• Tulpe & Tuine

Amsterdam – Engeland met die Chelsea Blommeskou

5 – 23 Mei 2020

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Southern England boasts a huge variety of vibrant gardens, tucked away within stunning countryside, just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
This tour travels to some of the very best of these gardens. Many are life works created by our greatest gardeners who made history with their stunning and innovative creations. Visits to private gardens, talks with the gardeners and other experts, or a trip to the world- famous Chelsea Flower Show are all included in this tour. This tour has specifically been chosen to happen in May to enjoy the gardens at their best.


Day 1: 05 May 2020

Johannesburg – Amsterdam

Our exciting journey begins by meeting with the rest of our friends in Johannesburg at O.R. Tambo International Airport. Here we check in for our flight to Amsterdam. The check-in counters are in the International Departure hall.

Overnight Aircraft Meals on Board

Day 2: 06 May 2020


Disembarking at the airport we move through customs, collect our luggage and are greeted by our local guide in Amsterdam, who accompanies us to our hotel. On our way to check into the hotel we enjoy a panoramic city tour! We will drive through the centre of town where we catch a glimpse from the coach of the canals and elegantly designed Vondel Park.

We have the remainder of the day to enjoy some free time before we meet for our welcome dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Westcord Arthotel or similar Dinner

Day 3: 07 May 2020


After a scrumptious breakfast we leave for our morning excursion to Keukenhof Gardens where we get to visit the flower show! Keukenhof Garden is one of the largest flower gardens in the world, with around 7 million bulbs planted each year. We get to explore the gardens on our own, before we return to the Botanical Gardens in Amsterdam in the afternoon.

The Botanical Gardens, known as the Hortus Botanica, was established in 1638 as a specialised medicinal herb garden during the plague, and was later expanded to house more than 6 000 plants.

Tonight we enjoy dinner on our own at the hotel.

Overnight Westcord Arthotel or similar Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4: 08 May 2020

Amsterdam – London

We have some time to enjoy breakfast before we embark on our journey to our next destination. We transfer to the station by coach for our train to London. This train normally has a change-over in Brussels, and we take the opportunity to do a short, guided, panoramic tour of Brussels by coach. Upon our arrival in London we are met by a local coach and assistant who will then transfer us to our hotel.

We now have time to settle into our hotel at leisure and enjoy dinner on our own.

Overnight Tower Hotel or similar Breakfast

Day 5: 09 May 2020

London – Northiam – Dorking – London

A full English Breakfast is enjoyed at our hotel before we depart from London in the morning and travel to Northiam, where we visit the Great Dixter house and gardens. Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – it was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm and fuelled over 40 years of books and articles. Now under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, Great Dixter is a historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.

We then travel to Denbies in Dorking for a wine cider and local cheese tour to sample regional produce. Denbies is one of the first wine estates in the world to give visitors of all ages a unique and fascinating insight into all aspects of the wind producing process, all year round, with indoor and outdoor tours and tastings.

Following a lovely day of gardens, ciders and cheeses we return to London, where we have dinner on our own and some time at leisure at our hotel.

Overnight Tower Hotel or similar Breakfast

Day 6: 10 May 2020

London – Amesbury – Exeter

After breakfast, we are joined by our touring coach to say goodbye to London, the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. We will first travel to Woking for entrance to RHS Wisley Gardens.

Wisley is the flagship garden of the RHS and one of the UK’s most visited and best-loved gardens, attracting around one million visitors each year. Some 75 garden staff, 25 students, four apprentices and 100 volunteers help make a day at Wisley an amazing experience for our visitors. Wisley is all about inspirational gardening, rather than a museum of plants and conservation. They are constantly assessing and updating our plants and planting schemes to ensure that there is always something new to excite and inspire. In particular, we could have a look at their mixed borders or glasshouse borders (as it is during their summer) and we’ll be sure to get plenty of inspiration (and maybe a little envious). Lastly, a visit would not be complete without stepping inside their spectacular Glasshouse, where you can take a journey around the world in plants.

