Professional English speaking tour guide
Tips and gratuities for guides and drivers
Meals including full breakfast daily, 4 lunches and 11 dinners
Travel bag and tour book with detailed itinerary.
What’s Not Included:
Meals not specified in the itinerary
All items of a personal nature, such as laundry, phone calls and beverages
Travel insurance, cancellation fees
Passport fees and visa charges
Tips or gratuities – other than those for drivers and guides.
Flights, airline taxes & surcharges on LAND only price