England and Wales Garden Tour

A 8 day trip to England & Wales 
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The city parks of London and the county lanes of the Cotswalds, the moors of Wales and the meadows of South England, the exhibits at the Great Spring Show and the walled gardens of Hidcote Manor, all look better when bedecked with blooms. From flower shows to afternoon tea, this is a tour that is sure to sprout new memories.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

London, Waterperry, Hidcote Manner, Kiftsgate Court, Bodnant, Ludlow, Llandudno, Cotswolds 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Landing in London

Touch down on the outskirts of London, the capital of the United Kingdom and the home to one of the best and best-known flower shows in the world. You’ll be picked up by a private car and transported to your perfectly located and elegant hotel, where you can drop off your luggage, refresh from the night of traveling, and get ready to hit the streets of London, one of the world’s great capitals. You can cruise along the River Thames to catch glimpses of Parliament and the clock tower housing Big Ben, or meander further downriver to witness the towering dome of St. Paul, the sleek lines of the Millennium Bridge and the incredible offerings at the Tate Modern before returning to your hotel for a welcoming cocktail reception and dinner that is sure to prepare and excite you for your day in Chelsea tomorrow.

Day 2: A Day of Blooms at the Great Spring Show

There is no other flower show on Earth that is quite like the one held for five days every May in the up-scale borough of Chelsea. For more than 150 years, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show has brought together some of the most talented landscape artists and gardeners and some of the best scenery in London, turning the event into nothing less than the botanical equivalent of Fashion Week. You’ll be amazed by the entries in such diverse categories as exhibits of trees to exhibits of floristry to exhibits of vegetables and herbs, and you’ll be stunned by the special exhibits that continue to excite at the Chelsea Flower show. Past exhibits have included a huge collection of exotic orchids from Taiwan, a garden made entirely from Plasticine, and Diarmuid Gavin’s Irish Sky Garden, the first garden at Chelsea to be suspended in the air. You’ll also get the chance to get the first look at new species of plants, as well as a get a sense of the growing trends in gardening and horticulture throughout the world. Following the show, you can visit one of Chelsea’s finest restaurants like Aubergine (run by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay) or the Chelsea Brasserie and Bar.

Day 3: The Glorious Gardens of the Capital

A day at your leisure in London can be spent moseying through the serpentine streets of the capital or making your ways through one of the royal parks that form one giant green lung in the heart of the metropolis. Walk along the Serpentine and stroll past the shores of the Long Water in Hyde Park before entering the stately grounds of Kensington Gardens, marveling at the Italian Garden fountains, the beautiful artwork like "Physical Energy" and a statue of Peter Pan, and the opulent and elegant Albert Memorial, commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband who died of typhoid in 1861. Then set out to London’s southwest to encounter the majestic Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, popularly known as Kew Gardens, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. 

You can explore the incredible sweep of the Davies Alpine House where you’ll encounter more than 200 species of alpine plants, the Japanese Gateway (a replica of the gateway to a famous temple in Kyoto, built for the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910), the famous Palm House, and the towering Great Pagoda that dominates the southeast corner of Kew. There are also a number of excellent museums, art galleries and libraries on site, as well as a herbarium that houses more than seven million species of dried plant life.

Day 4: Afternoon Tea in the English Countryside

Leave London’s environs, and head out into the rural grounds of South England, bound for some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire country. On your way out, you’ll make a stop at Waterperry, a village just east of Oxford, where Waterperry House has stood for more than three centuries and whose gardens have attracted visitors for generations. The former Waterperry School of Horticulture was based in the house, and the school has since been turned into one of the finest horticultural tourist attractions in southern England, filled with gardens of roses and alpine plants, a gorgeous and meticulously planned knot garden, nurseries, orchards, a plant center and even a riverside walk. Following your trip to Waterperry, you’ll get the exclusive privilege of taking afternoon tea at a privately owned estate that works in coordination with the National Garden Scheme to provide unforgettable opportunities to truly experience the rich English gardening tradition. You’ll spend the next two nights in the heart of the Cotswolds, one of the most picturesque areas in all of southern England and the home to some of the most decadent and unique private gardens in the country.

