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Yorkshire Gardens with Harrogate Flower Show


Stately Homes and Beautiful Landscapes

5 days/4 nights days from York


Why not travel with your garden club?!

Overviewicon Itineraryicon

This is a suggested tour itinerary for private departures, adjustable to best suit your specific wishes. Price based on how many travelers, your chosen package inclusions and your chosen level of accommodation.


This tour begins and ends in York.




This tour begins and ends in York. York is the 'heart of Yorkshire' and easily accessible via rail from London Kings X (2 hours direct,) Manchester (1.5 hours direct) and Edinburgh (2.5 hours direct.)


Mobility Note: This garden tour involves ample walking and visits many rural locations and places of interest with several steep inclines, many with pathways of grass, stone, gravel and dirt which can be very slippery when wet. Suitable footwear is essential. Those with mobility issues may not find this itinerary suitable. If in doubt, please discuss conditions with us.


York is a fabulous walled city that has much to offer its visitors! There’s the splendid Minster, the city centre castle, the medieval shopping 'Shambles,' Jorkvik Viking Centre, the Roman walls and heritage, the 10 acre listed Botanical gardens around the York Museum and the gardens of the Treasurer's House. Also possible, the York Quilt Museum and 'Crafter's Trail' as options. York is well worth ample time either pre or post tour. SGT is happy to assist with adding accommodation, rail tickets and The York Pass for attractions to your tour package as you wish.

Day 1



We will depart our meeting point in York at approximately 9am. Our day will spend time on the edge of the sometimes heather-covered North Yorkshire Moors.


Our first place of interest is The Walled Garden of Scampston. This contemporary gem was created by Piet Oudolf in the setting of an 18th Century kitchen garden space. The traditional garden surrounds the family home at Scampston, the estate parklands originally designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. The Walled Garden, a 4-acre gem divided into 9 unique areas, has been called a 21st Century 'plantsman's paradise.'


Also today, there’s what might just be the most spectacular stately home in Yorkshire, Castle Howard. This beautiful palace, recently used in the Brideshead Revisited film, is still lived in by the Howard family who built it in the 18th Century. You'll have free time here to explore the house and grounds. The gardens feature temples, lakes, statuary, fountains and acres of parklands. In the Walled Garden, enjoy the 18th Century collection of roses and delphiniums and meander the pathways of seasonal displays of magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons.


Our overnight location is the charming town of Ripon, a place worth some time during our stay over the next few days. You can see the captivating 7th Century cathedral and the town itself is a meandering of medieval streets dotted with tea rooms and arts & crafts shops.



Day 2



RHS Harlow Carr is an expansive and tranquil space dominated by water, stone and woodland blended into its Dales surroundings. Wander streamside through the scented garden, the kitchen garden and admire the variety of planting styles. There's the 'British Gardens through the Ages' exhibit to discover. While we’re here, maybe try a famous Yorkshire Tea from the on-site Betty’s Tea Room?


The winner of the BBC Gardeners ‘World Best Garden of 2010’ award, Harewood House is also on our day’s agenda. Another massive extravaganza of beauty, the 100 acres boasts plants from around the globe set inside a landscape designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. Experience the Himalayan Garden with its winding gorge pathways bursting with primulas, orchids, cobra lilies and blue poppies. There is an opulent formal garden, walled orchard garden, aviary and Red Kite viewing opportunities. MOBILITY NOTE: Harewood House contains some quite steep pathways which can be rather slippery when wet. There is an estate bus available for those that wish but it can only access part of the garden areas.


NIGHT STOP: Ripon, same property as above

Day 3



Mount Grace Priory is an interesting stop, a monastery considered the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain. The herb gardens here have been refurbished using species prevalent in the early 16th Century, creating a stimulating, heavily fragrant atmosphere. As the herbs are attractive to wildlife, the Priory is home to many animals including a colony of stoats. If we're very lucky, we may catch a glimpse!


Richmond is called one of the nicest towns in England, situated in the heart of the Dales so a worthy choice for our lunch stop. The castle dominates the town and the steep streets are around the pretty central cobbled market square. We will discover some small local gardens during our time here.


Also today the charming landscapes around the Yorkshire Dales will be our focus. This is the area that inspired local vet Alf Wight, better known as James Herriot, to pen the All Creatures Great and Small books. Perhaps something to read prior to the tour!


NIGHT STOP: Ripon, same property as above

Day 4



Our day is another full of blossoms and blooms! Harrogate Flower Show is widely regarded as the UK's biggest and most prestigious independent gardening event. Taking place in the Great Yorkshire Showground arena, enjoy flower halls crammed with exhibitions, competition entries from all over the country vying for the coveted 'Best-in-Show' awards. The show includes a vast range of plants and garden-related products, demonstrations, a cookery theatre, crafts & gifts and specialist food outlets to sample local Yorkshire treats.


Harrogate has two annual shows, spring and fall. Please check dates with us to include time at this lovely local flower show!


NIGHT STOP: Ripon, same property as above

Day 5



Yet even more amazing houses and gardens of opulence today! We’ll go to nearby Fountains Abbey, where the Skell River Valley has been transformed into a spectacular Georgian water garden featuring canals, elegant ponds and water cascades. In this expansive landscape, there are medieval Abbey ruins, classical temples and statuary to meander.


We will also call in for a visit to Newby Hall, used recently for a film version of Mansfield Park. This 25 acre Garden features a famous double herbaceous borders flanked by several focus compartments. We can enjoy the National Collection of cornus, a water garden, roses and a contemporary sculpture park.


We will return to York by early evening.



Please note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we will do our utmost to include all of the properties mentioned as central visits, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to deliver a planned visit due to changes in opening days or times beyond our control.


Please note that your final day to day itinerary may fluctuate to accommodate variable opening times/days for listed attractions, special events and places of interest. Please discuss your needs with us for an individual itinerary with rate quote.


Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.


What Your Tour Package Includes

This is a suggested tour itinerary and can be modified to best you your individual wishes.


Suggested tour package includes: # of touring days with vehicle & exclusive services of your driver/guide/companion, your accommodation for # nights while on the tour including full breakfasts, all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide. Your price also can include dinners and/or entrance fees to attractions or these items can be left out of the up front package/to be paid directly for maximum flexibility. Airport transfers, accommodation pre and post tour, scheduled city day tours/attraction passes/transport passes or theatre/event tickets can be added to your package as you wish, subject to availability.


SGT is at your service!

Mapicon Why SGT?icon

The Special Group Tours Advantage is our unique and intimate understanding of what you expect traveling in the UK and Europe. We have not only visited but have spent many years living in and loving the cultures you will experience down the ‘B’ Roads and off the beaten track. We have worked with local suppliers and our guide/companion team for over a decade, creating unique special interest itineraries. Special Group Tours offers our “insider” knowledge to you.


The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!


At Special Group Tours, it is our priority that you have the most enjoyable holiday possible. You deserve it!