Chelsea Flower Show – 13 Days
May 15, 2017 – Guaranteed Departure TOUR DIRECTOR: MARJORIE MASON Stroll through famous gardens including Sissinghurst, Bodnant and the Wales Botanic Gardens. Cared for by some of the world’s most accomplished horticulturists, the gardens vary from eclectic to traditional, with native and exotic plantings sure to…
May 15, 2017 – Guaranteed Departure
TOUR DIRECTOR: MARJORIE MASON
Stroll through famous gardens including Sissinghurst, Bodnant and the Wales Botanic Gardens. Cared for by some of the world’s most accomplished horticulturists, the gardens vary from eclectic to traditional, with native and exotic plantings sure to spark creativity in your gardens at home. Be rejuvenated in the peaceful and lavish surroundings of Tatton Park.
Immerse yourself in local culture with free time and tours in Chester, Kent and London. Discover centuries of history as you travel through the countryside, stopping at Roman fortresses and historic cathedrals. Cruise down the River Thames and admire the natural beauty of the England’s longest river.
The highlight of your tour is the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. For over 100 years, the show brings together foremost garden designers and cutting edge plant trends for a celebration of gardening imagination.
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New: Chelsea Flower Show – 13 Days
Day 1-2: Fly to Manchester, Chester, Llandudno Bay Wales
Start your English garden adventure with an overnight flight to Manchester. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your DeNureTour representative and travel to the fascinating town of Chester. Founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D., Chester is known for its extensive, well-preserved Roman walls made of local red sandstone. In the old city, The Rows is a shopping district distinguished by 2-level covered arcades and Tudor-style half-timbre buildings.
Just beside The Rows is the magnificent Chester Abbey. Founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1092, the cathedral has a rich and varied history. Enjoy free time to explore the many wonders of the city before continuing your journey into Wales.
Llandudno is a beautiful seaside resort town located on the Creuddyn peninsula which protrudes into the Irish Sea. The town’s name is derived from its patron saint, Saint Tudno. Llandudno, “Queen of the Welsh Resorts” a title first applied as early as 1864, is now the largest seaside resort in Wales and your home away from home for the next two nights.
Stay: Llandudno Bay Hotel, Llandudno
Day 3: Tatton Park House & Gardens
Tatton Park is located in 1,000 acres of the most beautiful deer park. For nearly 400 years, the estate was the property of the Egerton family until it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1958. The former Egerton family home is open for you to explore.
Uncover centuries of history at the Tudor Old Hall and witness life above and below stairs in the mansion with a guided tour by the Butler or Housekeeper. Then spend time wandering at leisure through huge glorious gardens and meet very special rare breed animals at the working farm. You’ll love stopping off in the Stableyard where you can sit back, eat, drink, browse the shop or just watch the world go by. End your day with a walk on the beach or boardwalk, or just relax before dinner at the hotel.
Meals: B, D
Day 4: Bodnant Gardens, Betws-y-Coed, Llandridnod Wells
The garden at Bodnant has never looked better. With new areas opening and new planting schemes to enjoy, it’s a spectacular horticultural gem with seasonal planting, formal areas, wildlife havens and tranquil pools. In 2016, as well as the four National Collections already held by the garden (magnolias, eucryphias, embothriums and Rhododendron forestii), a special Bodnant hybrid Rhododendron has been recognised as a National Collection. Some of these rhododendrons are so rare there aren’t any other specimens anywhere else in the world – a truly special and unique sight.
The Snowdonia National Park consists largely of blocks of undisturbed mountain and moorland divided from each other by deep valleys along which most of the main roads have been made. A few beautiful villages such as Betws-y-Coed are the only claims that man has placed on this truly magnificent landscape. Old in culture, traditions in poetry and music may date back to the Bronze Age. The Welsh you will hear spoken everywhere in the mountain villages is Europe’s oldest living language.
Llandridnod Wells, as its name implies, is linked with the health-giving waters which it still provides for visitors today. The waters were used by the Romans and during Victorian times this quaint town saw as many as 80,000 visitors a year.
Stay: Metropole Hotel & Spa, Llandrindod Wells
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Wales Botanic Garden Carmarthenshire, Red Kite Feeding
Set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, the National Botanic Garden of Wales is a fascinating blend of the modern and historic. Here you’ll find an inspiring range of themed gardens, the world’s largest single-span glasshouse and a national nature reserve, all set in a Regency landscape. Enjoy an amazing collection of over 8000 different plant varieties, spread across 560 acres of beautiful countryside. There is a stunning range of themed gardens that appeal to a wide range of visitors, from those who just love the sights and smells, to those who want to know about plant evolution, the use of medicinal plants or scientific research. The Botanic Gardens offer something for everyone.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre sits at the head of a dramatic valley and has commanding views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains. The centre is designed to fit naturally into the landscape and to provide bird lovers the ideal opportunity to witness Red Kites, Buzzards and other birds feeding. Visitors may sit in the specially built hide only feet away from diving birds and observe them competing naturally for the meat provided by the feeding centre. Around 50+ birds may be seen gathering before the feed, soaring high into the sky until they start diving onto their food. In addition to Kites, Buzzards and Ravens may also join the fun! Red kites, Wales’s National Bird of Prey, is a magnificently graceful bird and easy to spot with its reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. It was saved from national extinction by one of the world’s longest running protection programmes and has now been successfully re-introduced to Wales, England and Scotland.
