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THE GREAT BRITISH GARDEN TOUR OF SCOTLAND & WALES
AND THE HAMPTON COURT FLOWER SHOW

2 – 20 JULY 2017

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ITINERARY
Britain is full of remarkable gardens. This brand new tour includes public and private, grand and intimate, walled and wooded gardens in Northern England, Wales and Scotland in high summer when borders are exuberant and weather perfect. Walls will be smothered with roses and clematis. Hedges and parterres will be neatly trim and elegant 19th century conservatories will be gleaming. Our tour begins in London at the Royal Horticultural Society Summer Flower Show at Hampton Court. Also visits Cardiff, Chester, York and Edinburgh.
DAY 1
Sunday 2 July 2017
Home – London

Meet Colin Barlow, your Ross Tour Leader at Perth or Sydney International Airport for the flight to London, or meet Day 2 at the Petersham Hotel, Richmond.

DAY 2
Monday 3 July 2017
Richmond, London (D)

Arrive into London Heathrow. Morning visit to the famous Kew Gardens. Then we’ll check into the Petersham Hotel, overlooking the River Thames. Option this afternoon to walk to the Petersham Nursery near our hotel, a charming place with great ideas, plants, gifts & cafe. Welcome dinner this evening.

Accommodation: The Petersham, Richmond

DAY 3
Tuesday 4 July 2017
Hampton Court Flower Show (B)

We will arrive early at the Hampton Court Flower Show. It’s a treat with hundreds of flower displays and designer gardens. Return to Richmond mid afternoon by river boat down the Thames from Hampton Court Palace jetty. There are many options for dinner this evening with restaurants along the waterfront, only a few minutes walk from the hotel.

Accommodation: The Petersham, Richmond

DAY 4
Wednesday 5 July 2017
Richmond – Cardiff (B/D)

Travel west today into Wales to Cardiff with a stop at Dyffryn Gardens at St Nicholas, the gem of the National Trust Wales. These magnificent Edwardian gardens flow from grand vistas to intimate spaces, overlooked by a large mansion built by Welsh coal baron John Cory in the late 19th century. With the help of Thomas Mawson, regarded by many as the leading architect of the Edwardian era, the Cory family developed a spectacular garden stretching over 55 acres, with arboretum and a collection of themed gardens including Mediterranean garden and rose garden. Check in to the luxurious St David’s Hotel, which was the pet project of Sir Rocco Forte, on the edge of Cardiff Bay. Dinner included this evening in the hotel.

Accommodation: St David’s Hotel, Cardiff

DAY 5
Thursday 6 July 2017
Cardiff (B/L)

A short drive this morning through the rolling Welsh landscape to The Veddw. They call it the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ garden, yet for all its undoubted fairytale qualities this garden is rooted in reality. Powerful design, generous sweeps of gardens and dramatic views over hedges give it strong structure. It’s an ambitious garden a satisfying blend of formality and informality, good use of colour and texture and a distinct personality.

Lunch is included today at Wyndcliffe Court. The gardens here were designed in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style by Henry Tipping, Editor of Country Life magazine and friend of Gertrude Jekyll. Completed in 1922, they are probably the best example of their type in Wales, designed in a series of formal spaces or rooms. There’s topiary, sunken garden, summerhouse, walled garden, fountains, lily ponds and a bowling lawn leading out onto wooded walks.

It’s a short drive to Tintern Abbey a great monastic and romantic ruin sitting in the Wye River Valley and framed by rolling hills. This picturesque ruin dates to 12th century, built by Cistercian monks.

Accommodation: St David’s Hotel, Cardiff

DAY 6
Friday 7 July 2017
Cardiff – Chester (B/MT/D)

The garden at Brian’s Ground at Presteigne was created by two literary garden gurus, known for their garden journal, Hortus. It’s a jewel of a garden tucked away for privacy but they will be expecting us with morning tea on the veranda. There’s a formal garden with reflection canal flanked with pear trees and orchard. It’s small but a tour de force that complements their Arts and Crafts House built in 1913.
Powis Castle is a remarkable garden that ranks in the top ten gardens in the British Isles. This estate has everything; medieval castle, splendid old trees, walled garden, spectacular location on a bluff with a dramatic series of terraces and grassy slopes. Its flowery borders defy description. Yew hedges bulge with the weight of ages. Lower down the formal garden dissolves into wildflower meadows … divine!
Travel into the medieval city of Chester with its treasury of half-timbered and Roman buildings when Chester was the largest Roman fortress in Britain. Check in to our hotel in the city centre.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Chester

