Gertrude Jekyll was a plantswoman extraordinaire, painter and writer, however she is perhaps best remembered for her association with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens... Over the last hundred years, few would doubt the great influence Gertrude Jekyll had on garden design — during her lifetime, she created over 400 gardens.

Our tour stretches across the south of England: from the Home Counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey – where she lived for most of her life — to the southern counties of England and into the scenic West Country. We visit Godalming’s small museum, housed in a listed medieval building, which displays paintings, embroidery and architectural designs including work by Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens. Perhaps the true highlight of this holiday will be the rare chance to visit Munstead Wood. This was where Gertrude Jekyll lived until her death in 1932; and was the scene of many of her highly influential garden experiments and ideas. The garden today is mainly woodland with many oaks, Scots pines, silver birches and chestnuts.

What's included?

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

Keeping you safe on your next tour

  • FREE 'Travel Safe' kits for every traveller
  • COVID-19 insurance
  • Self-drive options
  • Enhanced Health and Safety audits
  • Distanced seating on coaches
  • 'Get me home' service and private airport transfers
  • COVID protocols at our hotels, and aboard our cruise ships
  • Packed lunches and flexible dining options
  • Flexible balance payment date and COVID-friendly refund conditions
  • COVID-testing and medical training for tour staff
  • Constant monitoring and post-tour tracing

Today's Price

Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £200

Tour highlights:

  • The enchanting woodland water garden at Vann
  • The lovingly restored gardens at Upton Grey Manor House
  • Munstead Wood, Gertrude Jekyll’s own private haven
  • East Lambrook – the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’
  • Hestercombe, one of Jekyll and Lutyens greatest masterpieces

Tour details

Dates 6 June 2020 - 10 June 2020
Duration 5 days
Today's Price
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £200 Balance due by 14 March 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BGJE200606

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Tothill Street, Westminster
0900 2030
Gatwick Airport
1045 1915

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.

Call for availability

6 June 2020: Itinerary

We begin with a visit to the gardens of Vann, which incorporates Gertrude Jekyll’s 1911 water garden. Other notable features include an old cottage garden, a pergola, a quarter-acre pond, mixed borders and island beds and a crinkle-crankle wall.

We conclude today with a visit to Loseley Park, a highlight of which is the Walled Garden, an extensive area divided into ‘rooms’, each with its own rare planting scheme and personality. The Flower Garden has a maze of pathways and secluded corners, whereas the White Garden boasts spectacular, showy, blooms with subtle, silver and grey foliage.

We continue to our hotel, for dinner this evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Frensham Pond Country House Hotel & Spa

We begin the day with a visit to Upton Grey Manor House, which is believed to be the most comprehensive and authentic Jekyll garden in existence - a living museum of the Jekyll design. On a 4.5 acre sloping, chalky site she designed one of her most beautiful gardens, which includes many features of a typical Jekyll garden, but on a rather smaller scale than many of her commissions. To the north-west of the house stands the Wild garden, planted with wild flowers such as buttercups, meadowsweet, oxlips and wood anemones, and thickets of wild roses – a perfect scene of an informal English kind. In contrast, to the south-east is the Formal garden where, following a strict geometric outline, Jekyll designed a rose garden and typical herbaceous borders. Here colours run in drifts from cool (blues and whites) to hot (reds and oranges) and out to cool again. Outside the protective yew hedging lie the nuttery, orchard, kitchen garden, stable cottage and cottage beds. The whole is faithfully restored according to the plans that Jekyll prepared.

We continue with a visit to the small and friendly Godalming Museum, which is housed in a listed medieval building, whose oak beams have been dated to 1446. Of particular interest is the Arts and Crafts gallery, which displays paintings, ceramics, embroidery and architectural designs including works by Gertrude Jekyll, Sir Edwin Lutyens and other followers of the Arts and Crafts movement. There is also a tranquil Jekyll-style courtyard garden, filled with the scent of old fashioned roses and honeysuckle.

Following this we will then visit the garden at Munstead Wood, near Godalming, which is where Gertrude Jekyll lived until her death in 1932 and was the scene of her highly influential garden experiments and ideas. The garden today is mainly woodland with many oaks, Scots pines, silver birches and chestnuts. South of the house a lawn spreads out, from which the Broad Walk and other paths lead into the woodland. Here Miss Jekyll planted many rhododendrons, narcissi, a lily walk and an azalea clearing, while the garden to the north-west was more formal in character.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Frensham Pond Country House Hotel & Spa

Following breakfast, we head southwest, for our visit to the private garden of Bramdean, near Alresford in Hampshire. The garden is notable for its mirror-image herbaceous borders, along with a large and unusual collection of plants and shrubs, a small arboretum and a walled garden featuring prize-winning vegetables, fruit and flowers.

We continue to the gardens of East Lambrook near South Petherton in Somerset, recognised throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’, having been created in the 1940s, 50s and 60s by the late gardening icon, Margery Fish. Mrs Fish entered the world of gardening late in her life and as a novice she showed a quite brilliant talent for artlessly mixing the everyday plants with the rarer species, with an eye for colour, texture and form. Her informal style of planting was unique and her work as an outstanding plantswoman, writer and journalist has made her one of the most important influences on gardening in the 20th century. Indeed, today’s mixed borders are a direct descendant of the style Margery Fish created here at East Lambrook Manor. Now, in the new millennium, visitors can continue to enjoy the gardens while also visiting the famous ‘Margery Fish Plant Nursery’, which remains a place of pilgrimage for keen plant buyers. A specially designed display bed showcases an extensive and nationally recognised collection of hardy geraniums.

We continue to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western The Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster

After breakfast we visit Nynehead Court, whose formal gardens are listed by English Heritage and feature a wide variety of trees, a walled vegetable garden and a parterre. There is also a thought-provoking sculpture park.

Then we proceed to Cothay Manor, a magical, romantic garden that surrounds what is said to be the most perfect example of a small, classic, medieval manor. There are a number of garden rooms, each a garden in itself, set off by a 200 yard yew walk. With its wide range of plants, beautifully presented, this is truly a plantsman’s paradise.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western The Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster

Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for our final visit, Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir 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.

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

Meals include: Breakfast

6 June 2020: Additional Info

6 June 2020: Accommodation

Overlooking the National Trust site, Frensham Great Pond, this 15th-century country house features a bar and traditional restaurant. Frensham Pond Hotel is just a 10-minute drive from Farnham.

The bright and airy bedrooms each have a Freeview TV, internet access and a work desk. All rooms have a private modern bathroom and tea/coffee facilities, and some have a patio with scenic views.

Guests can enjoy classic British cuisine and world wines in the elegant restaurant. There is also a cocktail lounge and cosy bar, and a hearty breakfast menu is available daily.

Situated in the heart of Surrey, Frensham Pond Hotel is a 30-minute drive from Guildford. Free parking is available, and Farnham Railway Station can be reached in a 10-minute drive.

An elegant Victorian hotel, the Best Western Shrubbery Hotel is located in the country market town of Ilminster. It boasts rooms with countryside views and free Wi-Fi.

Rooms at the Best Western Shrubbery feature traditional decor and many have views of the gardens and surrounding countryside. All rooms have satellite TV, a work desk and a bathroom with a shower.

The restaurant boasts a hand-carved Victorian fireplace and offers British and international dishes. Light meals and a children’s menu are available.

The Shrubbery Hotel offers a range of events throughout the year, including dancing and live music. Some events are fundraisers for local charities.

6 June 2020: Enquiries

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