We then embark on our next adventure to Amesbury for our entrance to Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 to 2000 BC. One of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon. It has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882.

After viewing this Crown-owned and English Heritage-managed site, we travel to Exeter for our overnight stay.

The balance of the day is free to enjoy as you wish, followed by dinner at our hotel.

Overnight Mercure Exeter Rougemont Breakfast and Dinner Hotel or similar

Day 7: 11 May 2020

Exeter – Dartmoor – Mevagissey – St. Austell

We start our day with a hearty breakfast before we travel south to Cornwall, with a stop in Dartmoor to view the moors. The granite in Dartmoor, which forms the uplands, dates from the Carboniferous Period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The highest point is High Willhays, 621 m (2 037 ft.) above sea level.

We finish exploring this area rich in antiquities and archaeology, and move on to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Mevagissey, Heligan. This has been the seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years, and is one of the most mysterious and romantic estates in England. A genuine secret garden, as it was lost for decades; its history consigned to overgrowth.

Our day comes to an end at this award-winning garden before we are transferred to our hotel where we meet later for dinner.

Overnight Cornwall Hotel & Spa or Similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8: 12 May 2020

St.Austell – Padstow – Clovelly– Cheddar – Cheltenham

We have a leisurely start with breakfast before our next adventure. We move on to visit the fishing village of Padstow. This charming fishing port, located on the North Cornish coast, boasts smart restaurants, art galleries, gift shops, and a picturesque view of the estuary. We have lunch at the famous Rick Stein restaurant, the celebrity Cornish TV chef, with a number of culinary enterprises that dominate the foodie scene in Padstow. His flagship seafood restaurant is a landmark of Padstow, where you can perhaps purchase fudge in the deli, relax at the quayside or even view the cookery school.

We then enjoy a short stop in the quaint fishing village of Clovelly. The village remains a fully functioning working fishing village, clinging to a 400-ft cliff, overlooking Bideford Bay. It has no vehicular traffic on its steeply cobbled street, just donkeys and sledges. Here we enjoy a walk through the cobbled village centre and view the harbour.

Next, we continue on to Cheddar to visit Cheddar Gorge, a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, whereBritain’s oldest human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be over 9 000 years old, was found in 1903. Cheddar is the home of England’s most famous cheese. Here we also get to try some of the regional cheese, before our departure to our hotel in Cheltenham.

Exiting exploration concludes the day, whereafter we meet up with our friends for dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Mgallery Cheltenham or similar Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: 13 May 2020

Cheltenham – Hidcote Bartrim – Burford– Bibury – Cirencester – Cheltenham

Following the most important meal of the day we move on to visit the Cotswolds, with stops in some of the local villages. The Cotswolds is a rural area in South Central England adjoining parts of six counties, notably Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. It boasts thatched medieval villages, churches and stately homes build of distinctive local yellow limestone, with rolling hills and a grassland harbour.

We then make our way to Hidcote Manor in Hidcote, which is one of the best-known and most influential Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain before we stop to view Burford. This small medieval town is situated on the River Windrush in the Cotswold Hills and is often referred to as the “gateway” to the Cotswolds.

Fish and chips? Why not do a typical pub lunch today, as we will be visiting a local pub in Bibury to enjoy some local cuisine? This village is located on both banks of the River Coln, which rises in the same district, as well as a Thames tributary. We then have some free time to explore Cirencester, a market town in east Gloucestershire.

Upon our return to our hotel we have time to ourselves and make our own dinner arrangements.

Overnight Palm Garden Resort or similar Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10: 14 May 2020

Cheltenham – Welshpool – Llandudno

After breakfast, we have the morning free in the Roman town of Cheltenham, perhaps to take a stroll through the nearby Montpellier Gardens, or to explore the town centre.

In the afternoon it is time to explore Welshpool to visit the medieval Powys Castle, a fortress and grand country mansion in Powys, Wales. It is known for housing the treasures that were brought home by Robert Clive and his son, Edward Clive from India. The castle is also known for its extensive, attractive formal gardens, terraces, parkland, deer park and landscaped estates.

