CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
& COTSWOLD GARDENS
CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
& COTSWOLD GARDENS TOUR
Highgrove / Hidcote Manor / Kiftsgate Court / Barnsley House
Sudeley Castle / Bourton House / Sezincote House
Blenheim Palace / Chenies Manor
8 Days / 7 Nights
May 18 - 25, 2024
"I have to go again, this was such an over-the-top experience for me!" Judy M
Day at the Chelsea Flower Show
Hidcote Manor Gardens
A not-to-miss trip of a lifetime for garden enthusiasts and for all people who love nature's beauty!
We'll spend a week in The Cotswolds touring world-renowned gardens -- Hidcote Manor, King Charles's Highgrove, Barnsley House, Kiftsgate, Sudeley Castle, Sezincote House and many more... seeing Cotswold historic market villages... capping off the week in London visiting Royal Horticulture Society's world-famous Chelsea Flower Show.
Great small-group trip for garden club members, flower loving friends, and for solo travelers. Limited to 15 persons.
Chelsea Flower Show & Cotswold Gardens Tour Is Designed To Provide:
A fabulous vacation experience in the beautiful English countryside.
A comprehensive week visiting renowned Cotswold gardens and historic market villages with our Cotswold local Blue Badge English guide.. capping the week at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show with a horticulture expert.
A friendly and fun small group environment limited to 15 persons. Enjoy the camaraderie and begin friendships with like-minded travelers.
Optional before breakfast group pleasure walks.
Recommended restaurants should you want to explore on your own, yet everyone is invited to join local-cuisine group meals.
Concierge service & support – fully escorted tour to enjoy a WORRY-FREE and fun holiday.
Day 1 - Windsor ● English High Tea Welcome Reception/Dinner
Day 2 - Travel to The Cotswolds ● National Garden Scheme Gardens
Day 3 - Barnsley House ● The Royal Gardens at Highgrove ● Private Garden
Day 4 - Bibury ● Sezincote House ● Kiftsgate Court ● Hidcote Manor ● Chipping Campden
Day 5 - Sudeley Castle ● Broadway ● Private Garden ● Bourton House
Day 6 - Blenheim Palace ● Chenies Manor House ● London
Day 7 - RHS Chelsea Flower Show ● Farewell Dinner
Day 8 - London ● Post-Tour Extensions Begin or Departure for Home
Detailed Trip Itinerary:
Day 1 - Saturday, May 18:
Tour participants will arrive independently to London. At Heathrow Airport (LHR) you will be met by a private transfer car service driver who will drive you to our hotel in Windsor. We’ll stay in the heart of historic Windsor at a charming 4-star hotel located a short walk to Windsor Castle. Once checked in, the balance of the day is at your leisure. An optional tour of Windsor Castle with a local private guide will be organized for early arrivers. The week-long garden tour begins at 6.30PM with an English High Tea Welcome Reception/Dinner… an opportunity to meet everyone and review the week’s itinerary.
Day 2 - Sunday, May 19:
For early risers, an optional before breakfast group pleasure walk through Windsor, over River Thames and past Eton College. Full English breakfast is served at the hotel. For those who are regular church goers back home, you might like to attend the 8:30AM Communion Service or the 10:45AM Choral Matins Service at Windsor Castle in St. George's Chapel where Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service was held and where Prince Harry & Meghan Markle were married... or take a morning stroll in Windsor Great Park... or visit the beautiful ornamental The Savill Garden.
We’ll be on our way at 12:00PM for the drive into The Cotswolds where we will stop and tour a private garden that is part of the National Garden Scheme. Afternoon tea and cakes will be part of the garden visit.
We’ll arrive to The Cotswolds late Sunday afternoon where we'll stay the next four nights in the charming luxury boutique hotel designed to match the English splendor of The Cotswolds with comfort and luxury. The hotel is located in an ideal central location for visiting Cotswold gardens.
Day 3 - Monday, May 20:
Optional before breakfast morning pleasure walk through the village, followed with a full English breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we’ll board our private bus, with our Cotswold local Blue Badge guide, for a special and exciting day visiting Barnsley House Gardens... King Charles lll's The Royal Gardens at Highgrove where we'll have a private guided tour, afterwards having lunch at Highgrove's restaurant... and in the afternoon visiting an extraordinary beautiful private estate garden where we'll be special guests of the owner.
Barnsley House, built in 1697 of Cotswold stone, is a perfect example of the English country house and garden. The internationally acclaimed garden, with remarkable beauty, was designed by Rosemary Verey, recognized as the “Grand Dame” of Cotswold garden designers.
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove are part of the private estate of His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla. It is located just outside Tetbury. King Charles, an avid gardener, bought the estate in 1980. He is adamant that it should be an entirely organic garden and farm. We'll be among of a select few guests to be able to tour Highgrove during the week of the Chelsea Flower Show. After our guided tour we'll have lunch at Highgrove's restaurant.