Meals: B, D
Day 6: Dewstow Gardens & Grottoes, Woodstock
Imagine discovering a lost garden with tunnels and underground grottoes buried under thousands of tonnes of soil for over 50 years. That’s what happened at Dewstow gardens. Built around 1895 the gardens were buried just after World War Two and rediscovered in 2000. An incredible restoration job now sees all back to former glory. The gardens contain many ponds and rills but interestingly a labyrinth of underground grottoes, tunnels and sunken ferneries. The rock gardens are made up of a mixture of real stone and faced stone using various types of Pulhamite. It’s a great place to enjoy the gardens and explore the underground grottoes.
Woodstock is a historic town just to the north of Oxford. It grew up as a coach stop around the Royal Hunting Lodge, which later became the site of Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Marlborough since the early 1700s. Now it is a bustling community and a Market town. It’s a light walk for viewing the shops, galleries and other amenities in the centre of the town.
Stay: The Fish Hotel, Woodstock
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Waterperry College Gardens, Windsor Castle
The nurseries at Waterperry have been growing plants for over 80 years. There is a wide range of herbaceous plants grown in the nursery. Some include snowdrops, fritillaries and cottage garden plants, and the plant the nursery is most renowned for growing, asters. The five acres of orchards at Waterperry Gardens date back to the days of Beatrix Havergal, who ran her famous school of horticulture for ladies until 1972, and grow around fifty different varieties of apple. Parts of the house date to Tudor times although archeologists have found pottery, fragments of which are to be seen in the Museum of Rural Life, dating from Roman times. The house contains contemporary frescoes which are thought to be the largest single work of its kind in this country in over 500 years. The 18th Century granary building provides the perfect backdrop for the wide range of horticultural and agricultural tools, which give a flavour of life in times gone by.
Explore Royal history dating back 1,000 years at the awe-inspiring Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle. Windsor Castle is the Queen’s favoured weekend residence and is a must-see for fans of royalty, art and history. Visit the luxurious State Apartments decorated with priceless historical artworks and still used for state occasions. Step inside the stunning St. George’s Chapel, burial place of 10 monarchs and many aristocrats including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. View Queen Mary’s incredibly intricate Dolls’ House, which features immaculately reproduced miniature replicas of real fixtures and fittings from Windsor Castle. Once you are finished inside enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens.
Stay: Harte and Garter Hotel & Spa, Windsor
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Boat Cruise on the Thames, Savill Gardens
The River Thames flows through Southern England and is the longest river entirely in England with a total length of 346 km. While it is best known for flowing through London, the river also flows alongside other towns and cities, including Oxford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor. The river contains over 80 islands. With its waters varying from freshwater to almost seawater, the Thames supports a variety of wildlife and has a number of adjoining sites of special scientific interest. Learn more about this fascinating river and enjoy the view as you take a boat cruise on the Thames to Savill Gardens.
The Savill Garden is one of Britain’s greatest ornamental gardens. It never fails to charm visitors who come to explore its 35 acres of contemporary and classically designed gardens and exotic woodland. Developed under the patronage of Kings and Queens, The Savill Garden was created in the 1930s by Sir Eric Savill. The mixes of native and exotic species some bred here make for many important garden hybrids. Each ‘garden within a garden’ has its own attractions, and the gardens are ever-changing with every season bringing new colour and interest to delight the visitor. The Rose Garden takes a fresh and contemporary approach to displaying roses. The design creates an intense sensory experience with roses especially chosen for their scent, strong colours and repeat flowering. You can enjoy the perfume at its best, together with stunning views, from a walk way which appears to ‘float’ above the Rose Garden.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9: Sissinghurst Gardens, Rochester Dickens Walk
Sissinghurst’s garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. The garden itself is designed as a series of ‘rooms’, each with a different character of colour and/or theme, the walls being high clipped hedges and many pink brick walls. The rooms and ‘doors’ are so arranged that, as one enjoys the beauty in a given room, one suddenly discovers a new vista into another part of the garden making a walk a series of discoveries that keeps leading one into yet another area of the garden.
A stroll through historic Rochester will lead you on a tour packed with landmarks, striking architecture and dramatic views across a town which inspired Dickens.
