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English Country Gardens

9 Days 1 Country 11 Cities

Explore England, from the Bluebell steam train to the seaside tastes of Brighton, on this Special Interest trip.

"Everything was first rate"


About this trip

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.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… walking in the shadow of Henry VIII at Hampton Court, as our expert recounts near-forgotten recipes from the Royal Tudor kitchen. And pausing for a moment in Vita Sackville - Wests' magnificent gardens at Sissinghurst.

Trip type: Special Interest i

Trip code: BKEN

8 Nights


13 Meals
  • 8 full breakfasts.

  • 1 cream tea (Be My Guest).

  • 4 dinners.

On trip-transport

No further information available

English Country Gardens

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive London (3 Nights)

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.

Welcome Reception

2. London Sightseeing and Excursion to Kew Gardens

See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace on your half day introductory sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. This afternoon enjoy an included visit to the 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. Tonight consider joining your Travel Director for dinner at a lively restaurant or perhaps take in a West End show.

Full Breakfast

3. Excursion to Wisley Gardens and Hampton Court Palace

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 for lunch in one of the restaurants in the grounds. 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 Specialist. Lose yourself in the most famous Maze and visit the Privy Garden.

Full Breakfast

4. London - Sheffield Park and Gardens – Bluebell Railway – Eastbourne (2 nights)

This morning 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. Later arrive at your beautiful hotel in Eastbourne for a two night stay.

Full Breakfast
The Grand/Hilton Avisford/Hilton Brighton

5. Eastbourne – Excursion to Brighton

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” which 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.

Full Breakfast

6. Eastbourne – Dover – Canterbury – Mount Ephraim Country House – County Towns of Kent (2 Nights)

Travel to Dover for a Cultural Insight into the history of the White Cliffs of Dover. Hear about 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 your hotel in Kent for a two night stay.

Full Breakfast
Be My Guest
Mercure Tunbridge Wells/Mercure Great Danes Maidstone/Ashford International

7. Excursion to Sissinghurst Gardens

After a leisurely start this morning, 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 stop in the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells and admire the elegant architecture, from Regency villas to large Victorian houses and pretty clapboard cottages. After free time for shopping or a visit to a local tea shop, return to your hotel.

Full Breakfast

8. County Towns of Kent – Hever Castle – Chartwell – London

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, 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.

Full Breakfast
Farewell Dinner

9. Depart London

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

Full Breakfast

Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 12 Reviews

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Very goodProduct : Hotels provided were excellent.Breakfasts were all very good and the host was available at all times and knowledgable.

  • Trip:



  • Trip:


    Service rating : Lovely hotels located in central/beautiful areas. Our tour director was charming, funny and took great care of us.Product : Saw some really beautiful gardens. Would have enjoyed more historically accurate/authentic gardens. For example, many of the gardens, while lovely, were

  • Trip:


    I was a little frustrated there was no down time. I needed an over the counter pain reliever and there was no opportunities to pop into a chemist and get some so I sat on as many garden benches as I could find. The trip was fast paced. The destinations were over the top beautiful. I really liked

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Trafalgar always has an excellent plan for their schedules and places visited. This trip was a wonderful blend of gardens and castles..Product : Sissinghurst gardens and Wisley were the highlights of the gardens visited. I loved Leeds and Hever castles as well as Chartwell.

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Local Specialists
    For included sightseeing in London and a guided tour at Hampton Court Palace.

  • Cultural Insights
    Hear about the National Trust at the White Cliffs of Dover and learn about the significance of the cliffs and the conservation thereof.

  • Be My Guest
    Enjoy a delightful English Cream Tea at Mount Ephraim Stately Home & Gardens.

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Trafalgar Cares
    White Cliffs of Dover, Dover: You'll explore the area and discover the reason why the cliffs are of importance to the local ecosystem and how your visit helps preserve this unique landscape.

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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour in London

    • Orientation of Brighton

    • Visit Hampton Court Palace, RHS Garden Wisley, Kew Gardens, Capability Brown's Sheffield Park and Gardens, the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover conservation project, Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Gardens, Hever Castle and Winston Churchill's Chartwell

    • View Canterbury Cathedral.

What's Included


    • 8 full breakfasts.

    • 1 cream tea
      (Be My Guest).

    • 4 dinners.

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

    • VIP entry to many sights

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    • 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.

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

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Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


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English Country Gardens

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9 days, 11 cities

English Country Gardens

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  • Twin-share option
  • Land only price
  • Flights available

This trip is not currently available to purchase through this website.

Did you know that you can secure this trip today for a deposit?

Please ensure that you have read all our Notes before you buy this trip.

    • Chelsea Flower Show: We've included Chelsea Flower Show tickets when you're in London on departures 23 May, 24 May and 25 May 2017, to replace the excursion to Wisley Gardens. Kew Gardens will be visited on morning of Day 4.
    • Conditions and restrictions apply, visit for details.
    • London Airport Transfers: Transfers available to purchase. Conditions apply.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • 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. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, 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. 

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