Arts and Gardens of London and RHS Chelsea Flower Show
For the first time in its 108-year history, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will take place in autumn instead of May. Whilst the September Show will be very different to the usual spring event, the RHS believes it will celebrate the best of autumn horticulture, with many seasonal highlights including Salvias, Asters, Dahlias, grasses and fruit and vegetables. As well as looking back at its historic Great Autumn Show for inspiration, the RHS is excited about the ideas exhibitors will have to create spectacular autumnal gardens and displays.
This new tour combines the colour, prestige and excitement of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a stimulating blend of some of London’s finest gardens, art galleries and historic houses. These include the National Gallery, home to countless art treasures; Eltham Palace, which marries mediaeval gardens with Art Deco style; Syon Park, one of the last great houses of London with a wealth of art and Hampton Court Palace, one of London’s must-see attractions.
Our tour will be led by horticulturalist, garden design consultant and broadcaster Trevor Edwards, who is one of our busiest and most popular tour managers and has led many garden tours around the world.
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £300
Keeping you safe on your next tour
Day 1 - Tuesday 21 September 2021 -
We assemble at our pick-up point in central London this afternoon and transfer to The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, which houses an encyclopaedic collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Some of the greatest names in Western art are represented, from Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raphael to Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Monet. Famous paintings such as Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, Constable’s The Hay Wain and Holbein’s The Ambassadors will be on the ‘hit-list’ for many, but we will also provide a list of paintings with a garden theme.
Later we continue to our central London hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
Day 2 - Wednesday 22 September 2021 -
After breakfast we depart for a visit to Eltham Palace and Gardens, whose exquisite 1930s Art Deco entrance hall will be familiar to many, as it is frequently used as a location for film and TV productions, such as Poirot and Stan & Ollie. Once a favoured medieval palace and then a Tudor royal residence, Eltham Palace was transformed by eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. We will discover their extravagant lifestyle as we explore their stylish home which incorporates original medieval features into an otherwise ultra-modern 1930s design. The award-winning gardens feature a host of historical features such as London’s oldest working bridge, along with stunning herbaceous borders and a rock garden with a series of pools and cascades running down to a picturesque moat.
This afternoon we visit the Garden Museum in Lambeth Palace Road, which looks after a unique collection of around 10,000 objects, amassed over the last three decades and continuing to grow. Items spanning 400 years of gardening in Britain, from tools to artists’ impressions, each represent the history, culture and design of gardens in some way. Grand country house gardens and small back yards are all represented; rare and precious things have been collected alongside the most familiar and everyday ephemera. The Museum also has its own garden, which was created in 1980. The reason for the seventeenth-century spirit of the design is that the garden also houses the tomb of the great plant-hunters, gardeners and collectors, John Tradescant the Elder and Younger, the rediscovery of which originally inspired the creation of a museum of garden history in the deconsecrated, and then derelict, church of St Mary-at-Lambeth.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 3 - Thursday 23 September 2021 -
We begin this morning with a visit to Tate Britain, founded in 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art. The permanent collection showcases historic British paintings, many of which will be instantly recognisable: Millais’ Ophelia, Constable’s Flatford Mill and Rosetti’s The Beloved to name but a few. Once again we will provide a list of paintings with a garden theme, such as John Singer Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.
In the afternoon we visit Syon House, one of the last great houses of London, which has been in the family of the present owner, the Duke of Northumberland, for over 400 years. The stunning Robert Adam interiors are richly decorated with marble statues and friezes, gilded candelabras and sumptuous furniture, along with paintings by Van Dyck and others. The house is set in an unbroken ‘Capability’ Brown landscape that stretches across the Thames to Kew Gardens, though the history of the gardens stretches back even further. As well as the gardens there is an arboretum, a huge conservatory and grasslands and meadows which provide an oasis of calm in central London. A guided tour is included here.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 4 - Friday 24 September 2021 -
After breakfast this morning we depart for our full-day visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which holds a rare position as a great British tradition and an exciting source of inspiration and advice. One of the highlights of the show is the collection of over 20 full-sized show gardens. Inside the Great Marquee visitors have their senses ravished by the hundreds of floral displays, many of them incorporating new, rare and unusual plants. Other popular features here include flower arranging, floristry and garden design marquees, courtyard gardens, window boxes and hanging baskets.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 5 - Saturday 25 September 2021 -
We check out of the hotel this morning after breakfast and depart for our final visit, Hampton Court Palace, which began life as a humble grange or barn and was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey, a favourite of Henry VIII, circa 1514. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the palace was passed to the King, who enlarged it. The following century, William III's massive rebuilding and expansion project, intended to rival Versailles, was begun. Work halted after the death of Queen Mary in 1694, when William lost interest in the project, leaving the palace in two distinct contrasting architectural styles, domestic Tudor and Baroque. The Palace houses a permanent rotating display of the Royal Collections finest works. After touring the palace there will be time to explore the extensive gardens, which run down to the River Thames and feature sparking fountains and masses of flowers. There is also a famous maze which you are welcome to explore.
In the afternoon we will assemble for our transfer to our original meeting point in central London, or you may leave the tour here.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|21 September 2021||BAGL210921||21 September 2021 (Tuesday)||25 September 2021 (Saturday)||Trevor Edwards||£1,075