From the riverfront you’ll pass dramatic views from Rochester Bridge and the towering remains of the Norman castle. You’ll have the chance to see the awe-inspiring Rochester Cathedral, the second largest in England; and Restoration House, another piece of local and national history as the place where Charles II stayed, but also the home of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, Satis House. You’ll be brought back into the heart of the historic town and towards the imposing 17th century Guildhall, now the Rochester Museum, the perfect place to stop and learn more about this fascinating town.
Stay: The Abode Hotel, Canterbury
Meals: B, D
Day 10: Dover Castle Secret Wartime Tunnels, Doddington Place Gardens, Canterbury Cathedral
Dover Castle is the most iconic of all English fortresses commanding the gateway to the realm for nine centuries. Delve deep within Dover’s White Cliffs to witness the drama in the Secret Wartime Tunnels. In May 1940 the greatest rescue of all time took place, masterminded deep within Dover’s secret wartime tunnels. See, hear and feel the danger as the events and people from the Dunkirk evacuation are made real. Journey through the tunnels deep beneath the castle as special effects, projections and real film footage bring this dramatic rescue operation to life. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of this authentic underground hospital. Follow the dramatic journey of a wounded WWII pilot, fighting for his life as he is rushed through to the operating theatre. See the living conditions in the tunnels and hear about the difficulties of treating injuries in such close proximity to falling enemy bombs.
Doddington Place is surrounded by wooded countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Downs. The lovely landscaped gardens, recognised of being of historical importance by English Heritage, are set in the grounds of an imposing Victorian mansion and cover ten acres. There is a notable woodland garden – spectacular in May and June – which includes many different varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas. A large Edwardian rock garden with pools and a formal sunk garden with herbaceous borders and a flint and brick folly are spectacular any time of the year. Extensive lawns and avenues are framed by impressive clipped yew hedges and many fine trees.
Canterbury Cathedral has a tradition of visitor welcome that reaches back to the days of medieval pilgrimage, enjoy sharing the beauty of one of the great holy places of Christendom. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey and St. Martin’s Church make up Canterbury’s World Heritage Site. St. Martin’s Church, the building in which Augustine and his followers first worshipped, is the oldest working church in England. The ruins of St. Augustine’s Abbey include the remains of the monastery where his monks lived and worshipped and where Kentish Kings and the first Archbishops were buried.
Meals: B, D
Day 11: Chelsea Flower Show, Leeds Castle
Today you get to be part of the world’s most prestigious flower show. The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, every year since 1913. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is organized by the Royal Horticultural Society which was founded in 1804. The Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, enough room to park 500 London buses. You have the day to explore at your leisure or find a cool spot among the displays and watch the world go by.
Leeds Castle – The Loveliest Castle in the World – has been a Norman stronghold and the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion; an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous; and in the 21st century, it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain. Enjoy exploring the Culpeper Garden, which was originally the site of the Castle’s kitchen garden and is now a large cottage garden. The Wood Garden alongside the River Len is a particularly lovely way to approach the Castle. All these you can explore at your leisure during your 2 night stay.
Stay: The Stables Leeds Castle, Kent
Meals: B, D
Day 12: Guided tour of London, The Garden Museum
London, England’s capital set on the River Thames, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex and the entire city. Enjoy a guided city tour of all the highlights with some time to explore on your own.
Finish your garden tour with a visit to The Garden Museum. Here you can explore and celebrate British gardens and gardening through its collection, temporary exhibitions, events and gardens. Whether you are an enthusiastic amateur gardener, more of a specialist or someone with a passion for museums, history, even architecture, the Museum has something for you.
Meals: B, D
Day 13: Return home
After a hearty English breakfast at your hotel you will be transferred to Gatwick Airport for your return flight home.
Double $5,795 / Single $7,395
Return airfare from Toronto, motorcoach transportation, 11 nights accommodation, 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 11 dinners, all highlights, a DeNureTours Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.
• Tatton Park
• Bodnant Gardens
• National Botanic Garden of Wales
• Red Kite Bird Feeding Centre
• Dewstow Gardens & Grottos
• Waterperry College Gardens
• Windsor Castle
• Savill Garden
• Boat cruise on the Thames
• Sissinghurst Gardens
• Leeds Castle
• Rochester Dickens walk
• Canterbury Cathedral
• Chelsea Flower Show
• Guided tour of London
• The Garden Museum
Llandudno: Llandudno Bay Hotel (2 nights)
Llandrindod: Metropole Hotel & Spa (2 nights)
Woodstock: The Fish Hotel (1 night)
Windsor: Harte & Garter Hotel (2 nights)
Canterbury: The Abode Hotel (2 nights)
Kent: The Stables Leeds Castle (2 nights)
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