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PRIVATE 7 DAY GREAT GARDENS OF ENGLAND TOUR

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  • Personal Service - from enquiry to departure.
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Tour Details

Get set for an incredible journey around the very best gardens in England, some might say the world, where you will also get to visit some truly outstanding castles and stately homes along the way. From the sprawling, magnificent Cliveden House, to the intimate gardens of Great Dixter, this tour of England’s greatest gardens has it all.

All of our tours are fully customisable.

Departure & Return Location

London Heathrow Airport

Points of Interest

  • Stroll around Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens
  • Arundel Castle & Gardens, Explore Petworth, Petworth House & Park
  • Nymans Gardens, wine tour and tasting at Bolney Wine Estate
  • Hever Castle & Gardens, Penshurst Place & Gardens
  • Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Great Dixter Gardens
  • Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley Garden), luxury boat tour at Cliveden House
  • Cliffs of Moher, Burren National Park, Galway, Adare

Hotels

  • Alexander House, West Sussex (4 nights)
  • Cliveden House, Maidenhead (2 nights)

Included:

  • Personalised itinerary
  • Executive vehicle & knowledgable chauffeur driver for route according to itinerary
  • Services of private local guides in activities according to itinerary
  • Admissions to all sites according to itinerary
  • Accommodation according to itinerary
  • Breakfast at all Hotels Included
  • Dedicated Travel Co-ordinator
Map
Itinerary

Day 1Stroll around Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Accommodation – Alexander House, West Sussex (4 nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer

Dinner Reservation – Dine at Alexander House AG Restaurant

Upon arrival at Heathrow Airport, you will be greeted by your Luxury England Tours representative and your tour of the great gardens of England will be underway.

Today you will visit Leondardslee Lakes and Gardens in Horsham. The fact you are able to visit these gardens at all is very fortunate as they were closed for 10 years, and it was touch and go whether they would ever open to the public again. However, thanks to the tireless work of many, these magnificent ancient gardens underwent a painstaking restoration, returning them to their former glory.

As a grade 1 listed garden, you are kicking your trip off with a true gem. There are a number of very rare trees and shrubs within the grounds, though whether rare or not, every inch of Leonardslee is a sight to behold. Luscious greens and yellows surround picture perfect lakes.

Animal lovers will be delighted to know that there is an absolute abundance of wildlife on site. Many creatures make Leonardslee home, from shrews, voles, and rabbits, to green woodpeckers, herons, and the majestic kingfisher. There is also a huge deer park with Fallow and Sika deer.

However, the stars of the show have to be the Bennett’s Wallabies. These were introduced to the area way back in 1889 and continue to thrive today thanks to the maternity enclosure for breeding pairs. You can visit the enclosure to catch sight of the tiny joeys sticking close to their mother’s side.

Leonardslee also has an impressive sculpture park and art gallery, miniature doll’s house museum, and three cafes to keep you full of energy.

From there you will be driven to your accommodation, Alexander House, which also has a 120 acre garden for you to explore. You can also make use of the Utopia Spa, which includes hot tubs, treatment rooms, and a very unique outdoor barrel sauna.

After a long day travelling you will be glad to know you won’t have far to go for dinner as you’ll be eating in the hotel’s AG Restaurant. Head chef Johnny Stanford has lovingly created a 10-course experience, the exact details of which change to suit the in-season produce. You can expect to sample razor clam, Trenchmore wagyu beef, and Wye Valley rhubarb.

Day 2Arundel Castle & Gardens, Explore Petworth, Petworth House & Park

Accommodation – Alexander House, West Sussex
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer

Dinner Reservation – Reflections

Your first full day of touring begins with a visit to Arundel Castle and Gardens. Steeped in 1,000 years of history and enjoying views over the river Arun, this truly wonderful castle and gardens is sure to blow your mind.

This historic sight has witnessed a great deal of English history over the centuries, passing through the hands of numerous Kings, Queens, and noble families. You can explore many impressive buildings, including the Fitzalan Chapel, Inner Gatehouse, and the fortified Keep.

From there you can stroll around the gardens which play host to an unusual Stumpery, glasshouses, and the Collector Earl’s stately garden. Let the gentle scents of the Rose Garden wash over you before visiting the Kitchen Garden which supplies seasonal produce.

There is a breath-taking sight around every corner at Arundel.

You will then have time to explore the sleepy town of Petworth. A wander down the pretty streets followed by a coffee and cake in one of the cafes will be the perfect pit stop before your journey continues to Petworth House and Park.

