Hampton Court Flower Show & Capability Brown Gardens Tour - HCC
Number of Days: 12
Destination: Great Britain
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. This tour is packed with amazing highlights for garden lovers and others seeking a unique tour. It’s the treat of a lifetime
Capability Brown filled England's gardens with enchantment – follies, cascades, lakes, bridges, ornaments, monuments, meadows and woods. His world famous lakes and landscapes are still enjoyed by millions today. As the creator of the ‘English landscape style’, he’s regarded by the world over as the father of landscape architecture.
But it’s not just the Hampton Court Flower Show and Capability Brown gardens that make this such a special tour, as we have also included London, Sissinghurst, Blenheim Palace, Great Dixter and a host of other fabulous gardens and attractions.
Hampton Court Flower Show and Capability Brown Gardens tour
Day 1 - Sun- London
We arrive at London airport and have an orientation tour before we transfer to the hotel - our base for the next 3 nights. Please be sure to wear your name badge. This evening we enjoy a Welcome Dinner (included) -and meet your fellow travellers in our group.
Day 2 - Mon- Sheffield Park and Sissinghurst
Our first garden is Sheffield Park Gardens which was originally developed by‘Capability’ Brownin the late 1700s. It has lakes and paths through glades and wooded areas surrounding them and is the home of the National Ghent Azalea collection. It is a work of art with influences by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton. We then continue to the fabulous Sissinghurst garden of Vita Sackville West. Check out the famous "White Garden" and Tudor tower complete with Vita’s workshop, the herb garden, border gardens, the oast houses and the cottage garden and stream.
Day 3 - Tues- Great Dixter and Battle Abbey
This morning we visit Great Dixter, once the home of Christopher Lloyd. He designed the stunning gardens based on a plan made by his father and Sir Edwin Lutyens and include topiary, meadow flowers, mixed borders including the famous Long Border. We then continue to a landscape park as old as England itself. We visit Battle Abbey and the 1066 Battle of Hastings battlefield. Now a place of wild flowers and birdsong, this area once played host to thousands of men, fighting for the future of king and country. See William the Conqueror’s abbey, where you can stand where it is said King Harold died, and experience a classic Victorian walled garden.
Day 4 - Wed- Nymans, Wakehurst
Another world famous garden to explore is Nymans which was created by Ludwig Messel in the 1800s. It is a garden lover’s delight featuring with gardens within gardens, dazzling herbaceous borders and an Italianate loggia. Then toWakehurst Place, managed by Kew Gardens and sometimes called “Kew’s Country Estate.” The 465 acres include ornamental gardens, woodlands, a nature reserve, lakes, formal gardens, an Elizabethan house and Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank. We then continue to nearby Borde Hill, described as "one of the country’s truly great gardens’ by Country Life magazine.
Day 5 - Thur- Kew, Richmond and Syon Park
The Royal Kew Botanic Gardens situated beside the River Thames is a historic landscape garden including work by several renowned landscape architects including‘ Capability’ Brown. Kew is a lavish 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses. It is a World Heritage site, with the largest indoor glasshouse space in the UK, home to the world’s largest collection of living plants with more than 30,000 varieties. Check out the Alpine garden, Japanese garden, Treetop Walkway and Kew Palace and Orangery. From there we go to Richmond Park which was once King Henry 8's favourite hunting ground. The Capability Brown designed Richmond Gate leads into the 2,470 acres of Richmond Park, the largest open space in Greater London and includes the Isabella plantation and ornamental woodlands. The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830's. First opened to the public in 1953, it is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and at their peak of flower in late April and early May. Located in the gardens are the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaelas (introduced from Japan in the 1920's by the plant collector Ernest Wilson), large collections of Rhododendrons and Camellias, plus many other rare and unusual trees and shrubs which provide interest all year round. Part of the parklands conservation designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the site is managed very much with nature in mind and the gardens are run on organic principles. Native plants commonly grow alongside exotics throughout the Plantation. Perimeter and shelterbelt areas are planted with native nectar and berry bearing trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter for birds, bats and insects. Next to: Syon House and Park designed by Lancelot‘Capability’ Brown with open views characteristic of the English Landscape movement. Over twenty years he extended this, creating Pleasure Grounds to the north and ornamental lakes. The house is one of the last great houses of London in the same family for 400 years.
Day 6 - Fri- RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Today we have a full day to enjoy the RHSHampton Court Palace Flower Show. Hampton Court Palace is situated in 60 acres of gardens and parklands along the scenic River Thames. In the palace grounds are the Great Vine, planted by ‘Capability’ Brown, the rose gardens, Privy Gardens inspired by William of Orange, the Tiltyard and famous Yew tree maze.
Day 7 - Sat- Blenheim Palace and Cotswolds
Today we visit Blenheim Palace. Originally given to Winston Churchill’s ancestor John, 1st Duke of Marlborough. See the art, furniture, bronzes and the famous Marlborough Victories tapestries in the palace and wander the gardens, designed in part by ‘Capability’ Brown and considered by many to be his masterpiece. We then check out lovely Cotswolds villages and a Downton Abbey film location (to be confirmed). Continue to Cheltenham, our base for 2 nights.
Day 8 - Sun- Cotswold Gardens
We explore two popular gardens in the Cotswolds today.
Day 9 -Mon- Cheltenham
Free day to enjoy Cheltenham.
Day 10 - Tues- RHS Wisley
This morning we visit the fabulous RHS Wisley - 240 acres of beautiful gardens. Then back to London. Chance tonight (optional) to take in a West End theatre performance.
Day 11 - Wed- London
This morning we visit the fabulous RHS Wisley - 240 acres of beautiful gardens. We have a farewell dinner (included) tonight overlooking the River Thames.
Day 12 - Thur- London
The tour concludes this morning after breakfast. If you are staying on in London you will need to check out of the hotel. There is a transfer to London Heathrow airport for those booked on our group flight.
- From $7,985 per person. Single supplement + $1995.