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England's Castles, Manors & Gardens

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Wisley Gardens
Tour Style: Special Interest
10 Days from $2,850 per person

Admire the vivid colors and delicious scents of Britain's blooms as you ramble through manicured gardens and untamed natural landscapes. 

See the world-famous Kew Gardens, the luscious rose buds at RHS Garden Wisley and the maze at Hampton Court Palace before enjoying a ride on the Bluebell Railway and visiting the award-winning gardens of Hever Castle.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. After checking in at your hotel, why not explore the city of London? Whether you stroll through one of the Royal Parks, shop in the vibrant West End or visit one of the world-famous historical attractions, London has plenty to keep you entertained. Later meet with your Travel Director and fellow companions for a traditional English pub Welcome Reception.
  3. See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace on your half-day introductory sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist. This afternoon enjoy an included visit to the Kew Gardens. This botanical garden is known as the world's most famous – a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising centuries of royal history. Explore inside the vast Victorian glasshouses and see the indoor galleries. Here you will take an included 40-minute bus tour around part of the garden. Tonight consider joining your Travel Director for dinner at a lively restaurant or perhaps take in a West End show.
  4. This morning travel to the pleasant RHS Garden Wisley. Renowned as the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley captures the imagination with richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the state-of-the-art glasshouse. Here you will enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing guided walking tour in parts of the garden. You will then have free time for lunch in one of the restaurants in the grounds. This afternoon visit Hampton Court Palace, the most modern, sophisticated and magnificent palace of its age. See the vast Tudor kitchens and the tapestries in the Great Hall with a Local Specialist. Lose yourself in the most famous Maze and visit the Privy Garden.
  5. This morning travel south and visit Sheffield Park and Gardens. The National Trust acquired this property in 1954 and the garden comprises four large lakes and a variety of rare trees and shrubs. The magnificent landscaping of the garden was laid out in the 18th century by Capability Brown. From Sheffield Park enjoy a ride on one of England's most famous steam trains – the Bluebell Railway. Later arrive in Eastbourne for a two night stay, and enjoy a Regional Meal at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, RM
    hotel:The Grand/Hilton Avisford/Hilton Brighton/The Cavendish/The View
  6. After a leisurely start enjoy a drive along the coast to Brighton. Thanks to the Prince Regent the town has always enjoyed a reputation for elegance, fun and architecture. You may decide to visit the impressive Brighton Pavilion or shop for interesting items in “The Lanes” which form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterized by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. Perhaps enjoy fish and chips for lunch before returning to your hotel. This evening is free to dine at one of the local restaurants.
  7. Travel to Dover for a Cultural Insight into the history of the White Cliffs of Dover. Learn about the significance of the cliffs and the conservation thereof. Later visit Canterbury which is a historic English cathedral city. Parts of the city have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thomas Becket's murder at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 led to the Cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide and this pilgrimage later provided the theme for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century literary classic 'The Canterbury Tales'. You will have free time to explore the city before enjoying a delicious Be My Guest cream tea at Mount Ephraim Country House later this afternoon. Then it is on to your hotel in Kent for a two-night stay.
    meal(s):FB, BG, D
    hotel:Mercure Tunbridge Wells/Mercure Great Danes/Ashford International
  8. After a leisurely start this morning, visit the beautiful gardens at Sissinghurst. This garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. Sissinghurst's garden is one of the best-loved in the whole of the United Kingdom, drawing visitors from all over the world. The garden itself is designed as a series of “rooms”, each with a different character of color and/or theme, divided by high clipped hedges and pink brick walls.
  9. Enjoy a visit to Hever Castle for a guided tour of these award-winning formal gardens. Each garden has its own style and character, from the giant topiary chess set and herb collection of the Tudor Garden to the magnificent Pompeiian Wall and collection of classical statuary in the Italian Garden. The celebrated Rose Garden contains over 4,000 roses within its walls, and there's an impressive herbaceous border stretching over 100 meters. You will also have an included ticket to see inside the castle itself at your own pace. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and it has become well known as the childhood home of its most famous inhabitant, Anne Boleyn – wife of Henry VIII. Later travel a short distance to visit Chartwell, where Sir Winston Churchill lived with his wife until his death in 1965. Now owned by the National Trust, the house and gardens have been beautifully preserved. Return to London this evening where you will enjoy a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, FD
  10. Say goodbye to your fellow travelers at the end of your vacation. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

