Lakeland Gardens With Pippa Greenwood

The Lake District is world-renowned as an area of outstanding natural beauty, and within its glorious landscape of hills and dales, lakes and tarns, there are some stunning gardens. The gardens at Brantwood on the shores of Lake Coniston were evolved by John Ruskin as a ‘living laboratory’ and include an extensive collection of herbs and ferns, while the private fell-side garden of Windy Hall includes a woodland garden with species rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias and hydrangeas.

Few gardens have a site to rival that of Holehird, on the well-wooded slopes above the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, and there is a superb collection of plants here. The extensive gardens at Holker Hall date from the late 18th century and are notable for an enormous Lime tree, while Sizergh Castle stands proudly in this quintessentially English landscape. Our holiday is completed with visits to Levens Hall and its world famous topiary gardens and Bridgemere Garden World, which offers a relaxing combination of planting displays and gardening ideas.

Today's Price

Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £120

Tour details

Dates 26 May 2020 - 29 May 2020
Duration 4 days
Today's Price
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £120 Balance due by 3 March 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BLPG200526

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Tothill St, Westminster
0700 2030
Luton Parkway
railway station
0830 1900
railway station
0930 1800
Victoria Square
1100 1630
railway station
1230 1500

Please note pick-up points are subject to minimum numbers and 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

26 May 2020: Itinerary

We depart by coach from our designated pick-up points and head north for the Lake District, stopping en route for refreshments. Our first visit will be to the gardens at the National Trust Sizergh Castle near Kendal. Originally built in the Middle Ages by the Strickland family, who still live here, this imposing house, at the gateway to the Lake District, stands proud in a rich and beautiful garden with a pond, a lake, an important collection of hardy ferns and a superb limestone rock garden. The estate is crossed with footpaths, giving stunning views over Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland hills.

We will then travel to our comfortable accommodation at the Crooklands Hotel near Kendal, which offers a peaceful, rural setting, good food and a convivial atmosphere. All rooms have private facilities, direct dial telephone, TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Dinner will be served in the hotel in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Crooklands Hotel

After breakfast, we will visit the gardens at Brantwood, the home of the late John Ruskin. The gardens and the house were largely conceived by John Ruskin as a “living laboratory” for social and environmental issues, each incorporating a careful aesthetic mix of seemingly natural effects embellished by man. The “Hortus Inclusus” – a medieval-style garden, contains an extensive collection of British native herbs.  Behind the house over 270 different British hardy ferns thrive beneath the tall oaks of the Linton Fern Garden. Closer to the house is the Professor’s Garden – Ruskin’s cottage garden experiment, which has been restored in the spirit of its creator. A selection of herbs, cottage flowers and 19th century varieties of fruit thrive in this small plot.  There is also a carefully reconstructed bee-house.

We continue to Windy Hall, a private four-acre fell-side garden near Windermere. Features include a woodland garden with species rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias and hydrangeas; a Japanese-influenced quarry garden; alpine gunneras and a wildflower meadow; there are also NCCPG collections of Filipendula and Aruncus. Look out too for some multi-horned Hebridean sheep, rare pheasants from China and Nepal as well as native birds which nest in the gardens.

Our final visit today is to the wonderful gardens of Holehird, in a well wooded position on slopes above the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. The Lakeland Horticultural Society are responsible for the impeccable upkeep of this magnificent garden.  The soil is acid and rainfall is famously high, giving excellent conditions for azaleas, ferns and rhododendrons, Himalayan poppies and maples. A fine walled garden, recently restored, gives protection to many surprisingly tender plants - callistemon, carpenteria and diascia. Holehird has National Collections of astilbes - probably the largest in the world - hydrangeas and polystichum ferns.

Exclusive event: we are joined today by well-known gardener, horticulturalist and broadcaster Pippa Greenwood who will tour the gardens with us.

We return to the hotel in time for dinner. Afterwards Pippa Greenwood will give us a talk on her experiences as a gardener and presenter and host a Question & Answer session.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Crooklands Hotel

Today following breakfast, we will visit Holker Hall where the gardens are the result of the late 18th century planting of Lord George Cavendish. Several new features were added in the early 19th century – an arboretum, a conservatory, balustraded terraces and a large walled kitchen garden.  There are spectacular displays of rhododendrons in spring and early summer; later in the season magnificent blooms grace the arbours and cascade with a riot of colour. The Great Holker Lime, labelled as one of the finest and largest common limes (Tilia europaea) in Britain, measures 7–9 metres in girth, and was awarded the distinction of being one of Britain’s 50 great trees in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  There is a National Collection of Styracaceae and a labyrinth – one of the newest features of the garden which is set within the wildflower meadow.

Exclusive event: we are joined here by well-known gardener, horticulturalist and broadcaster Pippa Greenwood who will tour the garden with us.

In the afternoon we will visit Rydal Hall in Ambleside, a formal Italianate garden designed by Thomas Mawson in 1911. The 34 acre gardens have been recently restored, over a two year period, and have been returned to their former glory, with some fine herbaceous planting. An informal woodland garden leads to a 17th century viewing station/summer house and there is also a community vegetable garden, orchard and apiary.

We will return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Crooklands Hotel

This morning we must leave the hotel after breakfast and head for home, stopping en-route to visit Levens Hall gardens. The topiary gardens are world-famous and were created in 1694 by Monsieur Guillaume Beaumont, who had been trained under Le Nôtre at Versailles, and who laid out the gardens at Hampton Court. Under the magnificent topiary you will find colourful spring or summer bedding. There is also a rose garden, a nuttery, fine herbaceous borders and a fountain garden laid out with pleached limes in 1994 to celebrate 300 years of the gardens at Levens Hall.

Our final visit will be to Bridgemere Garden World in Cheshire. No other garden centre has the sense of horticultural excitement that you will find at Bridgemere. It is a huge place - 25 acres in all - and there are enormous numbers of plants of every kind: it probably carries the greatest commercially available range in the country.

We then continue south and expect to return to our original departure points mid-late evening.

Meals include: Breakfast

26 May 2020: Additional Info

26 May 2020: Accommodation

Crooklands Hotel is 4 miles from Kendal and one mile from junction 36 of the M6 motorway. It offers en suite rooms with free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and free parking.

Rooms at The Crooklands Hotel feature flat-screen TVs, large beds as standard and modern art work. They also include telephones, radios and tea/coffee making facilities.

The restaurant has traditional home cooked English food and serves cooked breakfasts daily. The well stocked bar features ales from local breweries.

The hotel is ideally places to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Lake Windermere is a 15-minute drive from Crooklands and staff can provide walking maps for guests.

26 May 2020: Enquiries

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