Isola Bella
Isola Bella

Here, at Brightwater, we like to make the most of our time on holiday. If you're the same, you might be interested in a new collection of trips for 2022 we're calling our Grand Tours

If you're wondering what a grand tour is, we like to define it as a travel experience that covers everything worth seeing, doing and visiting in that particular area as part of the same itinerary. It's an all-encompassing holiday – one that will see you tick multiple gardens, castles or historic homes off your wish-list in one fell swoop!

And, if it sounds familiar, that's because we already have our best-selling Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides and Grand Tour of the Inner Hebrides holidays. That's right, we noticed you like to get the most out of your time away, so we've created five brand new European Grand Tour itineraries for 2022.  

A Grand Tour of the Gardens of Scotland

This new holiday takes us from the open spaces of the far north to the wilds of the west; from the splendours of the south to the elegance of the east. Visits are extensive and they include Branklyn Gardens, Cluny House Gardens, Dunrobin Castle, John O'Groats, the Castle of Mey, Dundonnell House Garden, Inverewe Gardens, Archattan Priory, Abriachan Gardens, Arduaine, the small private garden of An Cala, Glenarn, Ardkinglas, Dumfries House, the Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden, Logan Botanic Gardens, Glenwhan Gardens, Broughton House, Threave Estate, Ellenbank nursery, Kailzie Gardens, Dawyck Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens and Malleny Garden.

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A Grand Tour of the Western & Northern Isles

The first part of this island odyssey is essentially our Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides, with all the elements that has made this our top-selling island tour, from Kisimul Castle and Cockleshell Beach to the Standing Stones of Callanish and the Blackhouses of Lewis. Returning to the mainland, we have an interlude in Aberdeen and a visit to Castle Fraser before taking the overnight ferry to Lerwick and exploring the rugged and breathtaking seascapes of Shetland. Then it’s on to Orkney, home to some of the most impressive Neolithic monuments in Europe and a green, fertile landscape that sets it apart from other Scottish islands. After 11 days and countless unique island memories we return home.

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A Grand Tour of the Gardens of England

Inspired by an itinerary we arranged for one of our regular private groups from New Zealand, this circular tour of the southern half of England brings together the very best gardens of the region, with visits to one outstanding horticultural gem after another, covering the widest possible range of styles and content. Highlights include Beth Chatto’s gardens, East Ruston Old Vicarage, Hidcote Manor, Hampton Court Castle, Highgrove, RHS Garden Rosemoor, the Eden Project, the amazing Abbey Garden in the Scilly Isles, Abbotsbury, the Sir Harold Hillier Garden and Nursery, Nymans, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, Great Comp and RHS Garden Wisley.

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A Grand Tour of Italian Gardens

This is a journey through some of the finest landscapes in Europe, from the sparkling lakes and snow-flecked mountains of the north to Rome with its unrivalled classical and spiritual heritage, and from Florence – birthplace of the Renaissance – to Veneto, adorned with sun-kissed vineyards and sumptuous Palladian villas. We will transfer from one centre to another by train, making for a series of relaxed and scenic journeys as the timeless countryside speeds by. Highlights include the private gardens of the President of the Italian Camellia Society, the gardens of Ninfa, the elegant 18th century Villa Carlotta, Villa Balbianello on the Lavedo point, the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, Villa d'Este in Tivoli, Boboli Gardens, the Bardini Gardens and Villa, and the Uffizi Gallery.

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From Normandy to the Netherlands featuring Floriade

We once had the pleasure of organising a tour of northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands for a private group of garden enthusiasts. Such was the success of this holiday that we decided to offer it to a wider audience and let you enjoy some of the finest gardens in this ever-popular corner of Europe! Visits include  Le Bois des Moutiers, Le Vasterival, Monet’s garden at Giverny, the remarkable floating gardens of Les Hortillonages in Amiens, the Castle of Coloma, the Hemelrijk Garden, the spectacular Herkenrode Garden, Wespelaar Arboretum, De Wiersse, the fabulous water gardens of Ada Hofman, the extravagantly planted garden of Mien Ruys, and finally the Floriade Expo at Almere - which takes place just once every decade.

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Indulge In A Grand Tour was published on 24 May 2021

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