Style : Group tour
Britain’s Beautiful Blooms at the Hampton Court Flower Shop

Britain’s Beautiful Blooms at the Hampton Court Flower Shop

Road Scholar Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
90%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
12 days
From: $ 3,599 $ 300 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Spend a full day at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the largest flower show in the world
  • With RHS judge Kevin Tooher as your instructor, meet the head gardeners at the World Garden in Lullingstone and the Secret Garden at the Salutation in Sandwich
  • Thrill in the beauty of some of England’s best-loved gardens, including Sissinghurst Castle Garden, RHS Wisley, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court and Rousham

Short Description

Stop to smell the roses as you join us for the Royal Horticultural Society Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and explore some of England’s best-loved gardens with experts!

Style Group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Canterbury
End City London Heathrow Airport

Itinerary

Day 1
In Transit to Program
In Flight

Day 2
Arrive London, To Canterbury, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Location: Canterbury Meal: L,D Hotel: Best Western Abbots Barton
Activity note: Hotel check in from 3:00 p.m.

Morning: If you arrive before rooms are available, you may leave your luggage with the concierge and go out for a walk into Central Canterbury or relax in the hotel.

Lunch: In the hotel, we’ll have a light lunch of soup and sandwiches, tea, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue. After you check in and get your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. Kevin Tooher is our Study Leader for this program. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we will have a seated 3-course dinner coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Day 3
Canterbury Cathedral & Dean’s Garden, The Salutation
Location: Canterbury Meal: B,L,D Hotel: Best Western Abbots Barton

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet features a variety of locally sourced eggs, bacon, sausages, hash brown, tomatoes, mushrooms, make-your-own muesli, cereals, pastries, toast, milk, juices, tea, coffee, water.

Morning: At the hotel, we’ll gather for a multi-media lecture by our Study Leader presenting a brief history of English gardens. We’ll then set out on foot for a field trip to Canterbury Cathedral, including a special opening exclusively for our Road Scholar group of the Dean's Garden. We’ll learn about the history of this secret part of the Cathedral precincts (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) from one of the gardeners, then venture into one of the earliest Gothic buildings in England to explore at our own pace, perhaps paying homage at the shrine of Thomas Becket, who was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170.

Lunch: In central Canterbury.

Afternoon: After lunch we’ll board a motorcoach and head for the ancient town of Sandwich, one of the original Cinque Ports (a medieval confederation of five ports in south-eastern England). Situated behind the town walls is a manor house known as The Salutation, home to 3.5 acres of glorious gardens reclaimed from floods and neglect. Originally a pub and market garden, it was transformed from 1911-12 by the noted architect Sir Edward Lutyens with input from legendary English garden expert Gertrude Jekyll. The property and its gardens went through periods of great success, terrible neglect, and natural disaster. We will meet members of the current team of gardeners who restored the framework of the Lutyens design, and explore the eclectic mix of plants and garden “rooms” to appreciate the fusion of old and new ideas.

Dinner: At The Salutation, we’ll have a 2-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water and one glass of wine included; other beverages available for purchase. The Salutation’s chefs take great pride in making full use of all the vegetables, fruits and herbs grown in the kitchen garden, many of which are unusual heritage varieties.

Evening: We'll return to the hotel by motorcoach after dinner, and the remainder of the evening is at leisure.

Day 4
Lullingstone Castle
Location: Canterbury Meal: B,L,D Hotel: Best Western Abbots Barton

Activity note: Walking and standing for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We’ll depart by motorcoach for a field trip to Lullingstone Castle, the ancestral home of Tom Hart Dyke. It is the UK's first “World Garden” and has been featured on BBC TV. Designed and cultivated by Tom himself, plants from around the globe are arranged by their respective countries of origination. We will meet Tom and hear him describe his vision and work as a modern day plant hunter. The idea for this “World Garden” developed when Tom and a companion were kidnapped by guerrillas while searching for rare orchids in the Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama. They were held captive for nine months, often threatened with death. To keep his sanity, Tom began imagining a garden designed to display plants he had collected in his travels, to be laid out in the shape of a world map.

Lunch: We’ll have a light lunch at Lullingstone Castle.

