CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW MAY 2016

Visit the most spectacular flower show in the world plus the great gardens of southern England

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England is beautiful in springtime with its colourful blooms and expectant air, just perfect for a leisurely tour of some of its most well known and well loved gardens. Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and of course, the highlight of the tour the Chelsea Flower Show, offer ideas and inspiration for all garden lovers. This tour would be a perfect addition to your plans for 2016 whether visiting family and friends or touring in Europe or other parts of the UK.

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There’s nothing like being there…

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Chelsea Flower Show Tickets for entrance on ‘Members Only’ day
  • Membership of the National Trust
  • Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Tour the lovely Cotswolds and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea
  • Guided Tour of Oxford

GARDEN VISITS

  • Abbey House
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Great Dixter
  • Hidcote Manor
  • West Green House
  • RHS Wisley
  • Sissinghurst
  • Stourhead
  • Sudeley Castle

Day 1. 18 May – Tour commences in Tunbridge Wells

Today a transfer will be available from London Heathrow to our hotel in Tunbridge Wells. Tonight, join your fellow travellers for a welcome drink then dinner at the hotel. [D]
Day 2. 19 May – Great Dixter & Sissinghurst

Our first visit is to Great Dixter, one of the most experimental gardens of our time, with its designs by Lutyens. Its variety includes yew topiary, colourful borders and the Exotic Garden around the lovely 16 th C manor house. Then to Sissinghurst Castle, perhaps the most celebrated in England and one of the most beautiful. Developed by Vita Sackville-West in the 1930s around an Elizabethan mansion, the garden is a series of small ‘rooms’. These include the White garden, Rose garden, herb garden and Moat walk. [B]

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Day 3. 20 May – Stourhead – Bath – Cheltenham

This morning our drive takes us first to Stourhead. Secluded in its own private valley, it features one of the world’s finest landscape gardens. The 18th century design centres on the magnificent lake, surrounded by classical temples, enchanting grottoes and rare and exotic trees. We continue to the lovely Georgian city of Bath where there is time to explore at your own pace, perhaps visit the Roman Baths or stroll the elegant streets. This afternoon we head to Cheltenham, our home for the next 4 nights. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. [B,D]
Day 4. 21 May – Sudeley Castle – Abbey House Gardens

We visit the gardens at Sudeley Castle this morning. Plantings around the ruins of the 15 th C Tithe Barn contrast with intricate detail seen in the Knot Garden. Topiary features strongly and the famous Queens Garden, full of old fashioned roses and herbs, is flanked by magnificent double yew hedges. Next, Abbey House in Malmesbury, home of the ‘Naked Gardeners’ Ian & Barbara Pollard. With over 10,000 different plants this is a ‘must see’ garden with probably the best flower display you could find. We return to Cheltenham for an evening at leisure. [B]

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Day 5. 22 May – Hidcote Manor and Cotswolds touring

Today’s first garden is at Hidcote Manor. Nestled in the Cotswolds with sweeping views across the Vale of Evesham, Hidcote is designed in the Arts & Crafts style, it is arranged as a series of outdoor rooms, each with a different ‘character’. This afternoon we drive through the pretty villages of the Cotswolds with their honey-coloured stone buildings. We’ll stop to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea before returning to our hotel in Cheltenham. [B]

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Day 6. 23 May – Blenheim Palace & Oxford

This morning we visit Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke of Marlborough. The 5,000 hectares comprises of parkland, formal gardens and lakes. You will have the chance to tour inside the Palace as well as the grounds. Then to the university town of Oxford for a guided walking tour, with a visit to some of England’s oldest colleges, before returning to our Cheltenham hotel. [B]

Blenheim Palace

Day 7. 24 May – West Green House – RHS Garden Wisley – London

First to West Green House Gardens, restored by acclaimed gardener Australian Marylyn Abbott. With a neo- classical park studded with birdcages, monuments and a lake, they are some of the most spectacular gardens of recent times. If available, Marylyn will join us for an informal talk. Then continue to the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley. Its 97 hectares offer a blend of practical and innovative design. We end our day with a drive into London where we stay for 2 nights. [B]

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Day 8. 25 May – Chelsea Flower Show

You have a full day to discover all the sights of the Chelsea Flower Show. Your membership of the RHS (included) gives you access on this special Member Day, which means you avoid some of the crowds of the public entry days. A late afternoon transfer at a set time will be available to return to the hotel. Tonight we have our farewell dinner in an up-market city restaurant. [B,D]

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Day 9. 26 May – Tour ends in London

Our tour ends this morning after breakfast. [B]

We can arrange travel and accommodation if you’d like to extend your stay in the UK or travel to Europe.

Please Note:

Details regarding our tour hotels are not available at time of printing, however we are committed to providing 3 1⁄2 to 4 star hotels for your pleasure. The tour itinerary is as per brochure but subject to change as garden access days may vary.

Tour Price per person in A$ Land Only (Airfares not included)

Twin Share – $6,290

Single supplement – $990

Tour Inclusions

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • English breakfast daily (B)
  • 3 dinners (D) • # Welcome Drinks
  • Afternoon tea in the Cotswolds
  • Membership of the National Trust
  • Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society, including free access to RHS gardens & other recommended gardens, plus a monthly magazine
  • Chelsea Flower Show Tickets for entrance on ‘Members Only’ day
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees to all gardens listed
  • All travel by air-conditioned coach
  • Porterage of one suitcase
  • Elite Special Event Tours travel wallet

Not included: Airfares, meals other than listed in itinerary, tips, discretionary gratuities to guides, drinks, personal items.

Note: We have not included airfares in the tour price so that you can take advantage of the best airfare available at time of reservation. We can assist with your flight bookings.

Click here to view the full brochure.

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