DAY 7
Saturday 8 July 2017
Chester (B)

We are in for a treat today at Biddulph Grange, a Victorian garden near Stoke-on-Trent that has to be seen to be believed. This collaboration between James Bateman and Edward Cooke took a decade as the pair designed a remarkable series of spaces, each with a special collection of plants and buildings and inspired by aspects of garden history: China garden, Cheshire Cottage, Egyptian Court. There are tunnels, passageways and paths that weave through this bucolic plot and lead to some beautiful sights. We’ll travel back to Chester after lunch with the afternoon free.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Chester

DAY 8
Sunday 9 July 2017
Chester – York (B/D)

Morning visit to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire in the magnificent Peak District. This sumptuous manor built of yellow stone is set on the River Derwent in its great park landscaped by Capability Brown. The Great Cascade was built in 1700 and is now fully restored, tumbling down the hillside.
The gardens were enriched by Joseph Paxton who worked here at Chatsworth for 32 years from 1826 to 1858. Paxton created one of the most influential English gardens of the century. He built the Conservative Wall for growing fruit and camellias, turning it into a series of beautiful stepped greenhouses. He installed the Emperor Fountain for the planned visit of the Tsar Nicholas of Russia, with 84m gravity-fed jet.
Travel on to York and check into the sophisticated Grand Hotel and Spa for the next four nights, located inside the medieval city wall with views of the Minster.

Accommodation: The Grand Hotel and Spa, York

DAY 9
Monday 10 July 2017
York (B)

Castle Howard is our destination today … remember Brideshead?
The Howards have lived continuously in the house ever since it was built by Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle at the beginning of the 18th century, with only one brief interlude when it became a girls’ school during World War II.
We will explore the gardens: the Walled Garden once the Kitchen Garden, rose garden, cut flower garden and potager. We’ll see the Mausoleum, Pyramid, Temple of the Four Winds and New River Bridge with views across the rolling Howardian Hills.
The afternoon is free for you to explore mediaeval York. For a great view of the beautiful Gothic Cathedral, York Minster, take a walk along the City Wall which follows the line of the original Roman wall.

Accommodation: The Grand Hotel and Spa, York

DAY 10
Tuesday 11 July 2017
York (B)

Harrogate is our destination today, the gateway of the Yorkshire Dales to visit RHS Harlow Carr, a gem of a garden … 5 stars! We’ll explore the new streamside garden which is really doing well and the Kitchen Garden. We’ll stroll along the main flower borders, at their peak at this time and check out the woodland and the Scented Garden. After a coffee break it’s a short drive into Harrogate with time for lunch and a good look at this charming spa town. Return mid-afternoon to York.

Accommodation: The Grand Hotel and Spa, York

DAY 11
Wednesday 12 July 2017
York – Lakes District (B/D)

We are heading for Beatrix Potter country today with a stop near Lancaster at the garden of Arabella Lennox Boyd. In its valley of the River Artle Beck, this grand manor has a garden to match. Terraces that descend from the house to the lake are planted with a romantic palette of pinks, lilac and silver with roses, clematis and perennials mingling between them. Colour themed flower borders, birch grove, serpentine walk, potager, pleached lime walk are all hallmarks of this well respected garden designer who has been developing this garden for 40 years. Travel into nearby Caton with time for lunch, then through to The Lakes District to Windemere. Check into the Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel on Lake Windemere. Dinner is included in our hotel this evening.

Accommodation: Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, Bowness-on-Windemere

DAY 12
Thursday 13 July 2017
Lake Windemere (B)

A leisurely day around Lake Windemere today. We’ll visit Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse: a time-capsule of her life. We’ll take a scenic drive around Lake Windemere. Option this afternoon for a cruise on Lake Windemere.

Accommodation: Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, Bowness-on-Windemere

DAY 13
Friday 14 July 2017
Lake Windemere – Edinburgh (B)

Scotland here we come with a coffee stop in Dumfries before our visit to The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. This landmark garden of the 20th century designed by Charles Jenks is set in the rolling hills of SW Scotland. Visionary in its scale, ambition and intellect it is designed as a series of concept areas each depicting an aspect of the cosmos. The universal cascade traces the development of the universe since the Big Bang. It’s like no other garden, a monument to British craftsmanship; sculptures and installations. No expense was spared in the digging, carving, etching and casting. Grass covered landforms are at its core. Charles Jenks now designs gardens around the world.
Travel on to Edinburgh to our hotel for the next four nights, the luxurious, historic Waldorf Astoria Caledonian –overlooking Edinburgh castle.

