Private Gardens of East Anglia (RHS Package)

4 Days

From £495pp

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  • The incomparable Beth Chatto Gardens
  • The exotic delights of the Old Vicarage at East Ruston
  • RHS perfection at Hyde Hall
  • The beautiful formal gardens of Wyken Hall and Vineyards

The adjoining counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk feature on this tour of some of the finest gardens that East Anglia has to offer, many of which have connections to the RHS, making them just that little bit special.

We begin in Essex, with visits to RHS Garden Hyde Hall, which showcases a selection of different styles including rose and Mediterranean gardens and a new wildflower meadow, and continue to Beth Chatto’s famous garden and nursery, which was created in 1960 from overgrown wasteland with poor gravel soil and has been transformed into an informal garden harmonising with the surrounding countryside.

We continue to Helmingham Hall gardens, where the house, parkland and gardens together create an exceptional work of art. This is followed with a visit to Wyken Hall vineyards and gardens - the vineyard produces some 12,000 bottles a year, while the garden features an old-fashioned rose garden, a knot and herb garden, and an orchard. 

We will then have the privilege of visiting Raveningham Hall, the garden of RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt, along with East Ruston Old Vicarage, an inspirational exotic garden which lies less than two miles from the North Sea.

Our final day takes us to The Place for Plants at East Bergholt Place, a fine nursery and garden owned by an RHS committee member, and Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum, whose extensive collection is planted on a geographical theme, with plants from the temperate regions of the world grouped together.

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Day 1

We depart from London and head for our first visit, RHS Hyde Hall at Rettendon, south of Chelmsford. This is an enormous garden with an immensely wide range of plants – daylilies, irises, peonies, roses, and countless trees and shrubs. We continue to  Beth Chatto Gardens, near Colchester. In the gravel garden, areas have been filled with drought loving plants, emulating a winding dried up river bed. The gentle descent of what was a soggy hollow has now been turned into dramatic water gardens.  

We continue to our accommodation at the Dunston Hall Hotel, where dinner will be served this evening.

Day 2

We travel to Helmingham Hall, near Stowmarket, where the house, parkland and gardens together create an exceptional work of art. At the entrance a box-edged parterre with Santolina is surrounded by borders of Hybrid Musk roses and hedges of lavender. We continue to Wyken Hall and Vineyards this afternoon. Their beautiful formal gardens are bursting with topiary, herbs, roses, and fruit trees. As we make our way through the grounds, we are sure to be joined by a meandering peacock or two, as well as guinea fowl and chickens.

Dinner is served back at our hotel in the evening.

Day 3

After breakfast, we transfer to the gardens of Raveningham Hall. A highlight of our visit is the Time Garden – designed around Francis Bacon’s essays based on the passage of Time. Throughout the year the parkland setting provides a glorious backdrop to the Hall and the main garden. We round off today with a visit to the breath-taking 20-acre East Ruston Old Vicarage garden, which for many will be the highlight of our visit to Norfolk. It is quite unbelievable that such an exotic garden can lie less than two miles from the North Sea.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Day 4

This morning, we check out of the hotel and travel to the incomparable Place for Plants at East Bergholt. During our Spring tour, we should see a gorgeous display of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and daffodils. Throughout the rest of the year, we see fine examples of yew topiary, ornamental ponds and many rare and unusual trees and shrubs. We continue to our final visit — the geographically themed gardens at Marks Hall. A real highlight of our tour is the Millennium Walk – its structure, colour and scent has been designed to represent the shortest days of the year.

Following this, our final visit, we return to our original pick-up points.

What's Included

  • 3 nights at the Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich – dinner, bed & breakfast
  • Visits to RHS Hyde Hall, Beth Chatto, East Ruston Old Vicarage, Helmingham Hall, Raveningham Hall, Wyken Hall, and Marks Hall
  • 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 London 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)
0800 1730