Grade

Easy Garden Tours

Accommodation

4* Hotels

Transportation

Coach with Aircon

Cost

4150

Flights

Excluded

Single Supplement

780

Group

15-20

Lunches

2

Breakfast

7

Cream Tea

1

Morning Coffee

3

Dinner

3

19 Jun 2024 - 26 Jun 2024

$4,150$5,085

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Summertime Garden Showcase: Discovering Kent, Sussex & Surrey’s Enchanting Gardens

Small Group escorted tour to visit to 13 exceptional historic and contemporary gardens in Kent, Surrey & Sussex over 8 days.

  • Accommodation in two comfortable 4* Hotels:  Crown Plaza London Heathrow and the Royal Spa Hotel.
  • Transportation by comfortable private coach with Aircon.
  • Accompanied by experienced tour guide with botanical knowledge.
  • Group dinner on arrival and on the last evening of the tour.
  • Entrance fees for all gardens and venues visited.
  • 24 hr. Emergency Service.

Tour Description

All the gardens that we visit on this tour are well known for their Summertime Flowers!  This tour starts on 19 June 2024 in London.  During the first evening, you will have an opportunity to meet your tour leader and fellow garden visitors during a welcome dinner.  Over the next 7 days we explore 13 exceptional historic and contemporary gardens in the English counties of Kent, Surrey & Sussex.  For example, we’ll visit Sissinghurst Castle garden created by Vita Sackville-West, Christopher Lloyd’s Great Dixter with gardens designed by Lutyens and RHS Wisley which boasts the most important demonstration garden in Europe.

These, along with the 8 other gardens that we visit during this tour are sure to leave you with a lasting impression of these regions of the UK.   We return to London for the last night of the tour and a farewell dinner.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – 19 June 2024 – Check-in Crown Plaza London Heathrow – Dinner Included

  • After your flight, check into the Crown Plaza London Heathrow Airport hotel. In the evening there will be an opportunity to meet your tour guide and other participants of the tour over dinner.

Day 2 – 20 June 2024 – Check-Out – Kew Gardens & London Olympic Park – Breakfast & Dinner included

  • After breakfast and check-out, we visit the world-famous Kew Gardens, to explore the iconic Temperate House, known as the largest remaining Victorian glasshouse in the world. This extraordinary structure is home to a remarkable collection of rare and threatened temperate zone plants.
  • After Kew, we travel to London’s Olympic Park to find meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and water features, as well as diverse and captivating planting schemes. However, we’re really here to see the park’s naturalistic-style borders which are quite exceptional.
  • At the end of our first day, we make our way to Royal Spa Hotel a stylish and sophisticated hotel situated in 14 acres of picturesque grounds close to Royal Tunbridge Wells. With an indoor swimming pool and gyms, award-winning restaurant and contemporary Zagatos Bar, it offers guests easy access to historic Tunbridge Wells and the Kent countryside.  Dinner is included.

Accommodation: Royal Spa Hotel

Day 3 – 21 June 2024 – Gardens Visited: Godinton, Goodnestone Park & Cantebury – Breakfast, Morning Coffee, Included

  • After breakfast we leave for Godinton Gardens, a beautiful five-acre garden surrounded by an ancient park dotted with stately oaks and chestnut trees. The 14th-century house creates a peaceful and intimate atmosphere, perfect for exploring the garden’s “garden rooms.” As we stroll through the terraced lawns, framed by boxwood hedges, we admire the formal borders filled with perennial plants and ornamental trees. The tranquil lily pond and well-tended vegetable garden are also delightful sights to behold. The highlight of our visit is the stunning walled Italian garden and the classic rose garden, both of which transport us to a paradise of fragrant herbs, beautiful architectural elements, and abundant blooms.  We’ll have morning coffee here before our visit to the historic town of Canterbury where you will have lunch on your own.
  • After our visit to Canterbury we travel to the beautiful Goodnestone Park, a 17th-century estate nestled in the heart of Kent. This quintessential English garden boasts 14 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds, featuring a classic floral garden in front of the house. As we venture further, we find a gravel garden, a woodland garden and an arboretum with many unique trees, including a large collection of Cornus. The highlight of the park is its walled garden, divided into compartments with different color combinations, where old roses bloom profusely and walls are covered with a variety of climbing plants. We take a leisurely stroll through the herbaceous borders, the charming rose garden, and the serene water features. We learn about the estate’s connection to Jane Austen, who was a frequent visitor, and the inspiration she drew from these surroundings.  Afterwards we return to our hotel where you can spend the evening at leisure.
  • Dinner is on your own.

