RHS Garden Bridgewater With Tom Stuart-Smith (Country Living/Good Housekeeping)
As one of the largest gardening projects in Europe, RHS Garden Bridgewater opens to the public in May 2021 and we are delighted to be able to offer the opportunity to be among the first to visit it. This once in a generation project saw the Royal Horticultural Society take inspiration from the heritage of the site and transform it into a world-class garden, while also delivering a programme of community outreach and education activities, volunteering and training.
Based on an overall design by leading landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, highlights include one of the largest walled gardens in the UK, beautifully landscaped grounds, living plant collections and horticultural trials. As it matures it is sure to establish itself as one of the foremost garden attractions in the North of England.
Exclusive Event: we are delighted that Tom Stuart-Smith himself will join us at RHS Bridgewater for an exclusive tour of the garden, followed by Afternoon Tea along with an illustrated talk and Question & Answer session.
We also take the opportunity to visit some of the best gardens in the North West, beginning at Trentham Estate in Staffordshire, where the contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens was also led by Tom Stuart-Smith.
Next day we travel to Dunham Massey, a great plantsman's garden full of native favourites and exotic treasures set around an elegant Georgian mansion, followed by Tatton Park, whose gardens have developed over 200 years yet retain much of their Edwardian character.
Before departing for home we visit Arley Hall, which preserves the atmosphere of a garden kept for its own delight. The pair of herbaceous borders is one of the great garden sights of England.
We are based at the Queen at Chester Hotel, Premier Collection by Best Western in historic Chester.
Your Departure date
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Day 1 -
We depart by coach from our pick-up points this morning and head for the north-west of England, where we begin with a visit to the gardens of Trentham Estate in Staffordshire. The contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens was led by renowned designer and multi-Chelsea gold-medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith. To the east of the Italian Gardens are the Rivers of Grass and the adjacent Floral Labyrinth. Both these schemes were designed by eminent Dutch plantsman, and Chelsea gold medal winner, Piet Oudolf. At the centre of Trentham Gardens is the mile long, Capability Brown designed, Trentham Lake. Take the circular lakeside walk all the way round as it takes you beside the River Trent, by the bird hide, through Capability Brown’s cascading weir and along atmospheric woodland trails. The show gardens offer further inspiration to gardeners on a more domestic scale. Lunch is available here (not included).
Following our visit we continue to our hotel in Chester, where dinner is served in the evening.
|Hotel||The Queen Hotel, Chester|
Day 2 -
After breakfast we depart for a visit to Ness Botanic Gardens in the Wirral. which lies between the Dee and Mersey estuaries. There is year round interest in the garden with lilies, primulas, herbaceous borders, terrace gardens with many climbing plants, native plants, herb and water gardens thriving in the summer months. Ness Gardens has its own weather station and has been producing accurate and regular daily records since the early 1960s. There is also a gift shop, plant nursery and a café.
In the afternoon we visit the brand new RHS Garden Bridgewater at Worsley, to the west of Manchester, where we will be personally welcomed and given an introduction to the garden by the Curator. This once in a generation project will see the Royal Horticultural Society take inspiration from the heritage of the site and transform it into a world-class garden, while also delivering a programme of community outreach and education activities, volunteering and training. Highlights will include one of the largest walled gardens in the UK, beautifully landscaped grounds, living plant collections and horticultural trials.
Exclusive Event: The garden is based on an overall design by award-winning landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, and we are delighted that he will join us here as we tour the garden. Later we transfer to a nearby hotel where we have arranged Afternoon Tea, during which Tom Stuart-Smith will give us a talk on his work and experiences and answer questions on garden or landscape design-related questions.
We return to our hotel, where the evening is free.
|Hotel||The Queen Hotel, Chester|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Day 3 -
Following breakfast we visit the gardens at Dunham Massey. Previously a garden of straight lines and regimented planting favoured by the 2nd Earl of Stamford and Warrington, the garden became the family’s pleasure ground under the 5th Earl when sweeping lawns and meandering paths were introduced. Shunned by Cheshire society, 7th Earl George Harry and his wife, former circus performer Catharine Cox, abandoned Dunham in 1856 and the garden was left unchanged for the rest of the 19th century. After being pressed into service to help the war effort in both world wars, Dunham Massey was taken over by the National Trust in 1976 and work began to transform the garden to its former glory. It was decided that the garden would have an Edwardian pleasure ground feel with the freedom to choose from a range of planting options, with native favourites alongside exotic treasures. The garden continues to evolve today - modern additions include the Rose Garden and the Winter Garden.
Later we visit Tatton Park, whose gardens have developed over 200 years yet retain much of their Edwardian character. Lewis William Wyatt and Joseph Paxton, architect of Crystal Palace, designed various elements including the Conservatory which is now open following a comprehensive restoration programme. Other features include a vegetable garden used for growing varieties of plant known to be cultivated at Tatton during the Edwardian era such as 'Scarlet Emperor' runner beans, 'Fat Lazy Blonde' lettuce and 'British Queen' potatoes and a fine representation of a Japanese garden, thought to be the result of Alan de Tatton’s visit to the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition at the White City in London in 1910.
Dinner is served back at our hotel in the evening.
|Hotel||The Queen Hotel, Chester|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 4 -
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for a visit to Arley Hall. A pair of herbaceous borders was laid out here in 1846 and they survive to this day, beautifully maintained - one of the great garden sights of England. There are also old walled gardens with good mixed borders and a simple terraced walk above a ha-ha. Still in private hands, Arley Hall preserves the atmosphere of a garden kept for its own delight.
Following this, our final visit, we return to our original pick-up points.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Meals - as per the itinerary
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Services of a professional tour manager
- All visits as outlined in the itinerary
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Offer||Availability|
|25 July 2021||BBWT210725||25 July 2021 (Sunday)||28 July 2021 (Wednesday)||£695
|8 August 2021||BBWT210808||8 August 2021 (Sunday)||11 August 2021 (Wednesday)||£715