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Historic Houses & Gardens of the United Kingdom

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UK’s historic houses and gardens.

12 Days with a Botanical Guide exploring historic homes and gardens from London to Edinburgh and return. Visit BBC Gardener’s World Life Show in Birmingham and stay on Chatsworth Estate. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTBLEYC12
Duration: 12 days
Accommodation: Hotels offering superior comfort
Journey: London Return
Meals included: 17


Day 1. Depart London, Kiftsgate Court & Packwood House

Depart London at 9am from the London hotel and travel to Birmingham. On the way, visit Kiftsgate Court Garden, the creation of three generations of women gardeners. Continue to Packwood House, famous for its astounding topiary and clipped yew trees said to represent the Sermon on the Mount. Arrive into Birmingham and enjoy a Welcome Dinner this evening.
Stay: Two Nights: Birmingham, Hilton Birmingham Metropole
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. BBC Gardener’s World Live Show

Enjoy a full day to explore the BBC Gardeners World Live Show. Delight in the exhibits carefully designed by the world’s leading garden designers.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 3. David Austin Rose Gardens & Tatton Park

Visit the famous David Austin Rose Garden where over 700 different varieties of roses are planted in the garden that now covers around two acres. Afterwards, visit Tatton Park located within 1,000 acres of the most beautiful deer park and the former Egerton family home. Explore the house and gardens which have been restored to show how they existed in Edwardian times. Travel through the Lake District to our hotel set on beautiful Lake Windermere.
Stay: Two Nights: Windermere, Low Fold Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Lake District Houses, Gardens & Landscapes

Visit Rydal Mount House, home of William Wordsworth and the place he wrote his famous poem ‘Daffodils’. Wordsworth was a keen landscaper and the 4-acre garden remains very much as he designed it. Afterwards, visit Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top home, see the vegetable patch and the garden walk which inspired her books. This afternoon choose to visit Holehird Gardens, home of Lakeland Horticultural Society or perhaps enjoy some free time to enjoy the beauty of this recently-listed UNESCO World Heritage district.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 5. Dalemain House & Edinburgh

Travel to Dalemain Historic House and Garden, a privately owned garden which was HHA Garden of the Year in 2013. Make a stop at Gretna Green, famous for runaway weddings. We then make our way over the Scottish border to the beautiful city of Edinburgh and enjoy time to explore its historic sights.
Stay: Two Nights: Edinburgh, Waldorf Caledonian Hilton
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 6. Edinburgh Gardens

Take a guided tour of the gardens at the Palace of Holyrood House, the official Scottish Residence of
the Queen, with a visit to the Historic and State Apartments. See the site of the ancient menagerie, the rare Wentworth elm trees, the 17th century sundial and the Jubilee Border. Visit the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens with its internationally renowned collection of plants from temperate and tropical gardens around the world before touring the National Gallery of Modern Art, with its lawn landscaped to a design by Charles Jencks.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Alnwick Castle

This morning visit Alnwick Castle, the location for all kinds of film productions – including ‘Hogwarts’ in the first two Harry Potter films. Visit Alnwick Gardens, an inspiring landscape including a treehouse and the Poison Garden, all brought to life with water. Continue onto the quaint city of York set in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Stay: Three Nights: York, Grand York Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Scampston Hall & Newby Hall

Visit Scampston Hall with its wonderful walled gardens designed by celebrated plantsman Piet Oudolf. See bold imaginative plantings involving drifts of grass, meadow plantings, orchards and formal areas. Continue to Newby Hall, a privately owned stately home and award-winning gardens, mostly created in the early 1920s.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 9. RHS Harlow Carr, Harewood House & York Gate

RHS Garden Harlow Carr is one of four public gardens run by the Royal Horticultural Society. Acidic soil affords a fabulous environment for rhododendrons and Himalayan blue poppies. Next visit Harewood House, an exceptional country house and garden. Afterwards visit York Gate Garden created during the second half of the 20th century in the Arts and Crafts style, it is now widely recognised as one of the most innovative small gardens of the period.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 10. Private Garden Visit & Chatsworth Estate

