Discover beautiful gardens spanning centuries of garden design in one of Britain’s best-loved landscapes
Hear insights from the Head Gardener at Bourton House Garden, and the Director of Painswick Rococo Garden during a private visit
Visit some of the world’s finest Arts & Crafts-inspired gardens, including those at Hidcote Manor and the Miserden Estate
The Cotswolds are a truly special place for garden-lovers. Exquisite planting schemes are bathed in the glow of golden stone buildings, and rolling hills – the ‘wolds’ – form an idyllic backdrop to some of the world’s most famous garden designs. This brand new tour explores a handpicked selection of some of the Cotswolds’ finest gardens, with a focus on those in Gloucestershire, and features insightful tours including some with Head Gardeners.
Kiftsgate Court Gardens are the creation of three generations of female gardeners. Famous for its roses, Kiftsgate also features a sunken white garden, a double border comprising shrubs, small trees and herbaceous plants in shades of pink, mauve and grey, and stunning views towards the Malvern Hills, as well as a wild garden. One of the most recent additions is a striking new water garden, where sculptural gilded bronze leaves move gently in the breeze against an elegant backdrop in an enclosed space once occupied by a tennis court.
Heather Muir, who began creating the garden at Kiftsgate in the 1930s, was in part responding to the design of neighbouring Hidcote. A lifelong friend of Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Manor, she sought to develop a more feminine feel at Kiftsgate, in contrast to Johnston’s masculine lines, refraining from undertaking detailed formal planning and instead allowing her garden to take shape more idiosyncratically.
Hidcote’s series of Arts & Crafts-inspired and carefully crafted ‘garden rooms’ are famous across the world for their beauty, intricacy and impact upon subsequent garden design. The garden features numerous plants collected by Johnston – an American horticulturalist – on his travels.
The influence of the Arts & Crafts movement will continue to be felt on a visit to Miserden Park Gardens, which are situated at the heart of a family-run estate that takes a particular interest in environmental sustainability. The gardens feature stunning flowering beds, shrubs and topiary, some elements of which were designed by Edwin Lutyens.
Stepping back further in time, a remarkable 19th century garden can be found at Sezincote, near Moreton-in-Marsh. Here, a landscape garden designed by Humphrey Repton at the heart of a privately-owned 3500-acre estate is the setting for a house built in the style of an ‘Indian palace’. A visit to the house in 1807 is said to have inspired the Prince Regent to create Brighton Pavilion. The gardens at Sezincote feature Mughal references, including planting that is evocative of a paradise garden.
We also look forward to a private out-of-hours visit to the Grade II listed Painswick Rococo Garden, a unique place that is of great interest to garden historians, where we will enjoy a guided tour led by the Director. The only surviving garden in the rococo style open in the UK, this pleasure ground was originally designed in the 1740s by Benjamin Hyett, and features serpentine paths and enchanting follies as well as vignettes of the surrounding countryside. By the 1980s, the garden had long been abandoned and was in an overgrown state. A charity was set up to restore it, using sources including a 1748 painting by local artist Thomas Robins the Elder to inform the project.
We are delighted to also be including a privileged group tour of the gardens at Highgrove, the private residence of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Highgrove is renowned for its beautiful and innovative gardens, which have been designed and regenerated over the past 40 years with passion and skill. Featuring an arboretum, wildflower meadow, stumpery, cottage garden, elegant sundial garden and Thyme Walk, Highgrove offers a variety of intriguing and beautifully kept landscapes, and the gardens and estate are managed in accordance with organic principles and with sustainability in mind. We look forward to hearing insights into the history, design and management of the garden from an experienced guide during our exclusive tour.
This tour will be based at the four-star Hare & Hounds Hotel near the charming historical wool town of Tetbury. Built in Cotswold stone and surrounded by manicured lawns, the hotel’s rooms are beautifully designed in a classic country style.
This tour will be led by Caroline Hannah, BA, who has a degree in English Literature & History of Art as well as a university-accredited Garden Design Qualification from the University of Essex/Writtle University College. For many years and prior to joining the team at ACE Cultural Tours, Caroline ran her own garden design business and has undertaken both commercial and residential projects. She has given talks on garden design, and also conducted a live question and answer session on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
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for more details.
Included: Accommodation based on sharing a very good twin or double bedded room, breakfast, three lunches, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not Included: Travel insurance, good twin/double room for single use supplement £100, very good twin/double room for single use supplement £220.