Late afternoon we'll be guests of the owner of a very special private garden consisting of four acres of formal gardens and parkland, with over 500 trees. The garden was initially personally designed 40 years ago by its owners. The estate’s rill garden is laid out like a parterre, with each section planted in a different color scheme. After touring the garden we’ll have afternoon tea and cake with the owner
Day 4 - Tuesday, May 21:
Morning optional pleasure walk followed by a full English breakfast… then we are off to visit three renowned Cotswold gardens -- Sezincote House, Hidcote Manor Garden and Kiftsgate Court Gardens, plus visiting Cotswold historic golden stone market villages in route; i.e.: Chipping Campden. Mid-day we’ll have an English country lunch in Kiftsgate’s charming tearoom. In the afternoon we'll stop at Chipping Campden, the beautiful small market town with golden Cotswold stone buildings and market hall... and tour the stunning Cotswold countryside.
Sezincote House & Gardens - an unique family-owned agriculture country estate set in the Gloucestershire countryside covering over 4,500 acres. The landscape has remained unchanged since the mid-19th century. The estate's majestic 200-year old house, designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell, resembles a Mogul Indian Palace. The garden has a series of spring-fed pools that connect downward to an island pool in the valley bottom before joining the River Evenlode. We'll have a private tour inside the house that is beautifully decorated and designed inside personally by John Fowler of Colfax & Fowler fame. Sezincote is a special treat to see!
Hidcote Manor Garden - considered to be one of the masterpiece gardens in England. It was started in 1907 by Lawrence Johnston. Johnston’s garden design with themed “outdoor rooms” revolutionized garden design throughout England,.. and still influences garden designers today. Throughout Johnston’s extensive world travels to Continental Europe, China and Africa, he would bring back plants for Hidcote… and he would have plants imported from Australia and Japan. Over the years many plants have been named after Johnston or Hidcote in recognition of his plantsmanship. Within Hidcote’s gardens are hedges, topiaries, flowers in bedding schemes, stone walls, ponds & fountains, and grand vistas. The garden feels secluded and private as if Johnston was still there today.
Kiftsgate Court Gardens - where three generations of women in one family created and shaped a garden to be one of the Cotswold’s most treasured. Kiftsgate gardens began in the 1920’s by Heather Muir who had an organic approach, with a feminine feel, to gardening. In the 1930’s she developed the property’s steep banks to take advantage of the spectacular views to the west. In the 1950’s Muir’s daughter, Diany Binny, opened up the garden for public viewing. She added many features including a pool in the lower garden, two major sculptures, and she redesigned the sunk garden to incorporate a small pool and a wellhead fountain. Anne Chambers, daughter of Binny and granddaughter of Muir, continues the family tradition of seeking out new and interesting plants for Kiftsgate to complement the color schemes which were established when the garden was originally laid out. The new water garden is a contemporary oasis and evidence of her desire to bring the garden into the 21st century.
Chipping Campden - a market town in the Cotswolds, noted for its High Street with a succession of ancient houses connected, yet each with its own distinctive embellishments. Chipping means market and Chipping Campden was one of the most important medieval wool towns throughout Europe. Campden was already established in the 7th century and the name Campden derives from the Saxon meaning, a valley with fields or enclosures of cultivated land. Chipping Campden is noted for its 17th century Market Hall, ‘wool’ church St. James and its Alms House.
Day 5 - Wednesday, May 22:
Today is another wonderful full day of touring… we’ll tour three extraordinary Cotswold gardens – Sudeley Castle, Bourton House and a very special private garden … and visit to Broadway, one of the Cotswolds' most beautiful villages, where we'll have lunch.
Sudeley Castle - the former home and the burial place of Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. Sudeley Castle has nine individual gardens… all unique and beautiful. American Elizabeth, Lady Ashcomb is the current owner and lives on the estate. She has continually preserved the castle, its treasures and restored and regenerated the gardens.
Broadway - the Cotswold village of Broadway is often referred to the “Jewel of the Cotswolds” because of its sheer beauty and magnificence. The ‘broadway’ or main street is lined with ancient honey colored limestone buildings dating back to the 16th century and earlier. Many well-known artists and writers spent time in Broadway, such as John Singer Sargent, William Morris, and Henry James. A legacy of the Broadway Artist Colony is that the village has several art galleries. Broadway also has half a dozen tea shops, gift and clothes shops.
Private Garden - private tour with the owners, who commissioned well-known British landscape architects, Brenda Colvin and Hal Moggridge, to redesign the gardens in 1973, taking in the sweeping vistas and boarding the lawn with a yew tunnel. They have since spent the past 40 years enhancing the charming gardens, complete with deep curving herbaceous borders, a pool garden, a woodland garden, labyrinth, and vegetable gardens. Paths thread through wildflower meadows leading to an orchard and a national collection of walnuts, including 173 cultivars, some from University of California, Davis.
