£50 deposit

The Gardens of the Isle of Wight with Christine Walkden (Country Living/Good Housekeeping)

The Isle of Wight is often called the ‘Garden Isle’, thanks to its sunny, warmer than average weather and abundance of exotic plants. just 23 miles long by 13 miles wide, the island has a quintessentially English landscape and a rich concentration of delightful gardens. Benefiting from both the Gulf Stream and more sunshine hours than on the mainland, there’s an exotic and eclectic range of colourful plants that wouldn’t flourish in the rest of the UK.

Osbourne House was Queen Victoria’s favourite summer residence and features a tree-lined walk to the Swiss Cottage, an extravagant Wendy house where the royal children used to play. As well as touring the grounds with our celebrity guest Christine Walkden and the head gardener, we’ll enjoy lunch in the Terrace Restaurant and a tour of the house. Christine will also give a private talk and answer all your horticultural questions

From the lavender borders at Nunwell House to the rare trees and clerodendron of Ventnor Botanic Gardens, there will be many horticultural highlights, including Japanese acers and an Elizabethan sunken garden at Morton Manor, and the rose garden and fruit trees at Mottistone Manor.

What's included?

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

Led by...

Christine Walkden

Christine Walkden Celebrity Guest

Christine Walkden first grew flowers and vegetables on her allotment aged ten to sell to her teachers and neighbours. During her career, she has worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and has presented Gardeners’ World.

Today's Price

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £50, was £100.

Single supplement: £690

Tour highlights:

  • Explore Osbourne House with our celebrity guest Christine Walkden
  • Visit the famous gorge at Shanklin Old Village
  • Explore the stunning Ventnor Botanical Garden
  • Tour the award-winning gardens at Morton Manor

Tour details

Dates 16 May 2021 - 19 May 2021
Duration 4 days
Today's Price

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £50, was £100.
Single supplement: £690 Balance due by 21 February 2021
Activity Level
Tour code BTIW210516

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Tothill St, Westminster
08.00 20.30
Wightlink Ferry Terminal
10.30 18.00

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

16 May 2021: Itinerary

We depart from our designated pick up points and head for Portsmouth where we will board a late morning ferry to Fishbourne.  We arrive on the Isle of Wight and journey to Shanklin to visit the world famous gorge entered from Shanklin Old Village. Dropping 105ft from the top of the cliff to sea level, Shanklin Chine is a natural fissure in the cliff, formed by water cutting through sandstone to the sea. The chine walk leads through a deeply shaded path winding down beside waterfalls to the shore and along the way there are more than 150 varieties of wild plants and many species of moss to discover.   Following this we will have some free time to wander through the Old Village with its picturesque thatched cottages, traditional craft shops, tea rooms and public gardens. 

We then travel to our hotel, the 3-star New Holmwood Hotel in Cowes, where dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Holmwood Hotel, Cowes

This morning after breakfast we travel to the privately-owned gardens at Nunwell House. The gardens were first documented by Sir John Oglander around 1640 when he recorded that the parlour garden had ‘all sorts of French flowers and tulips as well as a vine’. Over the centuries the gardens have developed - a walled garden was added in 1750, the front lawns enhanced in 1896 and the lower garden planted about 1930. After the Second World War the long shrub border was created on land used as a wartime home guard ammunition dump and the steps leading to the old tennis court were bordered with lavender. In 1998 Mrs Shaunagh Aylmer converted the inside of the walled garden to its present layout of lawns and herbaceous borders. The whole garden is in a very tranquil setting with lovely views across the Solent.

After an opportunity for lunch (not included), we continue this afternoon with a visit to Ventnor Botanic Garden, a must for garden lovers with a head-turning collection of familiar favourites and rare plants.  Set on a 22-acre site abutting the southern coast, the sub-tropical Undercliff area in which the Botanic Garden is located makes it an ideal environment for a collection of rare trees, plants and shrubs which are hard to grow elsewhere in the UK, including the sweet-smelling clerodendron. There is also a temperate house with a selection of exotic plants. The garden's newest draw is a lottery-funded visitor centre with facilities that include interactive exhibition areas.

We return to our hotel where dinner will be served once again this evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Holmwood Hotel, Cowes

Following breakfast this morning, we begin our day at the award-winning gardens at Morton Manor - it has won the “Isle of Wight In Bloom” competition several times in recent years and has been twice winner of “Southern England in Bloom”. Dating back to 1249, the manor boasts a huge collection of Japanese Acers and an Elizabethan sunken garden within a handsomely landscaped garden of mature specimen trees. White, red and rosé wines are produced in adjacent grounds and visitors can tour the vineyards as well tasting the wine in the manor's gift shop. Lunch is available here (not included).

This afternoon we continue to the gardens of Mottistone Manor, near the quaint village of Brook.  The gardens were laid out in the 1960s and 70s by Sir John and Lady Nicholson, who brought a Mediterranean influence to the styling. Its key attractions include colourful herbaceous borders, shrubs, flowering fruit trees, a rose garden and sea views. Here we will be joined by celebrity gardener Christine Walkden, who will accompany us as we walk round the gardens.

We return to the hotel where we will enjoy our final dinner together this evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Holmwood Hotel, Cowes

This morning after breakfast, we check out of our hotel.  Saving the best for last, we travel to East Cowes for a visit to Osborne House & Gardens. With views onto the Solent, this was Queen Victoria’s favourite home, which boasts the most impressive formal gardens on the island.  These include a recently restored walled garden and an attractive tree-lined walk to the Swiss Cottage, built as a spectacular Wendy House for the Royal children. Here we will be joined again by Christine Walkden, who will accompany us as we enjoy a guided tour of the Gardens, conducted by the Head Gardener. After lunch in the Terrace Restaurant (included) Christine will give us a talk followed by a Question and Answer session.

In the afternoon we continue with a guided tour of the House. Here we will see the sumptuous state rooms, whose furnishings reflect the passions, taste and style of Victoria and Albert, and the family rooms, including the bedroom where Queen Victoria passed away on 22 January 1901. We continue back to Fishbourne to catch a late-afternoon ferry returning us to Portsmouth.  We will return to our original pick-up points in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

16 May 2021: Additional Info

16 May 2021: Accommodation

Best Western New Holmwood Hotel is located at Egypt Point on the edge of Cowes, home to a boat load of world famous yachting events! Just a pleasant, waterfront walk away from Cowes town, you'll be close to the shops as well as the sea.

At the hotel itself, you'll be able to relax in one of our 3 comfortable lounges, one of which has large picture windows that look out onto all the shipping movements so you can watch cruise liners, racing yachts, family pleasure yachts, huge tankers and container ships in pleasant surroundings. You can also see the sea from our restaurant, lounge and guest rooms, where you'll have panoramic views of The Solent.

16 May 2021: Enquiries

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