Floriade and Gardens of Holland - by Ferry
Held every ten years at a different venue in The Netherlands, Floriade is one of the premier events of the horticultural world. In 2022 the spotlight falls on Almere, a new city near Amsterdam, where a purpose-built site has been created to provide a ‘living laboratory’ with inspirational and innovative exhibitions by countries, cities and businesses. There will also be a host of impressive attractions, heaps of art and culture and a unique collection of trees, shrubs and flowers. The theme of this, the seventh iteration of the event, is ‘Growing Green Cities’. With the world’s urban population expanding to 70%, cities will have to find creative, green and sustainable solutions to remain safe, healthy and attractive and these proposed solutions will be central to the exhibits at the 2022 Expo.
This longer version of our Floriade tour includes visits to two of the best gardens in The Netherlands. Mien Ruys is a key figure in Dutch gardening and her extensive garden reflects her influence, with 25 different areas, each with a distinct character. The dazzling garden created by Ada Hofman is the largest complex of water gardens in Holland, with no fewer than 30 separate gardens and 50 ponds. The way the water reflects both the planting and the sky is breathtaking. We also visit the beautiful country house garden of De Wiersse, the sumptuous formal gardens of Het Loo and the fascinating outdoor museum complex at Zaanse Schans, complete with its iconic windmills.
We are based at the 4-star Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel, conveniently located in the centre of Almere, meaning negligible transfer times between the hotel and the site.
- Dinner Supplement - £150
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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Day 1 -
We depart from central London and head south, picking up en route at the Copthorne Hotel, Gatwick (overnight accommodation can be organised here before and after the tour if required). We will continue to Dover in time to catch a mid-morning ferry to Calais. On arrival in France we will head northwards through Belgium and on into The Netherlands, arriving at our hotel in the early evening.
Day 2 -
Today, we have a full day at Floriade 2022 in Almere. With its focus on ‘Green Cities of the Future’ there are four main themes, Green, Food, Energy and Health. Exhibits will demonstrate how cities can be made more attractive and resilient by creating more parks and vertical gardens; the latest ideas for sufficient, healthy and affordable food; solutions and inventions in the field of sustainable energy; and how good food, exercise, flowers, plants and trees can help with life in the city. In addition there will of course be extensive displays of horticultural excellence and we can expect a riot of colour and inventive planting.
Day 3 -
Today we visit two of Holland’s finest gardens. The first is that of Mien Ruys, who dominates the story of 20th century gardening in the Netherlands. The garden contains some 25 different areas, each with a distinct character. Some are dedicated to habitats, the Water Garden and the Sun Border for example; some to specific types of plants like the Mixed Border and Herb Garden and some to special effects.
We move on to Loozen Gramsbergen, where we visit the dazzling garden created by Ada Hofman. This is the largest, most complex series of water gardens in Holland, with no fewer than 30 gardens, 50 ponds and 3,000 different types of plants, developed with great vigour and creativity since 1987. The ponds are of differing sizes and reflect both the surrounding plantings and the sky to great effect.
Day 4 -
This morning we drive to the country house and garden of De Wiersse, described by a leading Dutch newspaper as “The most beautiful garden in the Netherlands”. Surrounded by farmland and woods lies the moated manor house, with 38 acres of garden and 74 acres of landscaped parkland lived in, designed and managed by the same family since 1678. In this historic and beautifully-kept garden a sequence of surprises awaits the visitor: avenues and pergolas; meadows and formal parterres; fountains and statues and bridges over a gentle stream. The majestic structure of the wild garden, with walks beneath ancient trees and a serpentine beech tunnel, is balanced by a practical kitchen and cutting garden and an intimate sunken garden with wide English borders.
In the afternoon we visit the gardens at Het Loo Palace, just north of Apeldoorn. This was the medieval castle of Prince William of Orange and is now recognised as one of Europe's finest formal gardens. When the Dutch Royal Family decided that it would no longer use the palace in 1969 the government opted to turn it into a museum, fully restoring the formal seventeenth century garden to its original state. The palace's type of baroque garden is unique to the Netherlands. It is a late Dutch interpretation of the Italian-French garden dating from the first quarter of the seventeenth century.
Day 5 -
This morning we visit Amsterdam, beginning with a visit to the Rijksmuseum, one of the world’s greatest museums, with over 8,000 items on display from an astonishing total collection of one million objects. Its collection of world-famous Old Masters is second to none and includes a host of works from the Dutch Golden Age by artists such as Vermeer, Franz Hals and Rembrandt, including his 1642 masterpiece ‘The Nightwatch’.
The remainder of the day is free to explore this vibrant city at leisure, perhaps taking a boat trip on the canals, a wonderful way to see the city, or visit attractions such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum or the Anne Frank House.
Day 6 -
This morning we visit the outdoor museum complex at Zaanse Schans, set against an iconic backdrop of historic windmills. At the Weaver’s House we discover everything there is to know about the traditional Dutch craft of sailcloth and windmill cloth weaving; At the Cooperage we see how vats and barrels are made and the Jisper House depicts the scene of a fisherman’s household of the 1850s.
In the afternoon we return to Calais to catch an evening P & O ferry to Dover. Once again we stop off at the Copthorne Hotel, Gatwick and continue to London where we expect to arrive late evening.
Tour dates & prices
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|24 May 2022||BFGH220524||24 May 2022 (Tuesday)||29 May 2022 (Sunday)||£975
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|24 June 2022||BFGH220624||24 June 2022 (Friday)||29 June 2022 (Wednesday)||£975
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|16 September 2022||BFGH220916||16 September 2022 (Friday)||21 September 2022 (Wednesday)||£975
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