Gardens of Great Britain Tour -GBX
On this escorted tour you will visit unique and special places, not just those on the standard tourist route, and as the fun of touring includes meeting new people, our small groups are ideal. The itinerary combines top gardens and attractions.
From world famous landmark gardens and country estates to cosmopolitan London, experience Britain from a new perspective, including RHS Wisley, the Royal Horticultural Society’s stunning flagship garden and their latest flower show at Chatsworth. Tour stately Castle Howard, visit Windsor Castle, picturesque Cambridge and the Cambridge Botanic Garden, stroll the narrow lanes of York and see Sherwood Forest, visit Harlow Carr - the splendid RHS garden of North Yorkshire, and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.Then we head back south again via the scenic Lake District and the picturesque Cotswolds, ending up back in London 14 days later.WOW - what a fabulous tour for garden lovers!
14 DAY ITINERARY
Tour commences London on Monday 28 May 2018 OR Monday 27 May 2019
DAY 1: Mon London
Our tour begins in London, the cosmopolitan and historic capital of Britain. This evening join your fellow travellers for a special welcome dinner (included).
Included experiences: Free time to recuperate or explore. Welcome dinner at hotel - 3 courses. Accommodation: Overnight Double Tree Hilton, Hyde Park D
DAY 2: Tue Windsor Castle - Wisely
This morning we visit RHS Wisley, a stunning 60-acre estate and the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society. RHS Wisley houses an amazing diversity of common and exotic flora. Then step into the formal world of British Royalty as we visit stately Windsor Castle. This working Royal residence dates back to the 1070s, when William the Conqueror built the original wooden structure, now replaced by the grand stone edifices.
Included experiences: Morning transfer to Windsor Castle. Local guide for full day tour. Entrance to RHS Wisley house. Entrance to Windsor castle
Accommodation: Castle Hotel Windsor B
DAY 3: Wed Cotswolds
We explore two fabulous properties today. Sudeley Castle is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Cotswolds, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It has played an important role in England’s past, with royal connections stretching back 1,000 years. The castle contains many treasures from ancient Roman times to the present day. Outside, the castle is surrounded by 1,200 acres and award winning gardens. It’s the only private castle in England to have a queen buried in its grounds – Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s wives - visit the beautiful 15th Century church where she lies. Hidcote Manor was created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston and its colourful and intricately designed "garden rooms" are full of surprises. There’s a maze of narrow paved pathways to secret gardens, magnificent vistas and vibrantly coloured plantings. Many of the plants in the garden were collected on Johnston’s various overseas plant hunting trips. A great place for garden inspiration.Included experiences: Entrance to Sudeley Castle. Entrance to Hidcote Manor
Accommodation: Manor hotel Chipping Campden B
DAY 4: Thu Stratford upon Avon
We depart Chipping Campden for Stratford upon Avon. Famous for the home of William Shakespeare. We have a short walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Included experiences: Stratford upon Avon – free time to explore the local area.
Accommodation: Stratford Hotel Stratford Upon Avon B
DAY 5: Fri David Austin Roses
Next we visit world famous David Austin Roses and pass by the historically linked Sherwood Forest before continuing on to York.
Included experiences: Visit to David Austin Roses Nursery. See Sherwood Forest B
Accommodation: Best Western, Monkbar, York
DAY 6: Sat Breezy Knees and York
Today we visit Breezy Knees Nursery – “the Flower Garden of Yorkshire” with one of the finest selections of perennials in North England, plus vibrant borders and fountains. Then see the medieval city of York during a short walking tour this morning. See the famous Minster and step lively down the “Shambles,” quaint, narrow streets that appear today as during the Middle Ages. There's great shopping and a street so narrow you can almost reach both sides.
