Here is my upcoming trip to England. I would love for you to join me!
Day 1 – Monday 21st May
Arrive London transfer to your hotel.
Welcome dinner this evening.
Overnight: London (-/-/D)
Day 2 – Tuesday 22nd May
Start off this morning visit the famous Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Explore inside the vast Victorian glasshouses and see the indoor galleries. Kew is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site offering unique landscapes, vistas and iconic architecture from every stage of the Gardens’ history. Walk to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and see the beautiful Bluebell wood.
Lunch at The Orangery, Kew Gardens
This afternoon, discover the wonders of majestic Hampton Court Palace, home to the Kings and Queens of Britain since the time of Henry VIII. Discover the magnificent State Apartments, explore the riverside gardens. The gardens are home to the world’s oldest puzzle maze, a record-breaking grape vine, 3 National Plant Collections, over 1 million flowering bulbs in the Wilderness, and a huge variety of wildlife, including the descendants of Henry VIII’s deer herd.
Overnight: London (B/L/-)
Day 3 – Wednesday 23rd May
Tour the newly remodelled Garden Museum, which explores and celebrates British gardens and gardening through its collection, temporary exhibitions, events and garden. Visitors will also see a permanent display of paintings, tools, ephemera and historic artifacts: a glimpse into the uniquely British love affair with gardens.
Next up is the historic Chelsea Physic Garden in London and end up at Petershams Nursery in Covent Gardens which brings nature and elegance to the heart of Covent Garden. Enjoy lunch (not included) and the afternoon to browse.
Depart for London for free time in the late afternoon and evening.
Overnight: London (B/-/-)
Day 4 – Thursday 24th May
A transfer in the morning takes you to the famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show! Enjoy the extensive displays of show gardens and magnificent floral displays of the world’s most prestigious flower show that inspires millions through showcasing the best in garden design before a transfer in the late afternoon back to your hotel.
In the early evening to cap off the busy day, enjoy a bird’s eye view of London from the London Eye. A Private Capsule for our own exclusive use with a 30 minute rotation is the ultimate way to experience the 360° views of London.
Overnight: London (B/-/-)
Day 5-Friday 25th May
Depart London and stop at St Tiggywinkles, animal rescue for hedgehogs and other native animals. Meet a hedgehog up close and tour the hedgehog museum and see how wildlife is rehabilitated and introduced back to the wild.
Stop at Waterperry Gardens formerly a renowned Horticultural college and you will find a Formal Garden, the Mary Rose Garden, a Waterlily Canal and the Long Color Border, and a recently planted arboretum.
Travel to Oxford for a tour of the Oxford Botanical Gardens with beautiful herbaceous borders, glasshouses that take you around the world or simply relax in the oldest Botanic Garden in Britain. Explore the town with lunch on your own. Continue through the English countryside to the town of Cheltenham for a 4 night stay.
Dinner in Cheltenham. Dinner in Cheltenham with a presentation on Victoria Summerley’s book, The Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds, and book signing.
Overnight in Cheltenham (B/-/D)
Day 6 – Saturday 26th May
Travel to Abbey House Gardens, ”With 1300 years of history, the first King of England buried somewhere in the garden, two saints thrown down the well, and now one of the great gardens of the world. The spirit of the place shines through and could be the best garden visit you ever make”. Known for its clothing optional days, unfortunately we will not be visiting on that day!
Move on to Tetbury, a historic wool town which is the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. The town is known as an architectural gem with many of the wool merchants’ houses remaining the same as they were in the 16th & 17th centuries during the height of the wool trade. Shop at the Highgrove Shop which sells products inspired by the private gardens of His Royal Highness and visit Highgrove in the afternoon (subject to availability). Alternatives are Miserden Park Gardens and/or Rodmartin Manor.
Overnight: Cheltenham (B/L/-)
Day 7-Sunday 27th May
Travel to Awkward Hill near Bibury to have a private tour of Victoria Summerley’s Garden, author of Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds. Continue to Ablington Manor and then to Bibury, named one of “the most beautiful villages in England” for lunch at The Trout Farm.
Overnight: Cheltenham (B/L/-)
Day 8- Monday 28thth May
Travel back in time to 16th-century Tudor Stratford-upon-Avon, where William Shakespeare lived and worked. Guided by a professional guide on a 2-hour walking tour, you will explore Stratford and its history. Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage with its beautiful surrounding cottage gardens and Shakespeare’s New Place, set on the site of the home where Shakespeare spent 19 years of his life. Tour the specially commissioned outdoor sculptures in a contemporary landscape setting and a beautifully restored Tudor Knot Garden. Browse the interesting shops of Stratford.
Leave Stratford and stop in Shipston On Stour and have a tasting at the Cotswolds Distillery of whiskey and gin.