8 nights, 8 full breakfasts, 1 cream tea, 4 dinners, On-trip discount.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Enjoy a delightful English cream tea with the Dawes family at the elegant Mount Ephraim Country House and Gardens

Cultural Insight

  • Learn about the significance and conservation of the White Cliffs of Dover National Trust Site

Small Group Sightseeing

  • Gain an inside view into the work that went into and history of the beautiful RHS Garden Wisley

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in London and a guided tour at Hampton Court Palace

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London
  • Orientation of Brighton
  • Visit Kew Gardens, RHS Garden Wisley, Hampton Court Palace, Capability Brown's Sheffield Park and Gardens, the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover conservation project, Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Gardens, Hever Castle, Winston Churchill's Chartwell
  • View Canterbury Cathedral
  • Enjoy a ride on one of England's famous steam trains - the Bluebell Railway
  • Tickets for Chelsea Flower Show are included on certain departures
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
12 Aug 17 21 Aug 17 checkmark $2,850pp Call 1-877-622-9109

 Chelsea Flower Show: We’ve included Chelsea Flower Show tickets on Day 3 of the May 22, May 23 & May 24 departures, to replace the excursion to RHS Garden Wisley. Hampton Court Palace visit will be moved to Day 2 and Kew Gardens will be visited on morning of Day 4.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $700 p.p.

Triple Discount: from $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $64 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to UK must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering the UK.

  • The currency in the UK is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in the UK. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast.  In larger cities like London you’ll also find restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine.

  • The climate in the UK and Ireland is temperate, with regular rainfall throughout the year. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress.  A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping is less common than in the U.S. When dining out, some restaurants will add a service charge of 12.5 percent to your bill, especially for groups.  If a service hasn’t been added, it’s appropriate to leave 10 – 15 percent gratuity.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


Monday, June 12, 2017
Service rating : We were interested primarily in the Chelsea Flower Show, and went to that event trouble free. Also, enjoyed the other gardens and estates. Very busy schedule ( 7 am until 8:30 pm) most days but fun and we now have many wonderful memories.
Vacation : Gave my response to previous questions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Brighton Walking Tour And Royal Pavilion

Adult Price: £25

The coastal city of Brighton is rich in heritage and full of Regency architecture. Your Local Specialist will show you its fascinating past, taking you through the medieval lanes, and for a guided visit of the Royal Pavilion and Gardens.


Canterbury Cathedral Discovery

Adult Price: £25

Take a guided walk with us through the medieval walled city of Canterbury. You’ll visit the exquisite head church of the Anglican Religion and see where the shrine of Thomas A Beckett lay - a medieval pilgrimage site and inspiration for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.


Les Miserables and Dinner

Adult Price: £77

The timeless story of Jean Valjean, set in 19th century France and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread.

Wicked and Dinner

Adult Price: £71

Wicked tells the musical tale of two unlikely friends in the land of Oz (pre-Dorothy) and their remarkable journey to becoming the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

Royal Tunbridge Wells

A Visit to Leeds Castle

Adult Price: £32

This afternoon, enjoy a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent, known as 'the loveliest castle in the world'. You’ll also be able to see its magnificent gardens and surrounding parkland. In Tudor times, Henry VIII visited frequently with his Queen, Catherine of Aragon, and their entire court on the way to the tournament of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, which took place in France in 1520. Henry's son, King Edward VI, granted the castle to one of Henry's courtiers for his services.

Chiddingstone Dinner And Rock Formations

Adult Price: £35

Join us for a scenic drive through the winding, leafy lanes of Sussex and Kent to visit a quintessentially British historic village. Have a locally brewed pint and enjoy a two-course meal of the highest calibre in a traditional pub full of charm and character.

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