Included experiences: Entrance to Breezy Knees Nursery. Highlights of York city
Accommodation: Best Western, Monkbar, York B
DAY 7: Sun Castle Howard - Newby Hall
Experience a window into a world of old as you visit spectacular Castle Howard. Explore the extensive gardens and grounds with their fountains and ‘follies.’ Then continue via Ripon and Newby Hall and gardens.
Included experiences: Entrance to Castle Howard and Newby Hall and Gardens, Ripon. Accommodation: Best Western, Monkbar, York B
DAY 8: Mon Harlow Carr - Border Region - Edinburgh
Continue north past rolling fields on your way to regal Scotland. Make a morning stop at RHS Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire. A 70-acre garden dominated by water, stone and woodland and is an integral part of the surrounding landscape. Stop for a photo of Hadrian’s Wall, the ancient fortification begun in AD 122 to protect Roman Britain from the tribes of Scotland. Next we drive through Scotland’s Border Region. Edinburgh, the “Athens of the North” is Scotland's exciting capital city - rich in scenic beauty and culture.
Included experiences: Entrance and guided tour of RHS Harlow Carr. Hadrian's Wall. Accommodation: Mercury Quay Haymarket Hotel, Edinburgh B
DAY 9: Tue Edinburgh
This morning we have a tour of Edinburgh. Enjoy time this afternoon to discover for yourself the many fascinating aspects of this intriguing city including Mary Kings Close (optional extra). Enjoy the fun and tradition of classic Scottish entertainment tonight while dining on a selection of traditional local dishes.
Included experiences: Edinburgh city tour. Traditional Scottish dinner - 3 courses + show. Coach transfer to hotel after dinner.
Accommodation: Mercury Quay Haymarket Hotel, Edinburgh B,D
DAY 10: Wed Lake District
Free time to explore, then departing Edinburgh we head for the beautiful Lake District. We visit the lakeside town of Windermere and the World of Beatrix Potter - home to Peter Rabbit and friends. Explore a magical world where all 23 enchanting tales by Beatrix Potter are brought to life.
Included experiences: Visit to lakeside Windermere town. Entrance to The World of Beatrix Potter attraction. Dinner in hotel - 3 courses, plus drinking water
Accommodation: MacDonald Old England Hotel Windermere B,D
DAY 11: Thu Lake and Peak Districts
Explore Windermere village, then we're off to visit one of the most picturesque old villages of the Peak District.
Included experiences: Free time to explore Windermere and Sheffield.
Accommodation: Leopold Hotel, Sheffield B
DAY 12: Fri RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
Today we explore the latest RHS Flower Show - Chatsworth. This new annual show takes place in the 1,000-acre parkland of the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth in Derbyshire’s Peak District. The show will be situated by the banks of the River Derwent amid Capability Brown landscaped grounds. It will feature displays and new ideas to inspire gardeners worldwide.
Included experiences: Morning transfer to RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Entrance to RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Transfer to hotel at the end of the show
Accommodation: Leopold Hotel, Sheffield B
DAY 13: Sat Cambridge
Today we visit Cambridge, home of the famous university which is more than 800 years old. Upon arrival, meet a Cambridge University guide for a tour that reveals the history and traditions of this college town. We complete our visit with a stop at the famed Cambridge Botanic Gardens. We continue on to London. This is our last evening together and our farewell dinner (included).
Included experiences: Local guide for half day Cambridge tour. Entrance to Kings College University for guided tour. Entrance to Botanical gardens. Farewell dinner.
Accommodation: Double Tree Hilton, Hyde Park, London B,D
DAY 14: Sun London
Transfer for onward travel arrangements or one of our recommended extensions. End of services after break B
Includes meals as per final itinerary: B = Breakfasts, D = Welcome and other dinners.
This tour includes:
- 3+ to 4 star accommodation
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Activities and excursions as per the itinerary
- Coach touring and tour host
- Arrival and departure transfers
- $8495 pp twinshare. Single supplement + $2595. EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: book by 30/9/17 and receive $500 OFF (please state this discount when you email us)