Garden Tours

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

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 the stunning herbaceous borders at Parham House.

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 day sees a trip to glorious Scotney Castle, then on to Sarah's garden at Perch Hill, where, during a private afternoon 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 afternoon tea, we enjoy a flower-arranging demonstration by Sarah, a deliciously fresh vegetable and salad tasting and a tour of the gardens.

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; garden writer Christopher Lloyd's celebrated English country garden at Great Dixter and the magical four-acre walled garden at Parham House.

What's included?

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

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