This 12th century stately house sits in a 700 acre deer park and boasts a fine lake. Petworth House itself is a grand example of a Baroque inspired design and it’s a joy to stroll through the many opulent rooms within. It also boasts a large collection of artwork, tapestries, books, and sculptures, including an exhibition of the celebrated author Beatrix Potter.

There used to be a grand formal garden at Petworth House, but this was transformed into the deer park of today back in 1741. However, the change from formal garden to deer park is certainly not a downgrade as the grounds are some of the most impressive and relaxing parklands to explore in England.

From there you will return to Alexander House where tonight you will be dining in another of its restaurants, Reflections. This double rosette restaurant looks on to the internal courtyard, providing the perfect backdrop to another evening of fine dining.

Day 3Nymans Gardens, wine tour and tasting at Bolney Wine Estate

Accommodation – Alexander House, West Sussex
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer

Dinner Reservation – Rocca Mediterranean Kitchen & Cocktail Bar

First up today is a real treat, Nymans Gardens. This garden is absolutely bustling with colour and character and is set within a collection of medieval style houses and ruins which adds a romantic charm.

There are many distinct areas in the gardens, including a South African meadow and terrace area. The “summer borders” are an especial delight as they explode in colour in the summer months. The work which goes into this garden is incredible, with over 5,000 annuals, grown in the Nymans nursery, planted each and every year.

As you stroll around this charming spot, look out for the so-called “spy tower” and the visible differences in style due to the fact that the building was remodelled many times over the years.
Having strolled around Nymans you may have an appetite, which is just as well as up next you’ll enjoy a cheese and wine tasting at Bolney Wine Estate.

This tour has it all. You will begin with an informative tour around the vineyard, learning all about the history of Bolney and how they grow perfect grapes.

From there you’ll head to the modern winery to hear how the expert winemakers produce their award-winning wines. Last but not least you will enjoy a sumptuous tasting experience, sampling 5 wines which are paired with the perfect cheeses to compliment their subtle flavours.

You will then be driven back to Alexander House before heading out to dinner at Rocca Mediterranean Kitchen & Cocktail Bar. Rocca’s is more than just a restaurant, it’s an institution, having served the highest quality food since 1837.

There is an extensive Mediterranean menu at Rocca’s so you are sure to find something to suit your taste and will most likely be planning your next trip there as soon as you’re finished eating. From seafood and pasta to the range of chargrilled meats and vegetarian/vegan menu, there are all sorts of delicious dishes. Highlights include the lamb moussaka and grilled swordfish.
Be sure to check out the cocktail menu too, which stocks all the classics as well as the Rocca Red Dream.

Day 4Hever Castle & Gardens, Penshurst Place & Gardens

Accommodation – Alexander House, West Sussex
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer

Dinner Reservation – London Road Bar & Grill

After a delicious breakfast your driver will take you to the first stop of the day, Hever Castle and Gardens in Kent. Hever Castle dates back to 1270, when it was originally a defensive structure.
Hever Castle was also home to one of the most important figures in English history, Anne Boleyn, one of King Henry VIII’s six wives. It was their desire to get married which led to King Henry’s rejection of the Catholic Church and the formation of the Church of England, a pivotal event with massive repercussions for Tudor England which still resonate today.

The castle was in decline before William Waldorf Astor took on the task of transforming it into what it is today, a splendid family home replete with his very own “Astor Wing”. It was also William who oversaw the development of the wonderful gardens, including its own lake.

The gardens contain a Pompeiian Wall, stunning statues in the Italian Garden, and a multitude of fountains, cascades, and grottoes which are a pleasure to stroll through. Why not take time to wind your way through the Rhododendron Walk and Tudor Garden, marvelling at the huge variety of brightly coloured flowers on display.

There are also mazes, a Japanese tea house, and boating on the lake, so there is no shortage of activities to enjoy at Hever Castle.

Up next is a trip to Penshurst Place and Gardens. The original building was finished in 1341 and included the must-see Baron’s Hall which has a stunning 60ft high ceiling and is furnished with grand suits of armour. The other rooms are equally impressive; so much so that many films and TV series have been shot there. The castle is also brimming with antiques such as giant tapestries, furniture, and paintings.

Out in the gardens you will find a collection of garden “rooms” each divided from the other by yew hedges and with their own unique style and palette of colours. Beyond these gardens extends over 50 acres of grounds and lakes, such as the Trout Lake and Lancup Well.

