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English Country Gardens 2014

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White Cliffs of Dover, EnglandTower Bridge at night in London, England
White Cliffs of Dover, England
Tower Bridge at night in London, England
  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe & Britain 2014
  • Style: Special Interest
  • Description: From the Bluebell steam train and seaside tastes of Brighton to the poetic gardens of Sissinghurst and traditional cream teas, discover the flowers and feasts of south-east England. It's Insider moments like… walking in the shadow of Henry VIII at Hampton Court, your Local Expert recounting near-forgotten recipes from the Royal Tudor kitchen. Getting inspired by the green fingers of master-gardener Capability Brown, as you breathe in the scent of Sheffield Park gardens. The tang of salt spray in the breeze, as your National Trust expert helps you find the flowers unique to the White Cliffs of Dover. And tasting wine at Kent's oldest vineyard, discovering a cool climate doesn't prevent it making a good tipple.

Guest Experiences

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1


    After checking in at your hotel, why not explore the city of London? Whether you stroll through one of the Royal Parks, shop in the vibrant West End or visit one of the world famous historical attractions, London has plenty to keep you entertained. Later, meet with your Travel Director and fellow companions for a traditional English pub Welcome Reception.

    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: Cumberland

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 2


    See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace on your half day introductory sightseeing tour with your Local Expert. This afternoon visit Hampton Court Palace, the most modern, sophisticated and magnificent palace of its age. See the vast Tudor kitchens, and the tapestries in the Great Hall with a Local Expert. Lose yourself in the most famous Maze and visit the Privy Garden. Tonight, consider joining your Travel Director for dinner at a lively restaurant or perhaps take in a West End show.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 3


    This morning travel to the pleasant gardens of Wisley. Renowned as the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley captures the imagination with richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the state-of-the-art glasshouse. Here you will enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing experience around parts of the garden. You will then have free time to have lunch in one of the restaurants in the grounds. Later, return to London when you will have the option to sightsee further or take an optional experience on the London Eye with a cruise on the Thames before returning to your hotel.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 4


    Enjoy an included visit to Kew Gardens. This botanical garden is known as the world's most famous – a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising centuries of royal history. Explore inside the vast Victorian glasshouses and see the indoor galleries. Here you will take an included 40 minute bus tour around part of the garden. Later travel south and visit Sheffield Park and Gardens. The National Trust acquired this property in 1954 and the garden is comprised of four large lakes and a variety of rare trees and shrubs. The magnificent landscaping of the garden was laid out in the 18th century by Capability Brown. From Sheffield Park enjoy a ride on one of England's most famous steam trains – the Bluebell Railway.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: The Grand Hotel Eastbourne/Hilton Avisford Park/The Thistle Brighton

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 5


    After a leisurely start, enjoy a drive along the coast to Brighton. Thanks to the Prince Regent, the town has always enjoyed a reputation for elegance, fun and architecture. You may decide to visit the impressive Brighton Pavilion or shop for interesting items in The Lanes. "The Lanes" form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. Perhaps enjoy fish and chips for lunch before returning to your hotel. This evening is free to dine at one of the local restaurants.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 6


    Travel to Dover for a Unique Insight into the White Cliffs of Dover. A member of the National Trust will provide a talk on the significance of the cliffs and the conservation thereof. Later visit Canterbury which is a historic English cathedral city. Parts of the city have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thomas Becket's murder at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 led to the cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide and this pilgrimage later provided the theme for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century literary classic The Canterbury Tales. You will have free time to explore the city before enjoying a delicious Be My Guest Cream Tea at Mount Ephraim Country House later this afternoon. Then it is on to Royal Tunbridge Wells for a two night stay. Dinner will be served at your hotel this evening.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining / Dinner)

    Hotel: Mercure Tunbridge Wells

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 7


    Visit the beautiful gardens at Sissinghurst. This garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. Sissinghurst's garden is one of the best-loved in the whole of the United Kingdom, drawing visitors from all over the world. The garden itself is designed as a series of "rooms", each with a different character of colour and/or theme, divided by high clipped hedges and pink brick walls. This afternoon travel to Biddenden Vineyard - Kent's oldest commercial vineyard, enjoy a Local Speciality. Established by the Barnes family in 1969 to produce wines and ciders, this vineyard is set in 22 acres on a gentle south facing slope in a shallow sheltered valley. Traditional Kentish ciders have also been made here for over 20 years together with farm pressed apple juices. The visit includes a vineyard walk, winery talk and tasting including a complimentary glass of wine. Later return to your hotel in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 8


    Enjoy a visit to Hever Castle for a Small Group Sightseeing experience with the gardeners to see these award-winning formal gardens. Each garden has its own style and character, from the giant topiary chess set and herb collection of the Tudor Garden to the magnificent Pompeiian Wall and collection of classical statuary in the Italian Garden. The celebrated Rose Garden contains over 4,000 roses within its walls, and there's an impressive herbaceous border stretching over 100 metres. You will also have an included ticket to see inside the castle itself at your own pace. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and it has become well known as the childhood home of its most famous inhabitant, Anne Boleyn – wife of Henry VIII. Later travel a short distance to visit Chartwell. This is where Sir Winston Churchill lived with his wife until his death in 1965. Now owned by the National Trust, the house and gardens have been beautifully preserved. Return to London this evening where you will enjoy a Farewell Dinner.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

    Hotel: Cumberland

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 9


    Say goodbye to your fellow travellers at the end of this wonderful English Country Gardens experience. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Be My Guest Enjoy a delightful English Cream Tea at Mount Ephraim Stately Home & Gardens.
  • Small Group Sightseeing Enjoy small group guided visits of no more than 15 to 20 guests at Wisley Gardens and Hever Castle.
  • Unique Insight Meet a member of the National Trust at the Visitors centre at the White Cliffs of Dover for a talk on the significance of the cliffs and the conservation thereof.
  • Local Expert included during London city sightseeing and a guided tour at Hampton Court Palace.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Speciality Enjoy a vineyard walk, winery talk and wine tasting including a complimentary glass of wine at Biddenden Vineyards.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London.
  • Orientation of Brighton.
  • Visit Hampton Court Palace, RHS Wisley Gardens, Kew Gardens, Capability Brown's Sheffield Park and Gardens, the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover conservation project, Canterbury Cathedral, Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Gardens, Hever Castle, Winston Churchills' Chartwell and tasting the wine at Kent's oldest commercial vineyard – Biddenden Vineyards.


  • 8 full breakfasts.
  • 1 Be My Guest Cream Tea.
  • 4 dinners (including Welcome Reception, 2 three course dinners and Farewell Dinner).

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • The services of a Trafalgar Local Host at your Trafalgar London hotel.
  • Use of Trafalgar's London Reception Centre offering a range of services including tickets for day trips and local attractions.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Conditions page. Conditions can be found in the footer under Information.
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  • It is important that you book your Trafalgar trip from your own country/region. For reasons why, please click here.
  • Hotels are subject to change.
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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