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On arrival you are transferred from London Heathrow Airport to your hotel, the Hilton Bankside. Your base for the next two nights. Ideally located by the River Thames you have free time to explore, maybe visit the nearby Tate Modern or take a stroll along the South Bank? This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a trip briefing and Welcome Dinner.
With a Local Expert, explore the iconic sights and streets of London. See famous landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and Trafalgar Square. Admire the Royal residence of Buckingham Palace and savour a taste of British pageantry as you watch the Changing of the Guard (if operating). The gardens of Wisley were gifted to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1903 and since then it has evolved into a world class garden. Explore the beautiful Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden and delight the senses with roses of all shapes, sizes, colours, and fragrances. Stroll through the picturesque orchard, the huge cathedral like Glasshouse and the Exotic Garden.
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, in the heart of rural Essex, in a landscape of rolling hills with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. An oasis of tranquillity, it combines diverse garden styles and inspirational planting, with its eclectic mix of traditional and modern styles. In the university city of Cambridge, join your Local Expert for a walking tour, experience some of the most famous universities, seeing architectural highlights including Kings College and Trinity College.
One of the Treasure Houses of England, the historic Georgian Harewood House sits within “Capability” Brown designed landscape. Discover rare Chippendale furniture and stunning interior designs in the State Rooms, and admire the remarkable views form the award-winning Terraces. Enjoy tea and delicious scones before arriving at York. Your Travel Director will show you the York Minster, the city walls and the medieval Shambles during you orientation of the city.
Visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. The magnificent abbey was established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. The atmospheric ruins are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world, and Studley Royal with its awe-inspiring water garden, follies and lawns, make this a World Heritage Site. Traversing the Yorkshire Dales to the Lake District where you will see some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.
Visit the village of Hawkshead, famous for its whitewashed cottages and cobbled lanes. Admire the gardens of Holker Hall. The gardens have evolved over many hundreds of years, under the guidance of generations of the Cavendish Family. Each owner has made their mark, adding new features and plantings, to create a garden that is now rich in character and beauty. Spring time provides a riot of colour with displays of tulips, daffodils, wallflowers and spring meadows, framed by majestic Rhododendrons and Magnolias. Later, perhaps take a cruise on Lake Windermere?
Explore the magnificent Trentham Gardens. Enjoy glorious ancient woodland, and discover the Italian Gardens, the Rivers of Grass, and the Floral Labyrinth. At its heart is the spectacular, mile long Trentham Lake, a wildlife haven studded with small islands. During you orientation with your Travel Director see the Jubilee Clock, the cathedral, city walls and famous black and white Rows. Enjoy a delightful Farm-to-Table dinner at a local restaurant.
Journey into north Wales, passing the massive Conwy Castle before a visit to the beautiful Bodnant Gardens. Bodnant is home to the earliest and grandest laburnum arch built in 1880, and to Britain’s earliest magnolias introduced from China in the late 1800s. Admire the fine collection of exotic plants, from the Blue Poppy of the Himalayas to the Fire Bush of the Andes, and enjoy Wales’ largest collection of UK Champion Trees.
Discover how William Shakespeare and his incredible works continue to delight audiences today when you visit his birthplace, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Cross the beautiful Cotswold hills, a chocolate box scene of golden stone villages with roses round the doors. Continue to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, built in amphitheatre style on the surrounding hills. Your Travel Director introduces you to the Pulteney Bridge, built in mellow local stone. See the angels climbing Jacob's Ladder on Bath Abbey.
After a relaxed start, we discover the rich and fascinating history of Bowood House and the Lansdowne family, set within 100 acres of beautifully landscaped ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland. Surrounding the Georgian House is the Italian-inspired Terrace Garden, the Private Walled Gardens, and the herbaceous border, all radiating colour throughout the seasons. Driving through the New Forest you arrive in Southampton, on the south coast.
The Isle of Wight was possibly Queen Victoria’s favourite place on earth. Which is why she built her opulent holiday home here. Marvel at the gorgeous Italianate architecture and unearth the royal family’s secrets to relaxation. There was nowhere Queen Victoria loved more than the Isle of Wight, a diamond-shaped pearl in the English Channel. Visit Osbourne House, her opulent holiday home, marvel at the gorgeous Italianate architecture and gardens. Take in the islands stunning scenery, thatched cottages before returning to the mainland.
Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens re-opened in 2019 after a major restoration project. Set in a steep-sided valley, the gardens offer a variety of scenic walks, with seven interlaced lakes, extensive woodlands and lovely parkland. During the seasons the estate features outstanding displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and bluebells in spring, summer wildflowers to its beautiful autumnal colours. From March to June the garden comes alive in a riot of colour. At every turn, you will find flowers in so many different colours, a joy to see. Returning to London, experience London with a bird’s-eye view from the London Eye.
Today is dedicated to the famous Chelsea Flower Show, run by the Royal Horticultural Society, this is the ‘mecca’ of all garden shows. Bringing together the very best show gardens, flowers, and gardening from around the world, lose yourself amongst the magnificent floral displays and show gardens. Enjoy elaborate displays featuring courtyard, city and roof gardens, and hear from the experts.
Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, houses over 50,000 living plants within its grounds. Visit stunning glass houses and walk through beautiful, sculptured gardens, featuring floras from Asia to the Alps. Enjoy a Thames River Dinner Cruise and admire this magnificent city from the water. Sit back and take in the striking landmarks and bridges, and enjoy the eclectic riverbank architecture along with a delicious meal.
After breakfast bid your Travel Director and fellow travel companions farewell, and transfer to London Heathrow Airport to meet your ongoing flight.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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