Stourhead Garden
Stourhead Garden

Garden Tours

Gardens of Somerset and Dorset

The neighbouring counties of Dorset and Somerset epitomise the timeless and restrained beauty of rural England and are home to a fine selection of classic gardens in a variety of different styles. Both counties offer grand vistas, both natural and man-made and small and intimate treasures, again, both natural and man-made.

From our base in Taunton, our tour heads out each day to all four compass points, visiting historic National Trust properties such as Barrington Court, Tintinhull and the wonderful landscape of Stourhead, as well as outstanding gardens such as Kilver Court, Forde Abbey and East Lambrook, recognised throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. On our final day, we visit Barrington Court, whose gardens were inspired by the designs of Gertrude Jekyll, and the enchanting Lyte’s Cary Manor.

What's included?

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

Today's Price
$1,045

Deposit: $150 Single supplement: $225

Tour highlights:

  • Landscaped gardening on a grand scale at Stourhead
  • The unusual backdrop of an old railway viaduct at Kilver Court
  • East Lambrook Manor, the home of the classic English Cottage Garden
  • Jekyll-inspired gardens at Barrington Court
  • Yeo Valley Organic Garden’s edible plants

Tour details

Dates June 18 2020 - June 22 2020
Duration 5 days
Cost
Today's Price
$1,045
Deposit: $150 Single supplement: $225 Balance due by March 26 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BWSDO20A

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
London 0800 1800
Basingstoke 1000 1600

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 1-800-782-0295 if you have any questions

June 18 2020: Itinerary

We depart by coach from our pick-up points and head for our first visit, the famous landscape garden at Stourhead. Temples, urns, a grotto and a wealth of trees all contribute to the special atmosphere of this celebrated landscape garden. It is, above all, a garden to walk in, following the serpentine path that borders the lake and exploring every detour that presents itself.

We continue our journey to our comfortable accommodation at the Holiday Inn Taunton, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn, Taunton

Following breakfast, we depart for the gardens at Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet. The Gardens were first created by Ernest Jardine as a recreational space for factory workers of Kilver Court in the 1800s and were known as Jardine’s Park and Vegetable Gardens. In the 1960s, they were restored and developed by the Showering family of Babycham fame, who commissioned Charles Whiteleg to recreate his Gold medal winning Chelsea Flower Show rockery garden within the setting. At the time, the garden was a bold and modern design statement, yet remained a hidden secret for 25 years. The Gardens feature a millpond and boating lake as well as rolling laws, parterre and herbaceous borders, set against an unusual and highly impressive backdrop – a vast Grade II listed viaduct built for the Somerset and Dorset railway. A plant shop provides an opportunity for the perfect souvenir.

In the afternoon we visit the Yeo Valley Organic Garden. The well-known producers of dairy goods such as yoghurt and butter created this garden nearly 20 years ago and the six and a half acres of ornamental and edible plants in a seasonal patchwork has been constantly evolving ever since.

We return to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn, Taunton

After breakfast this morning we depart for Minterne, an eighteenth century Serpentine park with lakes, a stream and a woodland garden. Although the hills are chalk, the garden is situated on a mound of green sand, which runs for a mile down the centre of the valley. This, with the humus and dappled shade provided by the large beech trees was the perfect setting for the rhododendrons and magnolias provided by plant-hunting expeditions to the Himalayas.

We continue to Forde Abbey which is home to the stunning Mortlake tapestries, woven from the internationally famous Raphael cartoons, now housed in the V&A, the Abbey has a rich and varied history spanning 900 years. We can walk in the actual footsteps of the monks, and explore the exquisite interior featured in a Hollywood adaptation of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd.’

The highest powered fountain in the country is a highlight for many in 30 acres of the award-winning gardens which include topiary-lined vistas, colourful herbaceous borders, a giant-sized labyrinth in the arboretum and swathes of early spring bulbs and camellias to provide all year round interest.

We return to the hotel in time for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn, Taunton

After breakfast we visit Tintinhull Gardens, near Yeovil. Created last century around an attractive 17th-century manor house, this is one of the most harmonious small gardens in Britain. It features secluded lawns, small pools and colourful borders. There is also an attractive kitchen garden, woodland walk and orchard.

In the afternoon we call in at East Lambrook Manor recognised throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’, having been created in the 1940s, 50s and 60s by the late gardening icon, Margery Fish. Now, in the new millennium, visitors can continue to enjoy the gardens while also visiting the famous ‘Margery Fish Plant Nursery’, which remains a place of pilgrimage for keen plant buyers. A specially designed display bed showcases an extensive and nationally recognised collection of hardy geraniums.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn, Taunton

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for the gardens of Barrington Court. These enchanting, formal gardens, inspired by the designs of Gertrude Jekyll, are laid out in a series of walled rooms and include the White, Rose, Iris and Lily Gardens.

Our final visit is to Lytes Cary Manor, which was once the home of the 16th Century herbalist Henry Lyte and is surrounded by an enchanting garden. The 3-acre garden has a central path lined with yew topiary leading up to the Tudor manor house. The borders are a mix of herbaceous plants, yew buttresses and roses, which overlook an orchard, open lawns and statues leading to a shady tunnel of hornbeam and a secret garden.

Following our visit we return to our original departure points, where we expect to arrive in the late afternoon.

Meals include: Breakfast

June 18 2020: Additional Info

June 18 2020: Accommodation

The Holiday Inn Taunton hotel offers the very best in comfort and convenience. All rooms have private facilities

June 18 2020: Enquiries

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