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Garden Tours

Garden Tours - Flower Shows, Blossoms & Blooms

 

Our garden tours visit a variety of places, including iconic tour destinations, quaint country villages and bustling towns/cities, for a nice balanced touring adventure. The main focus is of course the gardens. There are flower-filled gardens, formal and informal, large and small, planned and wild, all bursting into riots of color and overloading the senses with fragrant smells and sights. We strive to present a garden tour to interest all levels of gardeners, from beginners to horticultural society members. Something to suit all guests!

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Garden Tours - Flower Shows, Blossoms & Blooms
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RHS Chelsea Flower Show, English Gardens of Kent and Cotswolds Tour

May 16th - May 23rd 2018
May 15th - May 22nd 2019

This tour is designed as a brief introduction to the gardens in two of England loveliest counties, Kent, and the Heart of England. There are flower-filled gardens, formal and informal, large and small, planned and wild, all bursting into riots of color and overloading the senses with fragrant smells and sights.

 

Going beyond the usual tourist route in our mini-coach, off the beaten track where those herded on impersonal big buses can’t go, we will introduce you to some local treasures as well as the major sites. Your multi-talented driver/guide will fill in each touring day as time will permit, with visits to some little local gems, participants in the National Gardens Scheme, gardens open for charity. We’ll see properties designed by some of the ‘Best of British,’ Gertrude Jekyll, ‘Capability’ Brown and maybe discover the next ‘Big Thing’ at the Chelsea Flower Show.

 

The highlight of our gardening adventure is sure to be an annual membership in the Royal Horticultural Society. The RHS is the premiere UK gardening organization. Membership offers a host of benefits including a garden magazine full of gardening advice, discounted/complimentary entrances to dozens of gardens throughout the year and priority access to the RHS Flower Shows. Your tour package also includes a full day ticket to a member only day to the Chelsea Flower Show. This delightful tour is sure to please everyone, avid gardeners and beginners alike!

 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show anticipated show dates:

22-26 May, 2018

21-25 May, 2019

19-23 May, 2020

 

This is our most popular scheduled tour itineraries — Book early to avoid disappointment!

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Gardens of North Wales & Cheshire featuring RHS Chatsworth Estate Flower Show

June 03rd - June 09th 2018

Welsh Gardens are lush and green, thanks to the high volume of rainfall, higher altitudes, the climate is certainly wetter and usually windier than in neighboring England, these conditions create uniquely Welsh spaces. North Wales is home to the fantastic scenery of Snowdonia National Park, Isle of Angelsey and the most impressive range of 12th Century castles of anywhere in the British Isles! It is not often appreciated that this northern end of the Principality boasts some of the finest gardens in the UK. Enjoy the wonderful tranquility of a Victorian coastal resort, uncover a fabulous industrial heritage, prehistoric tombs and evidence of the rich Celtic culture of our forefathers.

 

Also explore a sampling of the best Cheshire Gardens. From stately homes and secret gardens, botanic blooms, the quintessentially English at Arley Hall & Gardens to exotic, oriental planting at Tatton Park, it’s the ever-changing landscape of the region that continues to inspire and attract. We also have time to explore the best of the classic stately homes of the Peak District.

 

Our grand highlight of this garden adventure is sure to be a full day at the RHS’s newest flower show, the first annual RHS Chatsworth Estate Flower Show!

 

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show – 6–10 June, 2018

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Belgium-Holland: Spring Blooms, Mediaeval Splendour

April 14th - April 20th 2018
April 13th - April 19th 2019

The ‘Low Countries’ are home to dozens of Europe’s finest gardens, medieval villages and world famous gourmet cuisine, chocolates and beers. Sample a selection of the area’s best gardens. There’s the stunning spectacular that is Keukenhof and Holland’s famed bulb fields, April is indeed Tulip Time!

 

As an added treat, enjoy the Spring Show in Groot–Bijgaarden, Belgium’s rival to Keukenhof. Also explore the National Botanical Gardens of Belgium, Kalmthout Arboretum plus stunning Mediaeval towns/cities Leuven, Antwerp, Gent/Ghent, Brugge/Bruges, Delft and the option to go into Amsterdam.

 

Experience the distinct local cultures of each country, sample the fine local cuisine, dishes that can be found nowhere else – there are specialty treats, different types of Belgian waffles and the best chocolates in the world. This is a lovely week in an area all too often overlooked!

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Gardens of Paris and Loire Valley…including Versailles & Giverny

April 26th - May 01st 2018
April 25th - April 30th 2019

The landscape of Paris is instantly recognizable, historic and iconic sites abound, old and modern sitting side by side throughout the city. On this short tour, sample some of the best of the green spaces that delight the locals. Experience a unique introduction to Paris, its landscapes, its daily life, its artistic heritage.