Accommodation: The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian, Edinburgh

DAY 14
Saturday 15 July 2017
Edinburgh (B)

A sightseeing tour will get us acquainted with this city. Next stop the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, one of the world’s finest. The Garden is home to the largest collection of wild-origin Chinese plants outside China, garden of Scottish heathers, Alpine garden, herbaceous borders backed by 100 year old beech hedge. In 2006 the Queen Mother Memorial garden was opened. This afternoon is free, you might like to visit Edinburgh Castle or wander down the Royal Mile.

Accommodation: The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian, Edinburgh

DAY 15
Sunday 16 July 2017

Edinburgh (B)
A day of delightful small gardens. The first one is tucked away behind stone walls in the historic village of Inveresk. It’s a hillside oasis of calm and a feast for the senses. There are colourful borders and a fine collection of old garden roses selected by Graham Thomas.
Edinburgh’s New Town is a World Heritage site and the largest, best-preserved example of Georgian architecture in the UK. At the heart of this stylish, old neighbourhood are the communal gardens; the largest and best preserved is the Queen Street Garden. A guided tour here will open elegant gates and reveal secret spaces.

Accommodation: The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian, Edinburgh

DAY 16
Monday 17 July 2017

Edinburgh – Drummond Castle (B)
We are travelling north into Perthshire today, doing a circuit of the Firth of Forth, to Crieff to visit one of Scotland’s finest gardens with a coffee stop in the town of Stirling.
The gardens at Drummond Castle are breathtaking and the best view of them is from the terrace; it’s worth the climb! They were set out in 1828-38 by Charles Barry and they are Scotland’s finest gardens. Don’t miss the parterres at the foot of the terraces, in the pattern of a giant St Andrews cross. There are fountains, terraces, urns, statues and far-reaching views of the Perthshire landscape. Time for an ice-cream before we stop in nearby Crieff for a lunch break.
Kinross House is a neoclassical Palladian mansion built by Sir William Bruce on Loch Leven. He is regarded as the founder of classical architecture in Scotland, a career politician and gentleman architect who played his part in early 17th century royal and political intrigues. The house and garden were restored in the early twentieth century and the walled garden was laid out in an Arts and Crafts manner. The axis centres on the island in Loch Leven where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. 
Recent restoration was completed in 2013 and the property was winner of the prestigious Historic Houses Association and Sotheby’s UK Restoration Award of the year.   No expense has been spared to make this breathtaking property reflect Sir William Bruce’s vision for opulent entertaining. Travel back to Edinburgh.
Farewell dinner tonight.

Accommodation: The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian, Edinburgh

DAY 17
Tuesday 18 July 2017

Edinburgh – Home (B)
Morning free. Early afternoon departure to Edinburgh airport for our flight to London Heathrow to connect with our homeward flight.

DAY 18
Wednesday 19 July 2017

Inflight

DAY 19
Thursday 20 July 2017

Arrive home this morning.

HOW TO BOOK

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.

Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.

Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be sent in writing.

Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.

Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions.

TOUR INCLUSIONS
TOUR ESCORTED BY
COLIN BARLOW
  • Qantas return economy group airfare and taxes: Sydney / London and Edinburgh / Sydney
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • Deluxe accommodation for 15 nights
  • Breakfast daily and 5 dinners
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Hampton Court Flower Show, Dyffryn Gardens, Veddw, Tintern Abbey, Brian’s Ground, Powis Castle, Biddulph Grange, Chatsworth House, Castle Howard, RHS Harlow Carr, Gresgarth Hall, Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens, Drummond Castle and Kinross House, Garden of Cosmic Speculation
  • Morning and afternoon tea at gardens and sightseeing attractions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Gratuities for porters and drivers
  • Full Escorted by Colin Barlow
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share land only $10,995 per person
Twin Share including air $13,595 per person
Single Supplement $2,995
All prices in Australian Dollars.
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers.
Price is based on departure Sydney.

DISCOUNTS

Book and pay in full by 2/3/2017 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $300.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100.00
Garden Clinic™ Member Discount $50.00

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POSTCARDS

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