Highgrove and the Cotswolds (RHS Package)
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- Weaving through the magical meadows of Highgrove
- Discovering the secret gardens at Hidcote
- The tranquil gardens of Misarden Park with commanding views over the Cotswolds
- World renowned gardens of Kiftsgate Court
Our tour of the Cotswolds features an exclusive visit to Highgrove House, the country home of HRH The Prince of Wales. You are unlikely to meet His Royal Highness... but there’s nothing stopping you from talking to his plants!
Join us and enjoy the rare opportunity to see the fascinating gardens of Highgrove – which of course are cultivated using wholly organic methods. The gorgeous gardens offer a real treat for the senses. The house is surrounded by many heavenly scented plants, including: wisteria, honeysuckle, jasmine, holboellia, lillies and thyme. Then there’s the experimental wild flower meadow, which boasts a rich selection of endangered native plants, including: ox-eye daisies, yellow rattle, common spotted orchid, meadow crane’s bill and ragged robin. Every year the Prince takes on a new project to take his garden in new directions, such as his walled kitchen garden. Vegetable varieties loved by the Prince are grown here – Charlotte potatoes and Happil strawberries mingle with Welsh leeks, spring cabbage, festive brussel sprouts and classic carrots.
Of course, our tour doesn’t end at Highgrove. Some of the finest gardens in England are to be found nestled among the green and rolling hills of Gloucestershire. We begin at the calm and soothing Abbey House Garden at Malmesbury, home to a stunning rose collection. Hidcote Manor’s contrasting garden rooms and Kiftsgate’s splendid views are justly famous. We shall also visit the small, private garden of Misarden Park and our final visit is to Westonbirt, the National Arboretum.
We depart from our pick-ups points and head for Malmesbury and our first visit, the Abbey House Garden. This was the private garden of Barbara and Ian Pollard, famous as the ‘naked gardeners’ — although not when groups are visiting! It has a unique ‘medieval’ herb garden, topiary, a knot garden, extensive herbaceous borders and many ornamental trees, but the great joy of Abbey House is its collection of roses, one of the largest private collections in the UK.
We continue to our comfortable hotel in the Cotswolds. Dinner is served in the evening.
This morning, following breakfast, we visit the gardens of Hidcote Manor, near Chipping Campden. Although among the best known gardens in Britain, Hidcote Manor still has the power to startle. It was begun before World War I by an American, Major Lawrence Johnston, who devised a type of garden that many think of as quintessentially English. Later we continue to Kiftsgate Court. The house, in a splendid setting with views to the Vale of Evesham, is surrounded by a series of enclosed gardens, whose formality is blurred by generous planting.
We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
After breakfast, we transfer to Highgrove, the country home of HRH the Prince of Wales. This will be a rare opportunity to see these fascinating gardens which of course are cultivated using wholly organic methods. In the afternoon we enjoy a visit to Misarden Park, near Stroud. Herbaceous borders, topiary, shrubs, grass terraces and the newly planted rill and lavender-and-hebe parterre are all contained within a walled garden. The manor house’s elevated position allows for scenic views over the five golden valleys of Stroud.
We return to the hotel in time for dinner.
This morning, we check out of the hotel. Our final visit is to Westonbirt, and the National Arboretum which is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom. It is managed by the Forestry Commission and was established in 1829 by Robert Stayner Holford. It comprises some 18,000 trees and shrubs, over an area of approximately 600 acres. We will see numerous ‘champion’ trees including rare magnolias, tree rhododendrons and maples as well as a wide variety of smaller trees and shrubs.
Following our visit we return to our original pick-up points for our journey home.
- 3 nights at a comfortable hotel in the Cotswolds – dinner, bed & breakfast
- Entrance to the gardens of Abbey House, Misarden Park, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate, Westonbirt Arboretum and Highgrove House
- Services of a professional tour manager
Supplements per person:
- Single room supplement: £90.00
- Insurance: £21.00 (under 65); £42.00 (65-74); £63.00 (75-90)
Rail/air travel and overnight accommodation in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth before or after the tour available on request
The same 3-night package by air from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Newcastle (other airports on request) to Bristol is available from £585.00 per person (Single room supplement from £90.00 per person)
Departure points and times
(Tothill St, Westminster)
(Sainsbury’s, Jcn 12, M4)
(Holiday Inn, Marlborough Road)
(Temple Meads Railway Station)