Overnight: Cheltenham (B/-/-)
Day 9 – Tuesday 29th May
Depart today to travel to Wales, first stopping off at David Austin Roses, the home of the English rose to tour the gardens and plant center.
Then continue to visit Powis Castle & Gardens for its spectacular terraces and stunning vistas. Powis also has an amazing collection of furniture, tapestries, paintings and sculptures, including the Indian and Far East Clive Museum. Have lunch on your own at one of the two restaurants.
Continue to the seaside resort town of Llandudno.
Overnight: Llandudno/Conway (B/-/D)
Day 10 – Wednesday 30th May
The day starts with a visit to Bodnant Estate which includes the Gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK. Included in the visit is the Bodnant Welsh Food Center(lunch on your own), the National Beekeeping Center Wales, The Bodnant Craft Center, the Furnace Tea Room and Farmhouse.
Stop off at Llanberis to take in the stunning mountain scenery of the Snowdon area.
Continue this afternoon for a visit to the seaside village of Portmeirion. Shops, restaurants, gardens and beaches and 70 acres of woodland walks surrounding this picturesque colorful village.
Overnight: Llandudno/Conway (B/-/-)
Day 11 Thursday 31th May
Head into the rolling Derbyshire countryside of the Peak District, for a visit to Chatsworth, freshly remodelled after a 10 year master plan. Famous for its rich history, historic and modern waterworks and sculptures, its Victorian rock garden and maze, there is something for everyone in the 105-acre Chatsworth Garden. Used in filming Pemberly in Pride and Prejudice, enjoy a house and garden tour and end with an optional special tea at the onsite restaurant on your own. Later continue to the historic city of Nottingham to explore on your own.
Overnight: Nottingham (B/-/-)
Day 12 Friday 1st June
Continue to Hatfield House, stately Jacobean mansion with a magnificent water sculpture by Angela Conner. Wander an Elizabethan park with a famous Jacobean house and garden and incredible Jacobean craftsmanship. The layout has changed many times since then but now has a ‘seventeenth century character’ with terraces and garden enclosures, including a knot garden, herb garden and privy garden. See the famous ‘Rainbow Portrait’ of Elizabeth I. Enjoy lunch at The Coach House restaurant or shop and dine in The Stableyard on your own.
Continue this afternoon for a visit to Capel Manor College Gardens, a 30 acre estate, first established in the late 13th century. Providing an oasis surrounding a Georgian Manor House and Victorian Stables with dozens of specialist gardens, some that medaled at the Chelsea Flower Show. It offers a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes at Greater London’s only Specialist College for those interested in plants, animals and the environment.
Then on to London for a farewell dinner
Overnight: London (B/-/D)
Day 13 Saturday 2nd June
Depart for home
To reserve a spot, send a deposit of $200 to Claire Jones, 4 Bellclare Cir, Sparks, MD 21152
GBP 2995 as of Sept 2018 ex rate=$3872
Single Supplement GBP 750 ex rate=$970
Based on the following 4 star hotels:
- Copthorne Tara Hotel, London
- Malmaison Hotel, Cheltenham
- Imperial Hotel, Llandudno
- Park Plaza Hotel, Nottingham
- 12 hotel nights based on sharing twin room (4 star*)
- Breakfasts daily, 4 dinners & 3 lunches (As indicated by BLD on the itinerary)
- Coach services for duration of tour as specified on itinerary
- Entrances to: Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Garden Museum, Chelsea Physic Garden, St Tiggywinkles Animal Shelter, Waterperry Gardens, Oxford Botanical Gardens, Abbey House Gardens, Highgrove (or alternative), Awkward Hill, Ablington Manor, Eastleach House, The Coach House, Anne Hathaways Cottage, New Place, David Austen Roses, Powis Castle & Gardens, Bodnant Estate, Portmerion, Chatsworrth, Hatfield House, Capel Manor Gardens
- Guided tour of Stratford-upon-Avon
- 1 x London Eye Private Capsule Hire (max 25)
- Day ticket to Chelsea Flower Show (non-members day)
- Cotswold Distillery tour & tasting
- Services of a UK tour manager throughout
- Porterage 1 suitcase per person
Air fares, personal expenses, gratuities to accompanying staff.
Increases in local taxation and fuel costs and English law.
Deposit 10% 90 days prior to operation
Final payment 45 days prior to operation
Payment can be paid by direct debit/wire to Lloyds bank and there is a transaction fee. Call Pathfinders (London based) 877-753-6386 for details. Or you can pay with credit card-Visa/ American Express/ Master Card with a 3% fee.
Pathfinders, our tour operator will have some transportation to and from the London airport arranged if most people are arriving/departing together.