Flora Garden Tours

Tours of Gardens in England 2020

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.

A view of the lily pond of the Royal Hoeticultural Society gardens at Wisley, Surrey, UKLily pond and house, Wisley

Upcoming tours

Dates and Prices

Single supplement for all tours £29 per person per night

I am operating a little differently this year. I am accepting booking forms now but not wanting a 10% deposit paid until February 2020. This is to ensure that I have enough recruits to run a viable tour and, should I not have, I can cancel the tour then. The tours were very well recruited last year so I expect most of them will run.

Spring in the Lake District and Yorkshire Garden Tour 2020

A 7 day tour, Friday 24th to Thursday 30th April 2020

(Harrogate Spring Flower Show runs Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 April 2020)

The price of this tour is £1620, which includes a visit to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

(Arrive Thursday 23rd)

A view of the long herbaceous borders at Newby Hall, Yorkshire, UKNewby Hall gardens

This tour begins at The Studley Hotel in Harrogate. In Yorkshire we visit one of the finest of English gardens at Newby Hall near Ripon as well as smaller gardens like the late Sybil Spencer’s renowned Adel garden.

The English Lakes are renowned for their scenery, glorious at all times of year but spectacular in the spring and autumn. Rhododendrons thrive on the rocky outcrops and in the shade of ancient trees. Clematis montana and wisteria festoon the stone cottages.

Alternatively, you may come for just the first three and a half days for a tour of Harrogate Spring Flower Show and Yorkshire Gardens (£750) or join us on the last four days for a tour of Lake District gardens (£920). Read more

Wiltshire and Somerset Garden Tour 2020

A 5 day tour, Monday 8th to Friday 12th June 2020

(Chatsworth Flower Show runs Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 June 2020)

The price of this tour is £1350.A view of the lake with bridge and, in the distance, the Pantheon at Stourhead gardens, Wiltshire, UKStourhead

This guided garden tour starts and finishes in Bath and stays at The Cross in a quaint old village near Wells. Bath is easily accessible by fast trains from London Paddington to Bath Spa station.

The tour will begin with coffee in the elegant Georgian Spa pump room followed by a visit to the Royal Crescent and gardens in Somerset open on Sunday afternoons for the National Garden Scheme [NGS]. Read more

Romantic Gardens of Kent, Sussex and Surrey Garden Tour 2020

A 5 day tour, Wednesday 24th to Sunday 28th June 2020

(Gardeners World Live runs Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 June 2020)

(Harlow Carr Flower Show runs Friday 19 – Sunday 21 June 2020)

The price of this tour is £1200.

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 and Anne Boleyn’s Hever Castle. 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.


Flora tours stay in small hotels and guest houses which we have used before or checked out carefully. They are reasonably close to the tour gardens to reduce the time spent travelling. Usually a tour will be based in just one place because people seem to prefer this. Although not a high star rating our hotels are clean, comfortable and above all friendly, which fits the Flora ambience. This aspect also helps Flora offer very competitive tour prices.

Usually there are a variety of eating places close by or, if this is not the case, the hotel provides an evening meal as part of the tour package.

The prices quoted are for two people sharing a double or twin bedded room.

Single occupants will have to pay a supplement of £29 per person per night.


Flora’s regular tours are driven by our tried and tested chauffeurs usually in an 8 seater vehicle or a minibus, where necessary. These people are now old friends and very loyal. Some of them are keen gardeners and often join the garden tour.

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 on the Cotswold tour

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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