For those looking for a slightly longer walk, there are two trails through the parkland surrounding Penshurst – the Parkland walk and the Riverside walk – both of which provide unrivalled scenery to enjoy.

You will be staying in Alexander House again tonight and have dinner reservations at the London Road Bar and Grill. This is a meat lover’s paradise with treats including roasted baby back ribs, BBQ pulled pork, lamb kofte, and a selection of the finest steaks from Smithfields Market.

Day 5Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Great Dixter Gardens

Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer
Dinner Reservation – The Astor Grill

Day five brings yet more joyous gardens to visit and first up is a trip to Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens. Sissinghurst has an incredibly varied history. The original site was a Saxon pig farm, before becoming a prison for French prisoners of the Seven Years War, a workhouse, a farm, and a key site for the Women’s Land Army during World War II.

Sissinghurst has gardens which are as varied as the Castle’s past. The site is renowned as one of the very best in England and here you’ll be able to visit the Rose Garden, White Garden, South Cottage Garden, Herb Garden, The Lime Walk, and Delos.

There is also an orchard, which contains a gazebo where Nigel Nicolson wrote Portrait of a Marriage. You can still see the desk he worked at there today. This is a perfect spot for some quiet reflection while looking out over the Weald of Kent.

Your driver will then whisk you through some beautiful countryside to reach Great Dixter Gardens, the home of world-renowned gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd.
The original house at Great Dixter was built in the 1400’s and comprises the Great Hall, Parlour, Solar, and Yeoman’s Hall.

The gardens offer something quirky and different, and you will doubtless enjoy getting lost in their many winding pathways with new and colourful surprises around every corner.
Great Dixter is also proud to continue the legacy of Christopher Lloyd by maintaining the nursery which he founded in 1954 and still raises a range of the finest plants and flowers. You can even buy Great Dixter seeds.

Tonight, you will be staying in Cliveden House which can only be described as completely and utterly jaw-dropping. Built in 1666 as a gift for the Duke of Buckingham’s mistress, this 5 AA Red Star hotel is the definition of luxury.

From the moment you arrive you will be in awe at the ornate surroundings and sheer opulence of Cliveden House. There is a spa to relax in and enjoy a range of treatments or simply bathe in the outdoor swimming pool.

You will then dine in the Astor Grill, named after the one time owner of Cliveden, William Waldorf Astor, who you may recall also renovated Hever Castle. With an equestrian theme drawing on the nearby stables, Astor Grill is an idyllic setting for an evening meal where you can enjoy truffle risotto, Chalkstream Trout, or roasted duck.

Day 6Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley Garden), luxury boat tour at Cliveden House

Accommodation – Cliveden House, Maidenhead
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer

Dinner Reservation – Cliveden Dining Room

Your final day begins with a visit to the Royal Horticultural Society – Wisley Garden. Wisley is actually the original home of the RHS and is sure to leave you marvelling at the impressive gardens on display.

There are no fewer than 30 distinct gardens and areas to explore, and we recommend packing in as much as you can while you’re here as each one offers something special.
The Wellbeing Garden, for instance, is used by the Wisley Home of Gardening Science to investigate how gardening is good for our health. If you want to know more about the research that goes on here, head over to RHS Hilltop to hear all about the many streams of research that are carried out.

Other highlights include the Exotic Garden, with its unusual plants and trickling fountain, the Rock Garden, for something where the focus is not just on the flora on show, and the Herons Bonsai Walk, where you will find some of the finest specimens of those terrific little trees in the world.

From there you can take a stroll through the Mediterranean Terraces, the orchard, or the Pinetum.

After a splendid time at Wisley, you will return to Cliveden House for a special treat, a luxury boat tour down the River Thames on one of the exquisitely restored vintage riverboats. Cliveden offer some little extras, such as an afternoon tea picnic and Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

Your final evening will be spent dining in the finest surroundings as you sample the delights on offer at Cliveden’s Dining Room. With stunning views over the River Thames and Parterre, and surrounded by classical artwork and elaborate furnishings, there could not be a better spot to enjoy dinner.

There is a 7 course tasting menu or 3 course à la carte menu on offer, both of which use the finest English ingredients. Tuck into honey-cured arctic char, 28-day aged beef fillet, and white chocolate mousse.

All that is left to do is enjoy the rest of your evening and get a great nights sleep before heading home in the morning.

Day 7Departure

Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer

And so ends your tour of the most stunning gardens of England. Your Luxury England Tours representative will take you to Heathrow Airport and wish you safe travels. We hope to see you again soon!

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