The Legacy of Gertrude Jekyll

7 Days

From £995pp

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  • The enchanting woodland water garden at Vann
  • The lovingly restored gardens at Upton Grey Manor House
  • Afternoon tea at Gravetye Manor
  • Munstead Wood, Gertrude Jekyll’s own private haven
  • East Lambrook – the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’

Gertrude Jekyll was a plantswoman extraordinaire, painter and writer, however she is perhaps best remembered for her association with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens... 

Over the last hundred years, few would doubt the great influence Gertrude Jekyll had on garden design — during her lifetime, she created over 400 gardens. Our tour stretches across the south of England: from the Home Counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey – where she lived for most of her life — to the southern counties of England and into the scenic West Country. 

We begin at the outstanding private estates of Buckhurst Park, immortalised by A A Milne as the Hundred Acre Wood in Winnie the Pooh. We also visit Godalming’s small museum. Housed in a listed medieval building, it displays paintings, embroidery and architectural designs including work by Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens.  Perhaps the true highlight of this holiday will be the rare chance to visit Munstead Wood. This was where Gertrude Jekyll lived until her death in 1932; and was the scene of many of her highly influential garden experiments and ideas. The garden today is mainly woodland with many oaks, Scots pines, silver birches and chestnuts.

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Day 1

We begin with a visit to the gardens of Vann, which incorporates Gertrude Jekyll’s 1911 water garden. Other notable features include an old cottage garden, a pergola, a quarter-acre pond, mixed borders and island beds and a crinkle-crankle wall. We conclude today with a visit to Loseley Park, a highlight of which is the Walled Garden, an extensive area divided into ‘rooms’, each with its own rare planting scheme and personality. The Flower Garden has a maze of pathways and secluded corners, whereas the White Garden boasts spectacular, showy, blooms with subtle, silver and grey foliage. 

We continue to our hotel, for dinner this evening.

Day 2

Today, we visit the garden at Buckhurst Park, near Tunbridge Wells. Features include an eye-catching ornamental waterfall created by James Pulham and stunning pergolas and lily ponds. In the afternoon we visit the gardens at Gravetye Manor, where afternoon tea is included. The variety and charm of the arrangement of trees and shrubs, the landscaping and the layout of different types of garden at Gravetye is still his creation and memorial. Over 40 years later the gardens saw enormous revival of their fortunes, and projects such as the restoration of the kitchen garden and peach house were completed. 

We will return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 3

We begin the day with a visit to Upton Grey Manor House, which is believed to be the most comprehensive and authentic Jekyll garden in existence - a living museum of the Jekyll design. We continue with a visit to the small and friendly Godalming Museum. There is also a tranquil Jekyll-style courtyard garden, filled with the scent of old fashioned roses and honeysuckle. Following this we visit the garden at Munstead Wood, near Godalming. The garden today is mainly woodland with many oaks, Scots pines, silver birches and chestnuts.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 4

Following breakfast, we head southwest, for our visit to the private garden of Bramdean, near Alresford in Hampshire. The garden is notable for its mirror-image herbaceous borders, along with a large and unusual collection of plants and shrubs, a small arboretum and a walled garden featuring prize-winning vegetables, fruit and flowers. We continue to the gardens of Heale House, just north of Salisbury in Wiltshire. Colour-themed borders add contemporary drama and the vegetable garden decorative apple tunnels separate the beds that still supply the house.

We continue to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Day 5

Today, we visit East Lambrook, near South Petherton in Somerset, recognised throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. Visitors can continue to enjoy the gardens while also visiting the famous ‘Margery Fish Plant Nursery’, which remains a place of pilgrimage for keen plant buyers. A specially designed display bed showcases an extensive and nationally recognised collection of hardy geraniums. We then head for the gardens of Barrington Court. The enchanting, Jekyll-inspired formal gardens are laid out in a series of walled rooms and include the White, Rose, Iris and Lily Gardens.  

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 6

 We visit the private garden at Lydeard House, near Taunton. This 19th century garden has a river running through it and features a rose arbour over one hundred feet long. Then we proceed to Cothay Manor, a magical, romantic garden that surrounds what is said to be the most perfect example of a small, classic, medieval manor. There are a number of garden rooms, each a garden in itself, set off by a 200 yard yew walk. With its wide range of plants, beautifully presented, this is truly a plantsman’s paradise.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 7

Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for our final visit, Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. The garden is home to a round pool in a round walled garden filled with wintersweet and roses, a Dutch garden of lamb's ears, lavender and the most beautiful orangery of the 20th century. Everywhere there are details of design and planting from which any gardener can learn.

Following our visit here we return to our original pick-up points.

What's Included

  • 6 nights: 3 nights at Legacy Farnham Hog’s Back Hotel;  3 nights at Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster – dinner, bed & breakfast
  • Visits to Buckhurst Park, Gravetye Manor, Munstead Wood, and Vann
  • Services of a professional tour manager

Supplements per person

  • Single room supplement: £150.00
  • Insurance: £24.00 (under 65); £48.00 (65-74); £72.00 (75-90)         

Rail/air connections and overnight accommodation in London or Gatwick before or after the tour available on request

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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.

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Departure points and times

Depart Return
(Tothill St, Westminster)
0900 1800
(Copthorne London Gatwick Hotel)
1015 1645

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.