Afternoon: Continuing our field trip to Lullingstone Castle, a local expert will lead us around the manor house that dates back to 1497. We’ll return to the hotel by motorcoach, and the remainder of the afternoon is free time.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 5
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Location: Canterbury Meal: B,D Hotel: Best Western Abbots Barton
Activity note: Sissinghurst has 450 acres. Explorations may be from a 1-mile walk passing two lakes to a more adventurous 3-mile walk taking in all of the estate.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Kevin Tooher will provide a multi-media overview of the Royal Horticultural Society during the last 200 years. We will then board our motorcoach and depart from for Sissinghurst.

Lunch: In Sissinghurst, on your own to enjoy what you like at the café.

Afternoon: From its beginnings as a Saxon pig farm, the place we know as Sissinghurst has become a “poetical refuge” dedicated to beauty and one of the most famous gardens in England. Its modern history began in the 1930s when it was purchased as a derelict by poet and author Vita Sackville-West and her husband, poet and diplomat Harold Nicolson. They began building up the surrounding farm and developing the garden, inspired by the examples of Sir Edward Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. The garden design consists of a series of interconnected “rooms” — each with its own, character, color, and theme—and some enchanting lakeside and woodland walks. Sackville-West and Nicolson opened the garden to the public in 1938. After her death in 1962, Nicolson gave it to the National Trust, who have been its guardians ever since. We will have an expert led exploration.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6
Great Dixter, Rye
Location: Canterbury Meal: B,L,D Hotel: Best Western Abbots Barton
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Our full-day field trip features a special opening exclusively for our Road Scholar group of the Dean's Canonical gardens and Chapter in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral. Discover the secret areas of this World Heritage Site. Venture into one of the earliest Gothic buildings in England and pay homage at the shrine of Thomas Becket, who was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170.

Lunch: In Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, we’ll have a light lunch.

Afternoon: Our day at the Cathedral continues with small group visits to the Stained Glass Conservation Studio. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore Canterbury on your own. You might like to attend Choral Evensong (5:30-6:15 p.m.). The Group Leader will point out taxi ranks; you may also walk back to the hotel through the city to the hotel, 1/2 mile, approximately 20 minutes.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and transfer in the morning.

Day 7
Transfer to Cheltenham, RHS Garden Wisley
Location: Cheltenham. Meal: B,D Hotel: Queens Hotel Cheltenham
Activity note: The motorcoach trip to Chelthenham is about 175 miles, approximately 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel, board our motorcoach, and head out to Cheltenham, stopping at RHS Wisley along the way. Wisley is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society and one of the best loved in Britain. Its more than 230 acres offer a beautifully cultivated blend of practical and innovative techniques as well as one of the largest plant collections in the world. It includes decorative gardens, arboretums, and interesting “model gardens” offered as a guideline on what home gardeners can expect to achieve on their own land. Another highlight is the Glasshouse, 40 feet (12 meters) high and the size of 10 tennis courts. We will explore some of the highlights with our Study Leader.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the various eateries at Wisley. These include the Food Hall, Glasshouse Café and Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will have time for independent exploration until mid-afternoon, when we will continue on our way to Cheltenham. There will then be time to freshen up and relax after checking in at the hotel.

Dinner: In the hotel, enjoy a 3-course plated and served dinner with tea, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to stroll around the Imperial Gardens outside hotel.

Day 8
Hidcote Manor Gardens, Kiftsgate, Chipping Campden
Location: Cheltenham. Meal: B,L,D Hotel: Queens Hotel Cheltenham

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board the motorcoach and set out on a full-day exploration of the Cotswolds, beginning in the north Cotswolds at Hidcote Manor, a celebrated 20th-century garden surrounded by beautiful countryside. Hidcote, created by the talented Anglo-American horticulturist and noted plantsman Major Lawrence Johnston, is considered to be one of the top ten gardens in Britain. This garden also explores the concept of “rooms” within a garden that we have seen elsewhere. It is famous for rare shrubs and trees, as well as its outstanding design with wild flower areas, pools and water features, and long avenues bordered by imaginative and colorful plantings. We’ll then proceed to nearby Kiftsgate.

