Historic gardens of England and Chelsea Flower Show tour - CFA19
Number of Days: 9
Destination: Great Britain
On this small group tour we visit unique and special historic gardens and places, and as the fun of touring includes meeting new people, our small tour groups are ideal as we limit the group size. Visit Kew Botanic Gardens, Hampton Court Palace and gardens, RHS Wisley, Walmer Castle, Richborough, Goodnestone Park, Chilham, Great Dixter, Rye, Sissinghurst Castle and gardens and have a Thames river cruise.
Our tour cost is inclusive of 3+ star centrally located hotel accommodation, all breakfasts, special welcome and farewell dinners, tour host, transfers, entrance fees to all gardens and events as per the final itinerary including entry to the best garden show on earth – The Chelsea Flower Show.
9 DAY ITINERARY - Tour commences London Monday 22 May 2019 and concludes at Heathrow (LHR).
Day 1 Monday: LondonArrive London and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 Tuesday: Kew GardensOur tour commences after a relaxing breakfast we drive to the world-renowned Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. You have access to all of Kew's attractions, including its famous glasshouses, the recently renovated and re-opened Kew Palace and the new 18-metre high treetop walk. Lunch own arrangements at Kew Gardens. Later this afternoon we will meet at the main gates and walk into Kew village or nearby with free time before our included Welcome dinner. B,D
Day 3 Wednesday: Hampton Court Palace, riverboat and RichmondOur day begins with a short drive to Hampton Court Palace, the fabulous Tudor palace built by Cardinal Wolsey, but taken from him by Henry VIII. The riverside palace later became the preferred royal residence of King William and Queen Mary, who had vast modifications made to the palace by Christopher Wren, and a Privy Garden laid out for them in 1702. This recently restored garden is one of the many joys of this enormous place. In the afternoon we meet up to travel to Richmond by Thames riverboat. The river between Hampton Court and Richmond is a particularly fine stretch of the Thames, before returning to our hotel. B
Day 4 Thursday: The Chelsea Flower ShowToday is the day of the The Royal Horticultural Society's world-famous Chelsea Flower Show. Our day starts with an early buffet breakfast, so that we are at Chelsea shortly after the gates open around 8a. We have the whole day there until we depart at 4pm, avoiding the late-afternoon traffic rush. Eight hours on our feet is generally enough for most people. B
Day 5 Friday:RHS Wisley, KentAfter a leisurely start and breakfast, we set off to the Kent countryside via RHS Wisley- the headquarters of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and a Mecca for gardeners from around the world. We will spend most of the day in these internationally-renowned gardens then we depart towards Dover and our new hotel and base for 4 nights:Hotel: The Marquis at Alkham (or similar), where after settling in we have dinner. B,D
Day 6 Saturday: The French, the Romans, Jane Austen’s brotherWe spend today in eastern Kent, starting at the very south-eastern tip of Britain with a visit to Walmer Castle, one of many coastal forts built by the Tudors to keep out Spanish and French aggressors. But there is more to Walmer that just that, it is also the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and, until her death, the late Queen Mother was Lord Warden, and she had a garden designed for her, which we will visit. After a lunch break we drive north, past Ham, towards Sandwich and the Roman ruins at Richborough, which we visit briefly, before turning inland, to Goodnestone Park - a romantic garden, and once the home to Jane Austen's brother, Edward. There is much to see and admire at Goodnestone, not least a superb collection of trees, a triple-bay walled garden and an admirable situation. Late this afternoon, we'll leave Goodnestone for a short stop at the quaint medieval village of Chilham, before dinner at one of several favourite Kent pubs. BWalmer Castle
Day 7 Sunday: Sussex, Great Dixter, Christopher Lloyd, RyeWe drive, across the Kentish landscape, into neighbouring Sussex and our first garden, Merriments, a family-run nursery and display garden. Next Pashley Manor awaits us, and you won't be disappointed. This is a handsome garden, surrounding the delightful mid-16 century half-timbered house and adjacent elegant Georgian house. After a lunch break at Pashley, we drive south to Great Dixter - the home of the late Christopher Lloyd, whose spectacular garden is one of the most inspirational gardens in Britain. Following Lloyd's death, Dixter has been put into trust and the spirit of Lloyd lives on in Fergus Garrett, the head gardener. Later this afternoon, we drive to Rye for a stroll around the cobbled streets of this medieval, hill-top town and possibly a drink at the Mermaid Inn (rebuilt 1420), before included traditional English dinner. B,D
Day 8 Monday: SissinghurstWe head now to Sissinghurst Castle - one of the highlights of the tour and one of Britain's best-loved gardens. Created in the 1930s, by husband-and-wife team Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville-West, the gardens have clearly stood the test of time and they are famous the world over. We have the rest of the morning, a lunch break and the early part of the afternoon at Sissinghurst. B
Day 9 Tuesday: Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn, HeathrowOur final visit is to Hever Castle, famously the childhood home of Anne Boleyn (the second wife of Henry VIII) and more recently, of William Waldorf Astor, an American financier, who restored the castle and created the gardens and landscape you see today. The visit combines both the castle and the gardens, and we will stay for a lunch break, before we then depart to Heathrow Airport (where the tour concludes) for connection with onward travel arrangements. B
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Unlike many tours there are no hidden extras– if it’s in the itinerary we visit it - there's a big difference between itineraries that state “see” and ours where you “visit” attractions, making our tours very competitively priced. Our itinerary has also been refined to eliminate many tiring aspects of travel - NO new hotel each day and where possible minimal long coach travel.
- 8 nights accommodation
- Meals as per the itinerary
Single Travellers: If you are travelling alone (and you book a minimum of 5 months in advance of departure) there is no compulsory charge - you may share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who prefer a guaranteed private room. This can be added at the time of booking. Please note that the room provided will be a single room with a single bed. The cost for a guaranteed single room on this tour is $1,695.
- $7,739 - Earlybird special $7,489 per person based on twin share