Flora Garden Tours

Tours of Gardens in England 2015−2016

Flora Garden Tours guide you to the finest gardens in Britain. As well as the famous English stately homes and gardens the tours visit lesser known but lovely ones, some rarely open to the public. The tour director and leader is Dr Barbara Sommerville, a biologist of international repute who has a deep interest in the history of gardening, landscape and architecture.

Upcoming tours

Cambridge and East Anglia Garden Tour 2015

A six day tour Friday 11th to Wednesday 16th September 2015

This tour is based at The Arundel House Hotel, Chesterton Road, Cambridge for the first three days allowing us to explore the stately homes, College gardens and buildings in and close to the city. For the next three days we stay at the Bedingfeld Arms in the Norfolk village of Oxborough and visit some excellent gardens there.Read more

Cornish and Devon Garden Tour 2016

A four and a half day tour Thursday 31st March to Monday 4th April 2016

This is an excellent time to have a garden holiday in Cornwall because Spring arrives early in this, the mildest part of England. The bulbs and alpines will be ablaze and there will be Camelias, Magnolias, Rhododendrons and fruit trees blossoming. The typical Cornish garden has tree ferns, palms and many species of Magnolia, some 50 feet high covering the sides of steep valleys running down to a river estuary.

We shall be based at The Mannings Hotel in Truro. Read more

Cotswold Garden Tour 2016

A five day tour Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22nd May 2016

(Chelsea Flower Show runs Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 May 2016)

The Cotswold Hills, lying between Birmingham to the North and Oxford to the South, are renowned for their picturesque honey coloured stone-built villages. Here we visit some world-class English gardens commemorated in the names of famous flower and fruit cultivars such as Blenheim Palace, Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate Court. There are also the homes of famous gardeners like Beatrix Havergal at Waterperry who ran one of the first horticultural colleges for women.

The tour is based at Chester House Hotel, Bourton-on-the-Water. Read more

Hampton Court Flower Show, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex Garden Tour 2016

A six day tour Tuesday 5th to Sunday 10th July 2016

(Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs Tuesday 5 – Sunday 10 July 2016)

Between London and the South coast are the chalk hills of the North and the South Downs and in between these two ranges is the fertile clay of the ‘Weald’, where some of the most romantic gardens in England, even the world have been created. Several have graced the homes of famous people like Vita Sackville-West’s Sissinghurst, Anne Boleyn’s Hever Castle and Churchill’s Chartwell. Others, such as Nymans and Great Dixter, are the creation of famous gardeners. We also visit the award winning garden at Pashley Manor. This tour visits a selection of these and many other great and small gardens: the most romantic Scotney Castle, Polesden Lacy―an artist’s garden set in ravishing scenery; and, of course, Wisley, the home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Read more

Other tours will be run in response to a group of at least four people applying and will take place at times to suit this group. There will be space for others to join a tour once it is guaranteed to run.

The itinerary of each tour may be adjusted to suit the initial group.

We experienced the gardens and houses of the Cotswolds at all levels: the grand, the intimate and the fun’s fancy. This was all made possible by Barbara’s flexibility and wonderful connections with the locals from drivers to land owners.

― A.L. from Cambridge Massachusetts USA

Special Tours

In addition to the scheduled tours mentioned above Flora Garden Tours offers two special services:

  1. Any of the scheduled tours may be run on other dates for groups of four or more people;

  2. Tours to other British gardens, or tours centred on special interest themes can be arranged on a tailor-made basis. Such tours can incorporate castles and stately homes, as well as gardens: see, for example, Yorkshire and Northumberland.

    Special interest themes include Garden Shows Garden Design and Garden History, Tours for Gardeners, Flower Arrangers and Artists, Mediaeval Architecture and English History and Prehistoric and Archaeological sites.

Please make your requests: Flora Garden Tours will be happy to oblige.

Your guidance was inspirational! Gardens, gardens, gardens is your motto. I loved the small cottage gardens and have wonderful visual memories!

― D.C. from Alaska USA on a special tour of Yorkshire and Cumbria

 

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