English Country Gardens - 2015

5 out of 5 stars

9 days

from R31700 pp

Trip available from Jul 2015 to Sep 2015.
"Everything was first rate"
Evert , Jul 2014

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, 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
Trip code:
BKEN

Large Map

Trip 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.

    Meal(s)

    Welcome Reception

    Hotel

    Cumberland

  • 2.

    LONDON SIGHTSEEING AND EXCURSION TO HAMPTON COURT PALACE

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

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast

  • 3.

    LONDON – EXCURSION TO WISLEY GARDENS & KEW GARDENS

    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 lunch in one of the restaurants in the grounds. For departures on the 19th May and 20th May, you will visit the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show instead of Wisley. This afternoon 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.

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast

  • 4.

    LONDON – SHEFFIELD PARK AND GARDENS – BLUEBELL RAILWAY – SUSSEX COASTLINE (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.

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast,Dinner

    Hotel

    The Grand/Hilton Avisford Park/Hilton Brighton/The Cavendish/The Eastbourne Centre

  • 5.

    SUSSEX COASTLINE – 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.

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast

  • 6.

    SUSSEX COASTLINE – DOVER – CANTERBURY – MOUNT EPHRAIM COUNTRY HOUSE – ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS (2 NIGHTS)

    Travel to Dover for a Cultural 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 14thcentury 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

  • 7.

    ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS – 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. For the 17th May 2015 departure you will visit the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show instead of Sissinghurst Gardens. 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.

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast

  • 8.

    ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS – 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.

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast,Farewell Dinner

    Hotel

    Cumberland

  • 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.

    Meal(s)

    Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Be My Guest

    Enjoy a delightful English Cream Tea at Mount Ephraim Stately Home & Gardens.
  • Cultural Insights

    Meet a member of the National Trust at the Visitor Centre at the White Cliffs of Dover for a talk on the significance of the cliffs and the conservation thereof.
  • Local Specialists

    included during London city sightseeing and a guided tour at Hampton Court Palace.
    Enjoy Small Group Sightseeing guided visits of no more than 15 to 20 guests at Wisley Gardens and Hever Castle.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Always Included

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London
  • Orientation of Brighton
  • View Canterbury Cathedral.
  • 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

Dining

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

Travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Hand-picked 4 or 5 star accommodation
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Use of Trafalgar's London Reception Centre offering a range of services including tickets for day trips and local attractions.
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • The services of a Trafalgar Local Host at your Trafalgar London hotel.
  • VIP entry to many sights

Airport Transfers

Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Optional Experiences

Notes

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Brighton

  • Brighton Walking Tour And Royal Pavilion

    Adult Price: £25.00 The coastal city of Brighton is rich in heritage and full of Regency architecture. Your Local Specialist will show you its fascinating past, taking you through the medieval lanes, and for a guided visit of the Royal Pavilion and Gardens.
  • Sussex Dinner

    Adult Price: £35.00 We’ll drive to historic Alfriston, a quaint Sussex village. Here you’ll see timber framed medieval houses and the Long Man of Wilmington, before dining on delicious seasonal food.

CANTERBURY

  • Canterbury Cathedral Discovery

    Adult Price: £22.50 Take a guided walk with us through the medieval walled city of Canterbury. You’ll visit the exquisite head church of the Anglican Religion and see where the shrine of Thomas A Beckett lay - a medieval pilgrimage site and inspiration for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS

  • Chiddingstone Dinner And Rock Formations

    Adult Price: £34.00 A short drive through the leafy lanes of Sussex brings us to Chiddingstone. Described as "the most perfect surviving Tudor village in the county", the village has been a magnet for film directors. Your Travel Director will stroll with you to the Chiding Stone (namesake of the village) and then we're off to the Castle Inn (est. 1420) for a locally-brewed pint followed by a two-course meal of the highest calibre with tea/coffee. An evening of Sussex country lifestyle at its most exuberant!
  • A Visit to Leeds Castle

    Adult Price: £31.00 This afternoon, enjoy a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent, known as 'the loveliest castle in the world'. You’ll also be able to see its magnificent gardens and surrounding parkland. In Tudor times, Henry VIII visited frequently with his Queen, Catherine of Aragon, and their entire court on the way to the tournament of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, which took place in France in 1520. Henry's son, King Edward VI, granted the castle to one of Henry's courtiers for his services.

London

  • Billy Elliot and Dinner

    Adult Price: £63.00 With unforgettable music by Elton John, sensational dancing and a powerful story line, Billy Elliot will stay with you forever.
  • Wicked and Dinner

    Adult Price: £67.00 Wicked tells the musical tale of two unlikely friends in the land of Oz (pre-Dorothy) and their remarkable journey to becoming the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
  • Mamma Mia and Dinner

    Adult Price: £69.00 Mamma Mia uses ABBA’s greatest hits to tell the musical story of a young woman on a quest to find her real father before she gets married on a Greek island.
Prices & Availability
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