English Gardens & The Chelsea Flower Show (2015-16)

Marco Polo Journeys: Exclusive trips, accompanied by A&K's most accomplished guides

Limited to 18 guests
Days: 9  |  From: $0


English Gardens & The Chelsea Flower Show

Day 1: Arrive London, England/Amberley

Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your luxury castle hotel surrounded by gardens, where you are greeted by your Tour Director. Enjoy a private welcome dinner with your fellow guests at this 900-year-old castle.

Amberley Castle   |   Meals: D

Day 2: Storrington | Parham House

Journey to Storrington to visit the 16th-century Parham House; its landscaped Pleasure Grounds include Veronica’s Maze. The Walled Garden originated in the 18th century and is designed for a long season. Learn how it is run on organic principles. Visit a local wine estate for a tasting.

Amberley Castle   |   Meals: B L

Day 3: Sissinghurst & Great Dixter | Arts & Crafts Gem

Today, drive to Sissinghurst Castle, and stroll its Arts & Crafts style garden before opening hours. Learn how Harold Nicolson, a diplomat and author, laid down its main lines while his wife, Vita Sackville-West, a poet and garden writer, handled the planting. View the influential White Garden, which exemplifies Gertrude Jekyll’s idea of using color themes. Later, enjoy a tour of the late Christopher Lloyd’s garden at Great Dixter, conducted by one of the gardeners. Also built in the Arts & Crafts style, note how it mingles vegetables and flowers, a large orchard with many pockets of wild flowers and, in summer, a magnificent herbaceous border.

Amberley Castle   |   Meals: B D

Day 4: Cheltenham | Country Manor Gardens

Drive north to Cheltenham, stopping en route at the acclaimed Hampshire garden of West Green House, to view its many inspirational features. Marvel at its grand water staircase, created by Marylyn Abbott and Nymphaeum fountain designed by Quinlan Terry. Continue to Rodmarton Manor, which was built according to Arts and Crafts ideals, and stroll its charming garden. Later, toast your day with a Scenic Sundowner overlooking Cheltenham’s famous racecourse before dining at your hotel.

Ellenborough Park   |   Meals: B L D

Day 5: The Cotswolds | Kiftsgate & Hidcote Manor

Enjoy a private visit to Kiftsgate Court Gardens. Stroll the upper gardens surrounding the house, which are planted to produce harmonious color schemes. Continue to nearby Hidcote Manor, one of England’s greatest gardens and a real Arts & Crafts masterpiece, for a guided tour through a series of outdoor “rooms,” each with a unique character. Nestled in the Cotswolds, a range of hills known for their beauty, the garden furnishes stunning panoramas across the Vale of Evesham. Afterward, drive to the lovely town of Chipping Campden to visit its attractive High Street, Jacobean Market Hall and impressive Church of St. James.

Ellenborough Park   |   Meals: B

Day 6: Highgrove | Gardens of a Prince

Depart for the market town of Cirencester to see Charter Market, one of the oldest in the country, for an authentic Market Visit. Drive to Highgrove in Gloucestershire, home to HRH The Prince of Wales, for a guided tour of his delightful gardens. Prince Charles has transformed Highgrove’s gardens, making them among the most innovative in the United Kingdom.

Ellenborough Park   |   Meals: B L D

Day 7: Blenheim Palace | Birthplace of Winston Churchill

Depart from the Cotswolds today and drive to Woodstock near Oxford to visit Blenheim Palace. Set in 2,100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown, the magnificent edifice is surrounded by sweeping lawns, awardwinning formal gardens and a great lake. Enjoy a special talk and tour here focused on the life of Sir Winston Churchill, who was born here in 1874. Examine the breadth of talent and achievement, from bricklayer to the “Greatest Briton.” After lunch, continue to London.

The Milestone Hotel, London   |   Meals: B L

Day 8: The Chelsea Flower Show | A World of Inspiration

Attend opening day of the world famous Chelsea Flower Show. As arranged by A&K, enter the show on members-only day and enjoy a four-course luncheon and afternoon tea while here. Stroll through exhibit after exhibit showcasing the finest examples of the craft of gardening in England, including some of the most avant-garde show-garden designs in the world, gathering inspiration and ideas for your own garden as you go. Return to the hotel at the end of the afternoon. Gather this evening for a farewell dinner to share your favorite moments from the journey.

The Milestone Hotel, London   |   Meals: B L D

Day 9: Depart London

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.

Meals: B

Please Note: The May 12th departure operates with slightly revised routing and accommodations are at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire and Brown's Hotel in London.

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