RHS Garden Rosemoor
RHS Garden Rosemoor

Garden Tours

Gardens of Devon and Cornwall

6 days From £1,025

3 July 2019

The words Devon and Cornwall go together like ‘horse and carriage’, ‘peaches and cream’ or ‘Morecambe and Wise’. Their wonderful gardens are as good as any in these islands and fuse together in a cocktail of West Country magic.

Our tour begins in Bristol (outside the Double Tree Hilton City Centre Hotel, Redcliffe Way) at noon as we head south and west and enjoy a special tour with the Head Gardener at the gardens of Hestercombe in the hills above Taunton. Here is a unique combination of three centuries of garden including the stunning Edwardian garden designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Of course we could not come to Devon without visiting RHS Garden Rosemoor, which is world famous for its roses and lies in the heart of the Devon countryside. There are two gardens here: the first is an intimate woodland garden with an excellent collection of trees and shrubs which relish acid soil; the other is a more ambitious affair, which has been developed by the RHS as a display garden, with detailed labelling of the plants and many helpful interpretation boards. After a guided tour you have the rest of the day free to explore these extensive gardens at your leisure.

Cornish gardens are famous the world over, from the formal to the informal; woodland retreats to historic rolling parkland, all very unique in their own way. There are modern gardens, ancient gardens, gardens with Mediterranean, sub-tropical or South African themes; all housing a stunningly diverse collection of plants and sculptures from around the world. Travelling into ‘Kernow’ we first visit the splendid National Trust property and garden at Lanhydrock and the privately owned garden of Bosvigo with beautifully planted enclosures and an excellent nursery. From our base in Cornwall we will visit the stunning private garden of Lamorran and the multi award-winning restoration gardens of Heligan. We will have an invigorating morning at Trebah on the slopes above the Helford River before having a relaxing afternoon in St Ives at the Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden. Our last garden is Trelissick, a superb garden set on its own peninsula.

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary

Book Now £1,025

Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £275

Tour highlights:

  • RHS Rosemoor, gardening perfection in the heart of rural Devon
  • The horticultural masterpiece of Hestercombe
  • Restored garden paradise of Heligan
  • The grand Rhododendron Valley at Trebah

Tour details

Dates 3 July 2019 - 8 July 2019
Duration 6 days
Cost £1,025 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £275 Balance due by 10 April 2019
Activity Level Easy-Going
Tour code BWGDC19B

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Tothill Street, Westminster
0800 2200
Sainsbury's, Junction 12 - M4
0915 2045
Holiday Inn Express, Frankland Road
1030 1930
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
1200 1800

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.

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

3 July 2019: Itinerary

We depart from our pick-up points and head to Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. The garden is home to a round pool in a round walled garden filled with wintersweet and roses, a Dutch garden of lamb's ears, lavender and the most beautiful orangery of the 20th century. Everywhere there are details of design and planting from which any gardener can learn. We shall enjoy a guided tour here.

Following our visit we will continue to our comfortable accommodation at the Best Western Tiverton Hotel, Tiverton.

Dinner is served in the evening at the hotel.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Tiverton Hotel

Following breakfast this morning we have a real treat when we have a guided tour of the Royal Horticultural Society's great treasure of Rosemoor, near Great Torrington in the heart of rural Devon. There are two gardens here, the first an intimate woodland garden dating from the 1960s, which has an excellent collection of trees and shrubs which relish the acid soil – dogwoods, eucryphias, maples, pieris, rhododendrons and vacciniums. The other is a more ambitious affair, which has been developed since the RHS became the owner in 1988, with rose gardens and giant borders, a lake and stream garden and a Mediterranean garden, all impeccably labelled with many interpretation boards. After the guided tour you are free to explore the two gardens at a leisurely pace – with so much to see and so much to learn most of the day will be spent here. Lunch is available in the restaurant (not included).

We return to our hotel, where dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Tiverton Hotel

This morning following breakfast we check out of our hotel and travel down into Cornwall, where we begin with a visit to Lanhydrock Gardens. Now the property of the National Trust, Lanhydrock was the home of the Robartes family from 1620 until 1953. The magnificent seventeenth century house is surrounded by nineteenth century formal terraced gardens which formed part of a scheme of improvements overseen by George Gilbert Scott in 1857. Beyond the terraced gardens are areas of informal pleasure grounds which were developed from the mid nineteenth century with many choice trees and shrubs. The parkland with the famous beech avenue was first enclosed in the mid seventeenth century, and remains one of the finest examples in Cornwall. Lanhydrock Gardens feature a formal courtyard garden, beds of modern roses and a woodland garden, rich in flowering shrubs and trees, especially rhododendrons and magnolias. Lanhydrock is also home to the National Collection of crocosmias.

