Highgrove and Cotswolds 2018
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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.
Please note, by the very nature of this holiday, the running order of the tour is subject to change as we are beholden to a successful application for admittance to Highgrove which will be confirmed in February 2018.
We depart from our pick-up 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. 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.
- Three nights at the 4* De Vere Cotswold Waterpark Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
- Three dinners
- Coach travel throughout
- Visits to the gardens of Abbey House, Misarden Park, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate, Westonbirt Arboretum, and Highgrove House
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Water on the coach
Supplements per person:
- Single room supplement: £150
2018 Insurance Prices
As part of our booking conditions, our travellers must have adequate insurance protection for any holidays overseas but we strongly recommend that you are covered for any of our tours. Our travellers are welcome to take out their own insurance policy, providing that we have the details of this before departure. Alternatively, we can provide our own recommended single-trip travel insurance for all holidays, please see the most upto date prices below:
Under 65, from £18.00 | 65-74, from £35.00 | 75 and over, from £52.00
Under 65, from £32.00 | 65-74, from £64.00 | 75 and over, from £96.00
Prices on application
Please note timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.
20/04/2018 from £595pp
04/05/2018 from £595pp
22/06/2018 from £595pp
10/08/2018 from £595pp
07/09/2018 from £595pp
(Tothill St, Westminster)
(Outside Sainsbury's, Junction 12, M4)
(Outside Holiday Inn Express, Frankland Rd)
(Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Redliffe Way)
Departure points and times - please note that the day we visit Highgrove may vary depending on the tour times and dates we are allocated, so these timings are only approximate.