 

Nearby the city centre are amazing countryside settings, Versailles Palace and the haunts of artists, Monet’s Giverny and Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise. Also, there are the grand houses and châteaux of the Loire Valley, covering many different styles and designs, sitting in magnificent gardens and boasting everything from water features to lavish landscapes. Come and enjoy some of the best gardens surrounding the capital!

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Holland Tulip Time and Dutch Gardens

Custom trip - As you please!

The Netherlands is home to dozens of Europe’s finest gardens, medieval villages and gourmet cuisine. We will sample a selection of the area’s best gardens.

 

Along our specialty trail, we will uncover some hidden gems such as the country’s largest collection of orchids and amazing ornamental water displays. Then there’s the famed stunning spectacular that is Keukenhof Gardens and Holland’s famed bulb fields. Their website says, “Haven’t seen Keukenhof? Then you haven’t seen the Netherlands.” The claim that you won’t find such an abundance of colours and fragrances anywhere else is certainly true!

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Gardens of Belgium & Southern Holland

Custom trip - As you please!

The area of Flanders and Southern Holland is home to dozens of Europe’s finest gardens, medieval villages and world famous gourmet cuisine, chocolates and beers. We will sample a selection of the area’s best gardens, formal and backyard, rock gardens, Japanese and botanicals.

 

This is a lovely few days in an area all too often overlooked!

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North Wales Sampler – Celts, Castles & Gardens

Custom trip - As you please!

North Wales is home to the fantastic scenery of Snowdonia National Park, Isle of Angelsey and the most impressive range of 12th century castles of anywhere in the British Isles. Enjoy the wonderful tranquility of a Victorian coastal resort and a steam train ride into the mountains. Uncover a fabulous industrial heritage, prehistoric tombs and evidence of the rich Celtic culture of our forefathers. All in all, this is a lovely short break in the stunning Welsh countryside!

 

This tour can link with the South Wales Sampler tour via easy rail connections between London and Manchester. Please ask us for details

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England's West Country Gardens, Devon and Cornwall

Custom trip - As you please!

The south-west corner of England enjoys a more temperate climate than the remainder of the country. Here, the warm Gulf Stream washes the coast and the soft undulations of the hills and high hedgerows shield gardens from the ravages of the worst weather. It’s not surprising, then, to find a concentration of England’s finest gardens all gathered here. First time visitors do gasp at the profusion of species, even finding palm trees totally unexpected!

 

Our tour features a diverse selection of the best gardens - large and small, public and private, formal, wild and tropical. All of these stunning horticultural landscapes along with the charming local sites, quaint harbors, rugged coastline, ancient stone circles, freshly caught seafood, local specialties of pasties and cream teas to sample and last but not least, the friendliness of the local people. According to the Cornwall Gardens Guide, “Cornwall is often described as the 'garden capital of the world' as the lush vegetation and colour give garden lovers a feast for the eyes all year round.”

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Yorkshire Gardens with Harrogate Flower Show

Custom trip - As you please!

The dramatic Northern landscapes of The Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors are home to some of the UK’s best gardens. There are sculpted formal stately home gardens, lavish parklands, herberies and local stone cottage gems. Our journey will take us through the scenic landscapes that inspired James Herriot. Experience British Gardens through the ages, waterfalls and wildlife viewing opportunities. Explore charming market towns, magnificent ruined abbeys and monasteries and sample the best of local treats.

 

A highlight of your gardening adventure can be a full day experiencing the largest independent flower show in the UK, Harrogate Flower Show at Great Yorkshire Showground. The show is on twice annually, in April and September. Please contact us for specific date information to include the show in your Torkshire Gardens Adventure!

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Kent "Garden of England" sampler: Sissinghurst & Great Dixter SATURDAY Day Trip

Day Trip!

London Escapes with a Difference! Small Group Touring, from 2 to 16 guests

 

Special Themes: Gardens, Literary Heritage, Downton Abbey, Antiques, Tudors, Britain at War...

 

What makes us different? SGT strives to get you off the beaten track so you can have an authentic experience, the opportunity to mingle with the locals. We do not like 'whistle stops' and it is our goal to have guests off of the vehicle exploring as much as possible.

 

Your SMALL GROUP day trip accommodates from a minimum of 2 guests to a max of just 16 guests per departure. Travel in (dependant on participant numbers) a standard car, MPV/SUV or mini-coach.

 

DEPARTURE POINT: Novotel Hammersmith, 1 Shortlands, London W6 (approx 5 minutes walk from Hammersmith tube station/District & Piccadilly lines; Mall/King Street exit, go right out of the station onto Hammersmith Rd then right onto Shortlands)

 

DEPARTURE TIME: 09:00

 

 

All scheduled day trips go out weekly with a minimum of 2 guests per travel date. Also available any day/date for private departures, subject to vehicle and driver/guide availability. Private departures cost will depend on how many in your party/size of vehicle.

