The Gardens of Kent & Sussex with Sarah Raven (Country Living/Good Housekeeping)


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New date added due to demand - 21 June 2021

What could be finer than strolling through an English country garden at the height of summer, when the flowers are at their peak and the scent of roses fills the air. This four-day trip features private visits to world-class gardens in Kent and Sussex, plus two exclusive events hosted by the inspirational Sarah Raven.

Anyone with a passion for gardens and gardening will delight in the itinerary. Highlights include the shrubs and perennials of Great Comp Garden; magnificent Lullingstone Castle, home to the World Garden of Plants; the roses and lavender of Pashley Manor, a classic English garden at Great Dixter; the superb nursery at Marchants Hardy Plants (as seen on the BBC's Flying Gardener series) and Nymans Garden, which offers outstanding plants in a theatrical setting.

We have arranged a private after-hours tour and three-course dinner at Sissinghurst, the famous Kent garden created by the writers Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson in the 1930s. Once it has closed to the public, we will enjoy a glass of sparkling English wine on the Tower lawn and listen to a talk about Sissinghurst's family history from one of the grandchildren of Vita and Harold, before Sarah Raven tells the fascinating story of the famous gardens. We then have the chance to explore at our leisure before ending our evening with a three-course dinner that will also feature Sarah's own recipes.

The following morning we visit Sarah's garden at Perch Hill, where, during a private morning event, she will give a special talk, telling the story of Perch Hill's 25-year transformation from a ramshackle former dairy farm into 90 acres dedicated to flowers and inspirational gardens. After morning coffee, we enjoy a flower-arranging demonstration by Sarah, a deliciously fresh vegetable and salad tasting and a tour of the gardens. In the afternoon we visit garden writer Christopher Lloyd's celebrated English country garden at Great Dixter

Further visits include the beautiful seven-acre Great Comp Garden and the historic manor house and garden at Lullingstone Castle, which dates back to the time of the Domesday Book and glorious Scotney Castle.

Our hotel: we stay throughout at the four-star Spa Hotel. Set in 14 acres of picturesque grounds close to the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells, the spa town from which its name is derived, the hotel first opened its doors to guests in 1880 and has since built a reputation for style, sophistication, relaxation and fine dining.

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Included in your cost:

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