Accommodation: Royal Spa Hotel

Day 4 – 22 June 2024 – Pashley Manor,  Clinton Lodge  – Breakfast, Morning Coffee, & Lunch Included

  • As we embark on our tour, we will have the pleasure of exploring the magnificent Grade I-listed Tudor house, Pashley Manor. We will be amazed by the harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary garden design. One of the highlights is the romantic Rose Walk, adorned with fragrant roses and wrought-iron arches, where we can soak in the charming atmosphere. Other garden features we will enjoy exploring include the tranquil pond, striking herbaceous borders, and serene water features. The Kitchen Garden, teeming with fresh produce and herbs, and the Bluebell Woodland, providing a serene retreat, are not to be missed. Pashley Manor’s gardens are a perfect example of how traditional and contemporary design elements can be seamlessly blended to create an unforgettable experience. Before we leave, we will have lunch.
  • Our next destination is Clinton Lodge Gardens, a stunning and peaceful garden created in the 19th century. The garden is a diverse landscape that has been maintained and enhanced over the years. We will have the chance to explore the rockery, pond, herb garden, and rose garden, which are home to rare and exotic plants, making it a paradise for plant lovers. One of the standout features of Clinton Lodge Gardens is its breathtaking views of the Margate coastline, which visitors can admire while strolling through the winding paths.
  • Dinner is on your own.

Accommodation: Royal Spa Hotel

Day 5 – 23 June 2024 –  Gardens Visited: Sissinghurst, Tenterden village, Long Barn – Breakfast, Morning Coffee & Dinner Included

  • After breakfast, we travel to Sissinghurst, the first of two gardens that we will visit today. In 1930 Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson created Sissinghurst Castle garden around a moated Elizabethan mansion.  Their garden has become extremely influential, helped partly by Sackville-West’s writing in which she documents the gardens development.  The garden is designed around a series of axial walks each terminating with a statue or some other garden element.  Enclosed garden compartments open out from each walkway and many have a sessional theme.  During our Spring visit we’ll experience the spectacular Lime Walk: drifts of bulbs provide a stunning tapestry of colors all as per Nicolson’s original meticulous planning.   Other parts of the garden have specific color schemes.  For example, you’ll find the White garden next to the Priest’s House and the Cottage Garden which is planted mainly in orange and yellow.  Sissinghurst Castle Garden was given to the UK National Trust on the understanding that, as per Nicolson’s wishes, it should be kept up to date with new plants.  Although the original design (thankfully) remains unaltered new plants are introduced very much in line with principles set out by Gertrude Jekyll.
  • We will have morning coffee at Sissinghurst before we drive to Tenterden village which is a charming and historic village located in the Weald of Kent. The village is known for its picturesque high street, lined with historic buildings and a mix of independent and chain stores. You can explore the many shops, cafes, and restaurants in the village, as well as the local museum, which tells the story of the area’s rich history. The village is also surrounded by beautiful countryside.  There are plenty of places to have lunch before we visit the other highlight of the day, Long Barn garden.
  • Long Barn’s three-acre formal garden was created by the renowned garden designers, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson in the early 20th century. In 1915, they acquired the house and attached a 16th-century barn to it, transforming it into the stunning property that it is today. The Lindberghs, Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, lived in Long Barn from 1936 to 1938, and added their own unique touch to the garden. After Sackville-West and Nicolson moved to Sissinghurst in 1932, they sold Long Barn in 1945. Today, the garden remains largely original and is lovingly curated by the current owners, Lars and Rebecca Lemonius. Visitors to Long Barn will be transported back in time as they immerse themselves in the rich history and details of this magnificent garden. A visit to Long Barn is a must for anyone interested in garden design, history, and beauty.

Accommodation: Royal Spa Hotel

Day 6 – 24 June 2024 – Gardens Visited: RHS Wisley Gardens, Loseley Park, Breakfast & Cream Tea included.