We continue to Bosvigo, which TV gardener Carol Klein identified as her favourite Cornish garden. To one side of the handsome 18th century house is a woodland garden whose borders explode with dahlias, roses and nasturtiums. Around the house are several beautifully planted enclosures showing exciting and fastidious colour harmonies. There is also an excellent nursery here selling some rare plants.

Following our visit we continue to our hotel, the 3-star Penmere Manor Hotel near Falmouth. Dinner is served at the hotel in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Penmere Manor Hotel, Falmouth

After breakfast we travel to the garden of Lamorran House, overlooking Falmouth Bay, which has been designed by the owner in an Italianate style, although there are also Japanese influences here. The intention was to create an intimate garden very much in the mould of Mediterranean gardens but with water ever-present, both as a backdrop to the garden and with running water featured in the many pools and streams. Many features are included to divide the garden into intimate compartments which the visitor can explore. Hence there are areas of woodland, a water garden in Japanese style as well as temples and archways in the steeper parts of the garden and a small bridge on which to lean to look out over the bay exhibiting a distinctively Venetian influence. An introductory talk is included here.

Our next visit will be to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, where a guided tour is included. The award winning gardens, asleep for more than seventy years, are the scene of the largest garden restoration project in Europe. In the spring of 1991, the Gardens of Heligan lay under a blanket of bramble, ivy, rampant laurel and fallen timber. A year later the restoration team opened the gardens to enable the public to share in the excitement of their discovery.

Dinner will be served back at the hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Penmere Manor Hotel, Falmouth

Following our full English breakfast we depart for a visit to Trebah, a wild and colourful Cornish garden with something for everyone. The garden was laid out originally in the 1840s and flourished to become one of England's great gardens by the 1930s. After the death of the then owner, the garden was sadly neglected for many years until it was taken over by the Hibbert family, who still run it today. Wander down the "Zig-Zag", a slope where a rare collection of exotic Mediterranean plants was recently planted. You will also see Rhododendron Valley, a huge amphitheatre of sixty foot high rhododendrons, many of which were imported as seed in the 1890s. It was here that rare Chinese palm trees, giant ferns and a host of other exotic plants were discovered a few years ago when some of the rhododendrons were cut back.

We then transfer to the pretty harbour town of St Ives, where we will have some free time and an opportunity for lunch (not included). Later in the afternoon we will visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Dame Barbara Hepworth lived and worked in Trewyn Studio from 1949 until her death in 1975. The small house, her working studios and the lush and secluded garden she created are open to the public as a museum devoted to her life and work.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Penmere Manor Hotel, Falmouth

This morning following breakfast we check out of our hotel and depart for our final visit, Trelissick, a modern garden which was created within shelter belts planted 200 years ago. The garden is constantly evolving, with new planting and fresh ideas. Trelissick has seen trees grow to maturity, the tide ebbing and flowing, but has become a dynamic, forward-looking estate. The iconic Water Tower was built for irrigation and fire-control; now the lavatories are flushed with rainwater stored underground in modern reservoirs. Heat is extracted from kitchen appliances and the sun to provide hot water and heating. A guided tour is included here.

Following our visit we will return to our original pick-up points, where the group will disperse or make onward connections.

Meals include: Breakfast

3 July 2019: Additional Info

3 July 2019: Accommodation

On the outskirts of Tiverton, Best Western Tiverton Hotel is just 20 minutes from Exmoor National Park. Set in mature gardens, the hotel has free parking, free Wi-Fi and a restaurant.

The spacious bedrooms at Tiverton Best Western each have a private bathroom and tea and coffee facilities. All rooms have a seating area and satellite TV, and ironing facilities are also available.

The Gallery Restaurant serves traditional, regional cuisine using fresh local produce. Light lunches and fair-trade coffees are served in the cosy lounge bar, and a generous breakfast buffet is available each morning.

Just 1.2 miles from Falmouth town centre and harbour, the Penmere Manor Hotel offers stylish rooms and an award-winning restaurant. Free WiFi and free parking are available.

A Georgian home tastefully converted into a modern hotel, Penmere Manor’s rooms all have digital TV and an en suite bathroom. Most rooms look out over the gardens and woodlands. Some have views to the sea.

The Manor Restaurant offers Falmouth Bay oysters and seafood from St Ives as well as other local dishes. The Manor Bar offers both lunch and evening menus.

3 July 2019: Enquiries

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