Bourton House Gardens - an award-winning three acre jewel… winner of the prestigious Historic Houses Association / Christie’s “Garden of the Year” Award. The garden is surrounded by a stately 18th-century manor house and features luxuriant terraces and wide herbaceous borders with stunning plant, texture and color combinations.
Day 6 - Thursday, May 23:
After breakfast we’ll check out of our Cotswold hotel and we’ll be off on our final day of touring beautiful country gardens before arriving to London. We’ll first tour Blenheim Palace, the masterpiece Baroque architecture palace, on an expansive 12,000 acres estate, is a magnificent country house built in the early 1700’s. It is one of England’s largest houses. Blenheim is the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. The privately owned palace is currently the home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough. We’ll have a private tour of the palace, see the special Winston Churchill exhibit at the palace, and afterwards stroll the estate’s park and gardens. In 1764 Lancelot “Capability” Brown, the famous English landscape architect, was employed to redesign and naturalize the palace grounds. Blenheim is a not-to-miss UNSECO World Heritage Site!
In the afternoon we’ll tour Chenies Manor House and Gardens, the historic and distinguished manor house, built in 1460, is considered to be one of England’s grandest Tudor-style homes. Chenies’ rich heritage includes King Henry Vlll
visiting the manor several times with his entourage, including with his 2nd wife Anne Boleyn; Queen Elizabeth l visited and stayed in the manor for four weeks in 1570. The estate also has award-winning gardens. Chenies is a past winner of the Historic Houses Association / Christie’s “Garden of the Year” Award.
We’ll then head to London where we’ll stay two nights at a premiere luxury hotel in the exclusive Mayfair district in central London, near designer shopping and many of the city's most iconic attractions. The hotel feels comparable to a traditional London private club.
Day 7 - Friday, May 24:
We’ll rise early to be among the first visitors to enter the Royal Horticulture Society’s Chelsea Flower Show with our private horticulture/garden guide. We'll take a private transfer from the hotel for a short drive to experience a memorable day visiting the Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s most prestigious flower show, that attracts gardening enthusiasts and designers from all corners of the world. The show is held in the middle of London at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. We’ll see the show’s highlights, including Best in Show, Best Fresh Garden and Best Artisan Garden… and we'll tour the Great Pavilion that has more than 100 colorful exhibits from the world’s best nurseries, growers and florists. It will be a treasured day to remember for all flower lovers!
The afternoon will be open for personal free time to tour the flower show at your leisure... to visit London landmarks and museums… go shopping in London’s fabulous boutiques and department stores… or have a relaxing lunch.
Friday evening we’ll gather for a traditional & festive English cuisine Farewell Dinner.
Day 8 - Saturday, May 25:
After an optional morning pleasure walk to Hyde Park... we’ll gather for a full English breakfast… share our inspirations from the trip… and say our goodbyes.
Small group tour, limited to 15 persons
7-nights premium accommodations in personally selected elegant and charming premiere/signature hotels.
Daily English breakfasts.
Three traditional English dinners - English high-tea welcome reception/dinner in Windsor... Oxfordshire cuisine welcome dinner in The Cotswolds... and gala farewell dinner with traditional English cuisine in London.
Lunch at The Royal Gardens at Highgrove - afterward lunch at Highgrove's restaurant
Tea & cake at National Garden Scheme Private Garden.
Morning coffee/tea at Barnsley House Garden.
Visit to private garden with the National Garden Scheme - afterward afternoon tea & cake
Day trip to Barnsley House Garden, The Royal Gardens at Highgrove and Private Garden
Day trip to Birbury, Sezincote House, Kiftsgate Court, Hidcote Manor and Chipping Campden
Day trip to Sudeley Castle, Broadway, Private Garden and Bourton House
Day trip to Blenheim Palace and Chenies Manor House
Visit and tour of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with local horticulture/garden guide
Cotswold local Blue Badge English guide.
Admission to all gardens, palaces, castles, and villas.
Admission to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Private car service transport from London's LHR airport to Windsor.
Ground transportation for all group activities and day trips.
Concierge service & support.
Arrival & Departure City:
Arrival: Windsor, England
Departure: London, England
2024 Trip Cost:
$7,225 – 8 days / 7 nights per person in double occupancy shared hotel room. Tour cost does not include airfare.
Added cost for private single room hotel accommodation option - $1,975
Tour cost includes group transfer from Windsor to The Cotswolds to London.
Space Is Limited -- Reserve Early!
Small Group Tour. Limited to 15 Guests.
Please Note: WalkEurope strives to operate according to our published itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond our control or opportunities that would enhance the itinerary, adjustments may be necessary. Hotels and itinerary are subject to changes. Tour is subject to meeting eight person participation.