  • After breakfast we’ll drive by coach to visit RHS Wisely gardens, one of two gardens that we’ll visit today.  Gifted to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1904 (creator of the famous La Mortola garden in Ischia, Italy), Wisley Gardens, situated on 200 acres (81 ha) is an important center of learning and research and boasts the most important demonstration garden in Europe.
  • As RHS’s flagship garden there is something special to see in this garden at every time of the year even during the darkest of winter days.  There are glasshouses with 4 temperate zones housing cacti, succulents, orchids, epiphytes as well as many other plants not native to the UK, as well as areas devoted to specific plants such as the pinetum – an area of stately conifers many of which are record breakers in terms of their height and which are interesting to visit in any season.  We’ll have cream tea here before visiting Loseley Park Gardens.
  • Loseley Park Gardens is a stunning estate located in the heart of the Surrey countryside in England. The estate is home to a historic 16th-century manor house and a range of beautiful gardens, including a rose garden, a walled garden, a herb garden, and woodland walk. One of the standout features of Loseley Park Gardens is the Elizabethan knot garden, a beautiful and intricate design that reflects the history and beauty of the estate. The garden is laid out in the shape of a knot and is filled with colourful flowers and plants, making it a feast for the eyes.
  • Dinner is on your own.

Accommodation: Royal Spa Hotel

Day 7 – 25 June 2024 – Fair Light End, The Mermaid Inn, Great Dixter.  Breakfast & Lunch included.

  • Our tour takes us today to Fairlight End, a stunning garden set in the Sussex Weald with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The three-acre garden features extensive wildflower meadows with mown paths, an orchard, a hazel coppice, and two natural ponds. We will discover the model kitchen garden, complete with 30 raised beds, and marvel at the beauty of the unshrinkingly modern corten steel wall and plant supports designed by Ian Kitson.  The garden also features informal clipped groups of hornbeam, hawthorn, holly, pine, and yew, reflecting the shapes of hedgerows and tree canopies in the borrowed landscape beyond the garden. We learn that all the steel features in the garden were made in a foundry just seven miles away, and we admire the way the corten steel looks against the brick and tile features of the house. Fairlight End was awarded a 2015 Award from the Sussex Heritage Trust, which praised its thoughtful and beautiful integration of the countryside and garden landscape with contemporary elements.
  • Next we travel to Rye only two miles from the coast.  Rye is an extremely charming small town of historical importance.  We’ll stop here for lunch at the 15th Century Mermaid Inn, from before we head off to Great Dixter, one of two of the great historic gardens in East Sussex.
  • Built in 1450, the large timber framed house was bought by Christopher Lloyd’s father in 1910 was restored by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.  The gardens, once a farmyard, were designed by Lutyens.  Part of the reason why Great Dixter has become so famous and influential is because of the planting style introduced there by Christopher Lloyd and taught by him over many years at the local horticultural college. His planting style is characterized by the way in which he manages to combine plants in harmonious groupings and where plants of different heights, colors and leaf texture weave together into a unified whole. This style of gardening is often referred to as tapestry gardening and has been copied throughout the world.  Experimentation has always been central to Lloyd’s gardening approach and nowhere more can this be seen in his 65m long/4.5-meter-wide Long Border, which as you will see is a spectacular mixture of shrubs, climbers, perennials and annuals.   After Lloyd’s death the garden has been looked after by Fergus Garrett and is better than ever thanks to his heroic efforts. Our visit to Great Dixter marks the end of our day, and from there, we head back to London and the Crown Plaza London Heathrow.
  • Join the rest of the group for a farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Crown Plaza London Heathrow

Day 8: 26 June 2024 – Check-Out – Breakfast included.

  • After a final breakfast at our hotel, we bid farewell to the beautiful English countryside and our fellow travelers. Transfer to London Heathrow Airport for your onward flight or stay in the UK for a little longer. In either way you will be, taking with you the memories of the stunning gardens and the friendships that you have made during our unforgettable journey.

 

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What's Not Included:

  • Flights to and from the UK

For More Information

  • Click on the tab above for a detailed tour itinerary.  For practical information, visit our FAQ page and our Bookings Conditions. Please Contact Us if you have any questions or comments or visit our Home page for more of our superb British garden tours.
19 June 2024  US$5085  Single   $5,085

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19 June 2024  US$4150  Twin   $4,150

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19 June 2024  US$4150  Double   $4,150

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If you want to secure you place on this tour you can choose to pay a 25% refundable deposit now and the remaining balance later.
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2. Pay Now in Full

If you want to secure you place on this tour you can choose to pay now in full.
  • Step 1: Please select the correct amount and departure date above. The higher of the two prices displayed includes the single supplement and should be chosen if you are travelling alone.  If you are a couple or group travelling together select the lower of the two amounts.  You can change the number of people travelling together on the next screen and the price will be recalculated automatically.
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We accept all major credit cards.  Before you go ahead and book your tour online, please carefully read our Booking Conditions. Once we have the required numbers to run your tour you will receive further information from us.  In the unlikely event that your tour will not proceed, we will refund your payment IN FULL.
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