Visit a private English country garden, although intimate it has a relatable human scale. We continue south to Chatsworth in the Peak District, where we stay in our beautiful hotel, owned by the Duke of Devonshire.
Stay: Two Nights: Chatsworth, Cavendish Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Chatsworth House Estate & Gardens & Haddon Hall

This morning enjoy a private viewing before it is open to the public of the magnificent Chatsworth House Estate, home to the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and for many years ‘Debo’, one of the famous Mitford sisters. Passed down through 16 generations, it houses one of the most significant art collections in Europe. Then take time to explore the 105-acre gardens. Continue to Haddon Hall for a visit to the Hall and tour of the extensive gardens.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 12. Waddesdon Manor to London

Depart Chatsworth and travel to Waddesdon Manor to enjoy the opulent interiors of the Rothschild Family. Explore the gardens known for its colourful parterre, walks, fountains and statues before arriving into the London hotel at 4pm or Heathrow Airport at 5.30pm.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Kiftsgate Garden & Packwood House
  • Visit BBC Gardeners World Live Show
  • Tour David Austin Rose Garden & explore Tatton Park
  • Enjoy beautiful Lake District scenery
  • See William Wordsworth’s, Rydal Mount & tour Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Garden
  • Visit the Palace of Holyrood House, the Scottish residence of the Queen
  • See Alnwick Castle and explore the Poison Garden
  • Tour RHS Harlow Carr Garden
  • Visit gardens of the Yorkshire Dales
  • Stay on Chatsworth House Estate
  • Tour Waddesdon Manor with its beautiful interiors & antiques 


Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Tour Manager & Botanical Guide
  • Airport transfers on first & last day, tipping & porterage
  • 17 Meals – 11 Breakfasts & 6 Dinners
  • Travel in a small group aboard a luxury vehicle with room to spread out

Additional Information

This tour can be combined with:

  • Hampton Court Flower Show & Gardens of Sussex - BTHC8


Fitness Level 

  • This tour requires a medium level of fitness – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two night stay in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries


Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top

  • Discover Beatrix Potter’s beautiful Lake District garden, and learn about the history of the garden, its plants and the inspiration they provided for the author’s life and works.


BBC Gardener’s World Live Flower Show

  • Held in Birmingham, the ‘garden party of the year’ celebrates the long-running BBC2 television series Gardener’s World. It is a four-day festival of British and world-leading gardens and gardeners, design and plants, which includes the live recording of segments for the program which celebrated 50 years
    on air last year.


David Austin Roses

  • All rose enthusiasts will delight in a visit to the rose garden of ‘the Shropshire lad’, David Austin. In a career spanning 60 years, the celebrated nurseryman’s name has become synonymous with the world’s most beautiful blooms. David Austin has been instrumental in cultivating more than 700 species of these beautifully scented flowers, and along the way has won 23 Gold Medals at the Chelsea Flower Show. Discover the art and science of ‘rose breeding’ and learn how to successfully grow roses of all types in your own garden.


Alnwick Castle & Garden

  • History will come alive for us at Alnwick Castle in the beautiful Northumberland countryside. The halls and chambers of this medieval marvel, famously filmed as ‘Hogwarts’ in the Harry Potter franchise, are filled with remnants of the past. The Alnwick Garden, which covers 17 hectares, was first laid down in the 1750s by the celebrated landscape designer, Capability Brown. Redeveloped and restored at the beginning of this century, it features cascading water features and various themed plantings. Visit the Poison Garden and be enthralled by this wonderful display.

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Prices are for land only. Flights not included

Request a Brochure

View a brochure online or request it be posted to you.


British Isles, Castles, Gardens, History & Birdlife Cruise

"The tour and the visits were very good, friendly, informative and relaxing, a job well done by all."

- Geoff

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