Day 5: England’s Best Country Gardens

Set out for the manors and estates that make up this aristocratic area as you take in some of the most memorable gardens and grounds in the region. Begin at Hidcote Manor Garden, the best-known and best-loved Arts and Crafts gardens in the United Kingdom and one of the most imitated styles in the world of horticulture. Hidcote Manor Gardens are organized by series of linked “rooms,” the edges of which are formed by hedges, shrubs, rare trees and perennial borders and which each contain their own unique personality. You’ll be entranced by the chair-like bushes in the White garden, the fountains that fill the many green squares, and even a kitchen garden that abuts the house itself. Then head to the nearby Kiftsgate Court on foot to marvel at the well-known grounds of this elegant estate, lauded by many experts for its original and daring use of color in its deign. Kiftsgate is also known in the botanical world as the home of the famous Kiftsgate rose, a scented climbing rose that can reach immense proportions. You can spend the late afternoon strolling through the gorgeous countryside or enjoying the splendid tradition of tea in the garden before returning to your hotel in the evening.

Day 6: The Wonders of Wales

You leave the confines of England and turn to the western coast of Great Britain, ready to experience the beauty and serenity of Wales, a country that is often overlooked but never disappoints. On your way out, you’ll stop in the scenic village of Ludlow, where fine examples of medieval and Tudor-style architecture abounds, from the unbelievable ornate detail on the façade of the Feathers Hotel to the buildings lining castle square. You’ll also be impressed by the soaring square bell tower of St. Laurence’s Church, rising 135 feet into the air and housing the famous and historic church bells, and the impressive battlements of Ludlow Castle, which has stood near the English-Welsh border for nearly 1,000 years. Then turn to the northern side of Wales for an expedition to the beautiful former fortress and grand country mansion of Powis Castle, the former residence for Welsh princes and now known for its spectacular terraced gardens, one of the few gardens left in Britain that follows a true baroque design. You’ll be wowed by the hydraulics that are more than 200 years old as well as the shrubbery and topiary that can be found throughout the complex. After a breathtaking tour of the grounds and garden, you’ll turn to Llandudno, the “Queen of Welsh Resorts” and the largest seaside resort town in all of Wales, with the longest pier in Wales and a city center that is always filled with exciting activities.

Day 7: Visiting Bodnant

Today you discover the grandeur of the Welsh landscape on your way to one of the most famous formal gardens in the country, the impressive Bodnant Garden overlooking the River Conwy. Walk the varied grounds and take in the incredible harmony of flora, from the formal gardens framed by clipped box hedges, perennial borders and ornamental ponds to the many rose gardens that fill the scene and even an arch made of Laburnum trees. You’ll also be fascinated to learn about Bodnant’s historical breeding program, which has produced a number of rhododendron and azalea varieties that are now grown all over the world, as well as impressive collections of camellia, hydrangea and magnolia plants. And, of course, no visit would be complete without a visit to the nearby mill and a delightful spillway waterfall tumbling gracefully into the waters of the River Hiraethlyn. Following this majestic experience, you’ll make a quick drive to Liverpool, where you’ll catch a flight bound for London for one final night of excitement in the mighty metropolis.

Day 8: Goodbye, Great Britain

Today, after a delicious breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be escorted to the airport to return to your home country, filled with the sights and sounds of the greatest garden party of your life. After such an amazing adventure – from the hedgerows of the formal gardens of some of the UK’s most beautiful homes to the untrammelled growth of wildflowers along the winding country roads – you’ll likely spend your return flight home planning the details of your next visit.

Price

Price 

Your custom trip package will include accommodations, transportation within the country, guided tours and activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. 

Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates!