The Gardens of the Isle of Wight with Christine Walkden (exclusively with the Daily Telegraph)
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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 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.
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, Christine’s Garden, The Great British Garden Revival and the Royal Television Society award-winning Glorious Gardens From Above. She is currently a panel member on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time and appears on The One Show.
Tothill St, Westminster
Wightlink Ferry Terminal
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.
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £175
Keeping you safe on your next tour
Day 1 -
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.
Day 2 -
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 included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 3 -
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 included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 4 -
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 included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Ferry crossings
- Meals - as per the itinerary
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|15 May 2022||BTIW220515||15 May 2022 (Sunday)||18 May 2022 (Wednesday)||Christine Walkden||£975
|£100||£175||Book your trip|