Lunch: At the Kiftsgate Tearoom, we’ll have a light lunch.

Afternoon: We’ll begin the afternoon by exploring Kiftsgate Court Gardens, a spectacular set of outdoor rooms created by three generations of women gardeners: Heather Muir (a close friend of her neighbour Lawrence Johnston), Diany Binny, and Anne Chambers. Throughout almost a century, each has made individual, highly personal contributions that have made Kiftsgate world renowned. It has been named the Historic Houses Association garden of the year, featured in England’s Thousand Best Houses. From Kiftsgate, we’ll set out on a field trip by motorcoach to explore picturesque Chipping Campden, renowned as the “jewel of the Cotswolds.” On the way to this small market town we’ll pass through the surrounding landscape of undulating valleys, quiet rivers and idyllic villages. Noted for its elegant High Street dating back to the 14th century, Chipping Campden is lined with traditional Cotswold honey-coloured limestone buildings housing some delightful specialist traders and inns.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9
Painswick Rococo Garden
Location: Cheltenham Meal: B,D Hotel: Queens Hotel Cheltenham

Activity note: Painswick Garden is set in a valley, access is not ideal. A suggested restricted route is available.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will journey by motorcoach to the beautiful Cotswold town of Painswick, where we will have an opportunity to admire the honey stone architecture before stepping back in time at the flamboyant Painswick Rococo Garden. The only complete Rococo garden surviving in Britain, it was originally laid out in the 1740s, designed as a pleasure garden and place for garden parties, almost like a theatrical set. By the 1970s, it had become terribly overgrown but renewed interest on the part of garden historians led to its restoration. We will return to Chelthenham at the conclusion of our field trip.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Cheltenham.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for early check out and transfer to London in the morning.

Day 10
Transfer to London, Rousham Gardens, Oxford
Location: London, England Meal: B,L,D Hotel: Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington
Activity note: The motorcoach trip to Rousham Gardens is about 45 miles.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board our motorcoach for the journey to Rousham Gardens, just north of Oxford. The gardens are the purest example of an Augustan landscape garden, designed by William Kent. Walk amongst the statues paying homage to Imperial games and wander into the woods. Venture through a glade leading to a Temple overlooking the River Cherwell.

Lunch: At Rousham Gardens, we’ll have packed lunches with sandwich, snack, fruit, and beverage.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll make the short journey to Oxford where we will be dropped off at the central Martyr's Memorial with some time for personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will point out some of the main areas and sites to see in this “City of Dreaming Spires.” We will rendezvous at a predetermined spot for a mid-afternoon resumption of our transfer to London, estimated time of arrival approximately 5:30 p.m.

Dinner: In the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course served dinner with tea, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase at the bar.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 11
The Hampton Court Flower Show
Location: London, England Meal: B,D Hotel: Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington
Activity note: All marquees are accessible, and all gardens and floral exhibits can be viewed from ground level. Where possible, gardens are adjacent to trackway. Areas around the gardens are often busy.

Breakfast: Early in the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon, sausages, hash brown, tomatoes, mushrooms, make-your-own muesli, cereals, pastries, toast, milk, juices, tea, coffee, water.

Morning: Our horticultural adventure culminates in a field trip by motorcoach to the Hampton Court Flower Show, the RHS's largest event and the biggest show in the world. We’ll depart early to avoid the crowds, then explore and be inspired by the many Show Gardens presenting themed designs and spectacular plantings and the Rose Marquee. There are various talks, demonstrations and exhibits. We will spend the day here with entrance to Hampton Court Palace included.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the Flower Show. The Village Fête offers a variety of hot and cold food with covered and open air seating.

Afternoon: We will rendezvous at a predetermined spot and depart late afternoon, returning to the hotel.

Dinner: In the hotel, enjoy our farewell dinner and share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

Day 12
Program Concludes
Location: London Heathrow Airport Meal: B
Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation from Last Location.”

Breakfast: In the hotel depending on departure times. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,599
Price Per Day: $ 300 per day

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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

roadscholar-857

Meals Included

  • 25 Meals
  • 10 Breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches
  • 10 Dinners
  • The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Salt, Vegetarian
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