Great Gardens of Kent
England is the most garden-loving country in the world, with more gardens open to the public than anywhere else! Join us on this Great Gardens of Kent tour and enjoy some of the best gardens in the area. Visit old favourites such as Sissinghurst, Leeds Castle and Great Dixter and fall in love with other fabulous gardens off the beaten track.
Welcome to England
Arrive at Heathrow Airport where your tour manager will meet you and take you on a wonderful journey through English gardens. First stop will be Gravetye Manor, once a grand 16th century country manor, now a luxury hotel with hidden gardens. Explore this charming and very beautiful garden with its Head Gardener and enjoy a mouth-watering lunch afterwards. Continue to your hotel in Kent and the rest of the day is free to rest and relax.
Leeds Castle and Great Comp
Catch a glimpse of Leeds Castle from the beautiful Cascade Garden which sets the scene for a captivating roam through 900 years of history. Lose yourself in Wood Garden and enjoy the English cottage charm of the Culpeper Garden awash with roses, lupins, poppies and lad’s love. The Lady Baillie Garden takes you to the Mediterranean and if you fancy some fun, give the spiralling yew maze and grotto a whirl. Next stop is the seven-acre plantsman’s paradise of Great Comp, created by Roderick and Joy Cameron. Explore this wonderfully quirky garden showcasing beautiful and rare plants surrounding a 17th century manor house. This hidden gem is home to an Italian garden, romantic ruins and enchanting woodland walks. Finish your visit with a delicious afternoon tea at their Old Dairy Tearooms.
Penshurst Place and Hever Castle
Embark on a day of pure enchantment, beginning at Penshurst Place and Gardens where horticultural records date back to 1346. Wander through a series of spellbinding ‘rooms’, divided by more than a mile of yew hedging including the Magnolia Garden, Grey and White Garden and Union Flag Garden, which will dazzle you with summer roses and lavender. Just a short drive away is the double-moated 13th century Hever Castle, one-time home of Anne Boleyn. Breathe in the heady fragrances of more than 4,000 flowers in the Rose Garden and immerse yourself in the Italian Garden, created to display then-owner William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculptures.
Great Dixter and Sissinghurst Castle Gardens
Fall in love with Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, one of the most famous gardens in England. Historic, poetic, iconic; a refuge dedicated to beauty and a prime example of the Arts and Crafts style. The gardens’ flowing structure can be appreciated from the castle tower, which gives panoramic views. At ground level, wander through the White Garden, the fragrant Rose Garden and the colourful Cottage Garden. In the afternoon, visit Great Dixter, a family home of the late Christopher Lloyd, who had devoted his lifetime to creating one of the most experimental, exciting and constantly changing gardens of our time. The landscape is rich in natural diversity from yew topiary, carpets of meadow flowers, dazzling colourful mixed borders (including the famous Long Border), natural ponds, a formal pool, and the wonderful Exotic Garden.
White Cliffs of Dover, Walmer Castle and Canterbury
Admire the White Cliffs of Dover, one of this country’s most spectacular natural features and a sign of hope and freedom for centuries before, continuing your journey along the coast. Blasted by salty winds from the English Channel, Walmer Castle would seem an unlikely spot for a garden, but thanks to the enthusiasm of its many Lord Wardens and the shelter of sturdy walls, the grounds flourish with diverse plants! Be enchanted by richly scented magnolia trees, plentiful fruit, vegetables and flowers in the Kitchen Garden and the quiet pool and sculptural plants of the Queen Mother’s Garden. And of course, see the original Wellington Boots, hear previously untold stories, and discover a new side to its famous residents. Spend the afternoon in Canterbury and learn about its architectural gems and the history of its magnificent Cathedral.
RHS Wisley and London
The highlight of today is the flagship garden of the RHS – Wisley. It captures the imagination with richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and a state-of-the-art Glasshouse. Gifted to the Society in 1903, Wisley has evolved over time into a world-class garden. Continue to London and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Free and Easy in London
Today is an absolutely free day to explore the capital on your own.
Private transfer to the airport for your return flight home.