Flora Garden Tours

Tours of Gardens in England 2018–2019

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.

English garden tour including Wisley House.Lily pond and house, Wisley

Upcoming tours

Dates and Prices

Single supplement for all tours £27 per person per night

I am operating a little differently next year. I am accepting booking forms now but not wanting a 10% deposit paid until February 2019. 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.

Cambridge and Norfolk Garden Tour 2018

A 6 day tour, Friday 21st to Wednesday 26th September 2018

(Malvern Autumn Show runs Sunday 23 – Monday 24 September 2018)

(arriving late Thursday 20th or early Friday 21st)The Pepys Library on the Cambridge and Norfolk garden tour.The Pepys Library, Cambridge (photo Cindy McGregor)

For the first three days we shall be based at The Arundel House Hoteland visits College gardens, interesting gardens outside Cambridge including the Orchard at Granchester and Wimpole Hall.

For the last three days we shall be based at the Bedingfeld Arms in Oxborough and visit Oxburgh Hall, Goodestone Water Gardens, the Old Vicarage Gardens at East Ruston and other Norfolk gardens. Read more

Spring in the Lake District and Yorkshire Garden Tour 2019

A 7 day tour, Tuesday 14th to Monday 20th May 2019

(Chelsea Flower Show runs Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 May 2019)

(Arrive Monday 13th)

Newby 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 days for a tour of Yorkshire Gardens (£690) or join us on the last four days for a tour of Lake District gardens (£920). Read more

Wiltshire and Somerset Garden Tour 2019

A 5 day tour, Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th June 2019

(Chatsworth Flower Show runs Wednesday 5 – Sunday 9 June 2019)

(arriving Sunday 3rd)Stourhead

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 2019

A 5 day tour, Wednesday 26th to Sunday 30th June 2019

(Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs Monday 1 – Sunday 7 July 2019)

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.

Accommodation

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 £27 per person per night.

Transport

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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