Hidcote Manor Gardens Cotswolds
Hidcote Manor Gardens Cotswolds

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

4 days From £595

9 August 2019

Our tour of the Cotswolds features an exclusive visit to Highgrove House, 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.

Some of the finest gardens in England are to be found nestled among the green and rolling hills of Gloucestershire. Our tour begins 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 2019.

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
Book Now £595 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £150

Tour highlights:

  • 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

Tour details

Dates 9 August 2019 - 12 August 2019
Duration 4 days
Cost £595 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £150 Balance due by 17 May 2019
Activity Level Easy-Going
Tour code BWHCO19D

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
London
Tothill St, Westminster
0800 1900
Reading
Sainsbury’s, Jcn 12, M4
0915 1745
Swindon
Holiday Inn Express, Frankland Rd
1030 1630
Bristol
DoubleTree Hilton
1200 1500

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

9 August 2019: Itinerary

We depart from our pick-ups points in London, Reading, Swindon and Bristol and head for Malmesbury and our first visit, the house and gardens of Rodmarton Manor, between Tetbury and Cirencester. This is an ‘Arts and Crafts’ house with a fine eight-acre garden comprising a series of ‘outdoor rooms’ each with its own distinctive character. The architect Ernest Barnsley started Rodmarton in 1909 and it became a shrine to the Cotswolds crafts movement. The grey gabled house has an intricate garden of lively atmosphere, formal in spirit but with a cottage-garden feel to it. The eight-acre Cotswold garden was originally designed as a series of outdoor rooms and is still the same today, which each part of the garden having different characters ranging from alpines in troughs, bigger plants in the rockery, lawns, a large kitchen garden and white borders, to the magnificent herbaceous borders which are constantly being re-planted and improved. There are superb vistas throughout and plenty of places to sit and admire the surroundings.

We continue to our comfortable hotel in the Cotswolds. All rooms have private facilities. Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: DeVere Cotswold Water Park

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. It is a garden built up of separate rooms, each connected to the rest but often with blazing contrasts, laid out in a disciplined setting. Everywhere something enticing is glimpsed through an opening, across a pool or framed by a gate.

This afternoon we continue to Kiftsgate Court, which offers an admirable selection of plants and flowers, not least of which is the well-known rambling rose R. filipes ‘Kiftsgate’. 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.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: DeVere Cotswold Water Park

After breakfast this morning we will 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. Since buying the property in 1980 His Royal Highness sought the advice of a friend, Lady Salisbury, who was an experienced organic gardener well-known for her work at Cranbourne and at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. She and the Prince laid out parts of the garden with scented plants: wisteria, honeysuckle, jasmine, holboellia, lillies and thyme were chosen to surround the house. On the advice of Miriam Rothschild, another gardening expert, the Prince created an experimental wild flower meadow which already boasts around 32 different varieties 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 or the arboretum. Vegetable varieties loved by the Prince are grown such as Charlotte potatoes and Happil strawberries, leeks, spring cabbage, brussel sprouts and carrots. A wide variety of apples are grown from trees next to the Orchard Room, along with others gathered from the Walled Garden, including Formosa Nonpareil, Golden Knot, Cornish Aromatic and Lady’s Delight.

In the afternoon, following a break for lunch (not included), we will enjoy a visit to Misarden Park, near Stroud. Originally designed in the 17th century, the gardens were redeveloped in the 20th century by Sir Edwin Lutyens in his famous Edwardian style. 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.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: DeVere Cotswold Water Park

This morning after breakfast we check out of the hotel. Our final visit is to Westonbirt, 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 will return to our original pick-up points with arrival due in the late afternoon/early evening.

Meals include: Breakfast

9 August 2019: Additional Info

9 August 2019: Accommodation

With a lakeside setting amid open countryside, the 4-star De Vere Cotswold Water Park boasts a luxury spa and stylish rooms. Overlooking the lake, the Brasserie serves local produce on both the breakfast and evening menu.

All of De Vere Cotswold Water Park’s bright, airy rooms are equipped with a TV, tea and coffee facilities and a private bathroom. Some rooms also feature a private balcony or views across the lake.

A British menu is served in the informal Old Boathouse pub, which has a decking area for dining by the lake. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.

A hydrotherapy pool, a steam room, a sauna and 9 spa therapy rooms are included in the health club facilities.

Water sports are possible on the surrounding lakes. Wildlife spotting at the on-site nature reserve is popular, as is visiting the local farm. 

9 August 2019: Enquiries

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