The RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Classic English Gardens 2019

7 Days

From £1495pp

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  • Experience the Great British gardening event of the year, the legendary Chelsea Flower Show
  • Tour the ornamental and experimental gardens of RHS Wisley
  • The world-renowned courtyard gardens of Sissinghurst Castle
  • Temples, urns and enchanting grottoes in the timeless landscape of Stourhead
  • Explore Iford Manor’s gardens, created by architect and landscape gardener, Harold Ainsworth Peto

England’s greatest flower show and England’s finest gardens. This tour combines the colour, prestige and excitement of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with some of South England’s finest gardens, affording the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of horticultural excellence.

Revel in the delights of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, wander around the unmissable gardens of RHS Garden Wisley, and discover the history of glorious Sissinghurst in Kent. We then head west, breaking our journey at the beautiful gardens of Wilton House near Salisbury and Capability Brown’s famous landscape garden of Stourhead.

From our hotel in the West Country, we stop to visit the ancient Bishop’s Palace in Wells, the Harold Peto designed garden at Iford Manor, and we also have some time in the town of Bath, famous for its Roman baths and elegant Georgian terraces.

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Day 1

This morning we depart from our pick-up points in central London and transfer to the RHS Garden in Wisley, where we enjoy a guided tour. This outdoor space is home to glasshouses, an arboretum and many glorious gardens. Later, we continue on to our hotel to the south of London and sit down to a group dinner before unwinding for the remainder of the night.

Day 2

Our entire day is spent at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. There is much to be enjoyed and discovered here, and the show itself is a beloved British tradition as well as being a source of inspiration and advice to keen gardeners. Wander rows of beautifully designed gardens, hear talks by gardening experts and revel in the atmosphere of this fabulous annual event. In the evening, we return to our hotel for dinner.

Day 3

Today, we head for the magnificently manicured gardens of Sissinghurst, where we are treated to a guided tour. The history to be explored here is rich and fascinating, and the gardens themselves are simply stunning – once belonging to the writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Sir Harold Nicholson. After a break for lunch, we continue on to another classic English garden – this time, Great Dixter. The distinguished garden writer Christopher Lloyd, who died in 2006 at the age of 84, was the genius behind this elegant space. The timbered 15th century house that can be seen here makes this a very scenic visit indeed.

Day 4

A drive down south starts our morning as we visit the gardens of Wilton House near Salisbury. This impressive Palladian mansion has been the country seat for the Earls of Pembroke for over 400 years and its gardens are very attractive. Later, we take a trip to the famous landscape gardens at Stourhead, which were first opened in the 1740s. With a serene lake as its centrepiece, the gardens are often described as magnificent and it’s easy to see why. Impressive garden buildings here include the Temple of Flora, Pantheon and the Grotto.

Day 5

The Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset, is where we start our day. This is a stunning Medieval building that has been home to the Bishops of both Bath and Wells for over 800 years now, and we enjoy a special ‘Horticulture at the Palace’ tour upon arrival. We will also be given some free time here to experience the city’s architecture, view its breathtaking cathedral and find something delicious for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit Hestercombe – one of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens’ greatest achievements.

Day 6

The penultimate day of this tour begins at the gardens of Iford Manor, which is near to Bradford on Avon and is nestled against the idyllic Frome river. Its Italianate garden is Grade 1 listed and was created by the architect and landscape gardener Harold Ainsworth Peto, who lived on the site from 1899 to 1933. After a tour of this beautiful garden, we make our way to the historic city of Bath to enjoy some free time.

Day 7

This morning, we travel to Tyntesfield near Bristol. This is a fine Victorian Gothic country house created by one of England’s richest commoners, William Gibbs, who built an impressive fortune on fertiliser. After a guided tour here, we return to London and arrive in the evening.

Included in the price

  • Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Farnborough (or similar) and three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Walnut Tree Hotel, North Petherton, Somerset (or similar) 
  • Comfortable coaching throughout 
  • Full-day ticket for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 
  • Entrance to and guided tours of the gardens of RHS Garden Wisley, Sissinghurst, Tyntesfield and the Bishop’s Palace, Wells; entrance to Wilton House, Stourhead, Iford Manor, Great Dixter and Hestercombe; free time in Bath 
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager 
  • Porterage

Not included (per person)

  • Single room supplement £250.00 
  • Insurance (UK residents only) TBA
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Departures

23/05/2019 from £1495pp

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Departure points and times

Depart Return
London
(Tothill St, Westminster)
1300 1730
London Heathrow Airport
()
1400 1630

Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.