 

SGT DAY TRIPS  Year Round Departures (Saturdays, as noted)

 

MONDAYS      Shakespeare Country: Stratford-Upon-Avon & Cotswolds Villages...including Downton Abbey villages

 

TUESDAYS     Jane Austen’s Hampshire: Chawton & Winchester

 

WEDNESDAYS Jane Austen’s Bath & Lacock

 

THURSDAYS  Cambridge & IWM Duxford RAF Aviation Museum

 

FRIDAYS        London Antiques Markets & Globe Theatre

 

SATURDAYS ‘Garden of England’ Sampler: Sissinghurst & Great Dixter (April - September)

 

SATURDAYS Heroes of WWII: Royal Air Force & Codebreakers of Bletchley Park (October - March)

 

SUNDAYS      Royal Gardens/Winter Hothouse Gardens: Kew & RHS Wisley 

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Royal Hothouse Gardens: Kew & Wisley SUNDAY Day Trip

Day Trip!

London Escapes with a Difference! Small Group Touring, from 2 to 16 guests

 

Special Themes: Gardens, Literary Heritage, Downton Abbey, Antiques, Tudors, Britain at War...

 

What makes us different? SGT strives to get you off the beaten track so you can have an authentic experience, the opportunity to mingle with the locals. We do not like 'whistle stops' and it is our goal to have guests off of the vehicle exploring as much as possible.

 

Your SMALL GROUP day trip accommodates from a minimum of 2 guests to a max of just 16 guests per departure. Travel in (dependant on participant numbers) a standard car, MPV/SUV or mini-coach.

 

DEPARTURE POINT: Novotel Hammersmith, 1 Shortlands, London W6 (approx 5 minutes walk from Hammersmith tube station/District & Piccadilly lines; Mall/King Street exit, go right out of the station onto Hammersmith Rd then right onto Shortlands)

 

DEPARTURE TIME: 09:00

 

 

 

All scheduled day trips go out weekly with a minimum of 2 guests per travel date. Also available any day/date for private departures, subject to vehicle and driver/guide availability. Private departures cost will depend on how many in your party/size of vehicle.

 

SGT DAY TRIPS  Year Round Departures (Saturdays, as noted)

 

MONDAYS      Shakespeare Country: Stratford-Upon-Avon & Cotswolds Villages...including Downton Abbey villages

 

TUESDAYS     Jane Austen’s Hampshire: Chawton & Winchester

 

WEDNESDAYS Jane Austen’s Bath & Lacock

 

THURSDAYS  Cambridge & IWM Duxford RAF Aviation Museum

 

FRIDAYS        London Antiques Markets & Globe Theatre

 

SATURDAYS ‘Garden of England’ Sampler: Sissinghurst & Great Dixter (April - September)

 

SATURDAYS Heroes of WWII: Royal Air Force & Codebreakers of Bletchley Park (October - March)

 

SUNDAYS      Royal Gardens/Winter Hothouse Gardens: Kew & RHS Wisley 

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Kent & Sussex Literary Landscapes: Dickens, 'Bloomsbury Group,' 'James Bond' & Jane Austen

Custom trip - As you please!

The county of Kent is known as ‘The Garden of England’ and we will see a variety of properties connected to some well known British writers including Virginia Woolf, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, James Bond's Ian Fleming and some film locations for recent Jane Austen films. See a place or two with a real life connection to our Ms Austen too!

 

In addition to gardens and the marvelously scenic countryside, dotted with oast houses and sometimes lavender fields, this region offers opulent stately homes, historic castles and a rich history dating from the time England began. This tour is designed to hopefully be a fun twist on the usual stately homes and country gardens tour, to satisfy the literary minded and general interest alike!

 

All this, plus if you choose a June departure date, the opportunity to meet the locals at the annual Broadstairs Dickens Festival. Note that the Dickens Festival is held annually 3rd week of June, subject to schedules and availability.

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Downton Abbey and Jane Austen: Stately Homes and Country Villages

Custom trip - As you please!

On this adventure into the 'World of Downton Abbey' we will visit film sites, places immediately recognizable from the show, but also highlight places that would have been a part of the world of the Crawley family. See stately homes, stunning gardens, classical British sites like Oxford and Winchester. Explore what life was like in the time period of Downton, through the Great War, the Suffragette Movement, the rise of 'new American money' families and the emerging art and writing communities like The Bloomsbury group. Along the way, see 'Jane Austen Country' in the lovely county of Hampshire, enjoy sumptuous afternoon teas, country pub meals and time in the ever evolving capital city of London, a favourite of every age!