GREAT GARDENS of CORNWALL
with Tresco, Isles of Scilly
Optional: Chelsea Garden Show
May 10 - 21, 2020
Cornish gardens have often been called "horticultural heaven" because of their southwesterly orientation, early spring, late autumn, and resultant mild climate that provides ideal conditions for a wide range of plants. Some gardens have fascinating histories and owe much to Edwardian and Victorian seed hunters who brought back seeds from around the globe. Others are relatively new; created out of wasteland and transformed into stunning masterpieces.
Over nine blissful spring days, explore the sub-tropical Cornish coast and the thousands of unique plant species to which it plays host. From carnivorous plants to alpine gardens, 500 year old rhododendrons to sweeping estate gardens, join us to experience some of the U.K.'s most spectacular gardens.
When you've had your fill, enjoy the jam atop the clotted cream scone: optional premium members-only access to Chelsea Flower show, the world's greatest flower show and a true testament to England's love of gardening.
"Gardeners are not, by nature, jealous souls. But now and again they gaze, green with envy, at another’s plants, and think,
“ I wish I could grow that.” It happens to me in Cornwall more than anywhere else.
~ Alan Titchmarsh, MBE, VMH, DL
Cornwall 9 days: USD 4790 double occ./Add USD 1500 for single room
Optional London with Chelsea Flower Show: USD 705/Add USD 300 for single room
Private visits to nine great Cornish gardens
The most celebrated gardens of Cornwall, and one in Devon, from formal to informal, woodland retreats to historic rolling-parkland, each of these gardens is unique. Modern gardens; ancient gardens; gardens with Mediterranean or sub-tropical themes . . . all house a stunningly diverse collection of plants and sculptures from around the world. Older gardens reveal a fascinating history of Edwardian seed hunters who brought back seeds from around the globe. Others are newer, created out of wasteland and transformed into masterpieces. Each is unforgettable.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly, by flight
Tresco’s 19th C Abbey gardens have been described as the most extraordinary in the U.K. because the isle faces the worst storms imaginable; yet the 17 acres’ enjoy a microclimate that allows many tender and rare subtropical plants to flourish on this unique private island of only 750 acres. Meet estate owner and enjoy a private guided tour of gardens and island.
Hosted by owners of estates and head gardeners
Through first person access to the people who make it all happen, gain intimate insight of what it takes to establish and run a great garden. You'll be enthralled with tales of behind the scenes challenges and triumphs that might otherwise escape a visitor on a casual amble. Appreciate the cadences of the seasons behind what you see in a snapshot of time, the lore of seed hunter stories, and the ups and downs of restoration projects such as Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Sir Tim Smit's Eden Project
Eden Project's social community project aimed to transform former china-clay pit into a regenerative and sustainable space--and succeeded magnificently. Two massive biomes house a living theatre of plants that attracts 19m visitors annually. Enjoy it fully with a private tour of the largest indoor rainforest in the world.
Hands on workshops
The Gardens are guaranteed to inspire you. At some point you'll probably want to get your hands in the dirt. We've arranged an exclusive mushroom foraging guided walk, a workshop in floristry, and a tea masterclass. You'll also take in an artist-led sculpting workshop amidst the garden sculptures at the renowned St Ives's Barbara Hepworth Gallery.
Optional: Greatest flower show on earth
Join us at the Chelsea Flower Show for premium first day members-only access. Immerse yourself in the colour and beauty of cutting edge gardens in a once-in-a-lifetime horticultural event. With emphasis on Cornish exhibitors, designers and medal winners in particular.
Followed by private tour of another British marvel, Kew Gardens.
what our guests say
Combines unparalleled access with social responsibility and cultural sensitivity to achieve everything one could hope for in a specialty group tour: a creatively curated itinerary, meticulous planning, flawless execution and wonderful travel companions.
Definitely delivers above and beyond a traditional tour. Shila does extensive research and planning, as well as scouts out locations, prior to embarking on a group tour. Over time she has acquired a following of world travellers who sign up repeatedly for her tours.
My only concern is that I reserve my spot before it gets full.
The itinerary was well thought out, especially since we were in areas that had been recently opened up to tourists.
Shila 's expertise and high attention to detail were evident in the almost seamless shifts between accommodation, transportation, and sightseeing. I have nothing but praise for her company.