We end the day in Llandudno, a small town on the Welsh coast. It is known for its North Shore Beach and 19th-century Llandudno pier.

We check in and delight in dining at our hotel tonight.

Overnight St. Georges Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11: 15 May 2020

Llandudno – Tal-y-Cafn – Llanberis– Llandudno

Breakfast starts our day before our next journey. Overlooking the Conwy Valley towards the Carneddau Mountains we visit Bodnant Gardens, a Victorian garden filled with a huge range of flora, fromwildflower meadows to water gardens, and home to Britain’s earliest magnolias.

We start our afternoon by visiting Mt. Snowdon. Accessed by trail or rail, this soaring mountain features sweeping views, abundant flora and even a café! With a return train ticket on the Snowdown railway, we get to experience the summit with breath-taking panoramic views of the mountain and free time to look around or explore.

We conclude this eventful day with dinner at the hotel tonight.

Overnight St. Georges Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12: 16 May 2020

Llandudno – Kendal – Windermere

Kendal in the Lake District awaits. Following breakfast, we will visit Levens Hall and Topiary. Located at the gateway to the Lake District National Park, 5 miles south of Kendal, Cumbria, Levens Hall has grown from a stark, imposing Pele Tower built c1250-1300, into a warm and welcoming family home. Here we marvel at this beautiful privately owned house and gardens, home to the world’s oldest topiary gardens and centre of a thriving 9 500-acre agricultural estate, which provides much of the produce used in Levens Kitchen.

We then travel to the lustrous Windermere where we will stay overnight. This evening we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning to our hotel.

Overnight Castle Green Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13: 17 May 2020


After a leisurely breakfast we have a full day at leisure for some shopping and to explore Windermere town. We have the opportunity to experience its magic and vast charisma! Perhaps you could even visit the Beatrix Potter Museum, certainly a must-visit if one has a day free. Believe it or not, Windermere is certainly a worthwhile location deeply loved and adored by both locals and newcomers. Imagine traversing the beautiful English countryside, where we will be able to walk along Lake Windermere, or take one of the many walks using Windermere as our base.

In a nearby restaurant we conclude our day with dinner, and head back to our hotel for the remainder of the evening.

Overnight Castle Green Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14: 18 May 2020

Windermere – Chatsworth – Nottingham

We pack up and travel to Nottingham via Chatsworth, where we will visit the gardens at Chatsworth Stately home, including the Victorian Rock garden after breakfast. Standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, Chatsworth looks across to the low hills that divide the Derwent and Wye Valleys. The house, set in expansive parkland and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland, contains an important collection of paintings, furniture, Old Masters drawings, neoclassical sculptures, books and other artefacts. Chatsworth has been selected several times as the United Kingdom’s favourite country house. During the early Victorian period in England, rock gardens became popular. A rock garden included plants suitable for that low water environment, often alpine plants. It also became an opportunity to show-case plants collected from abroad.

We do not dare end our day without trying some more delicious local dining at a nearby restaurant, before we check into our hotel for our overnight stay.

Overnight Lace Market Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15: 19 May 2020

Nottingham – Woodstock – London

Our new destination awaits after breakfast. Today we will visit Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. Blenheim Palace is a beautiful 18th-century residence with expansive gardens. Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English Baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined use as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

Meals are social occasions to savour and enjoy! We return to London, where we try some more culinary experiences at dinner in a local restaurant before settling into our hotel.

Overnight Tower Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16: 20 May 2020


Kew Garden awaits in the morning once we have had our morning meal. Their incredible living plant collections are among the largest and most diverse in the world. There is a variety of cafés and restaurants to complement our trip. Look out for seasonal treats and food foraged from the Gardens.

In the afternoon we will have a panoramic city tour of London, including stops to view Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.

A late afternoon departure to our hotel brings us to some time at leisure and dinner on our own.

Overnight Tower Hotel or similar Breakfast

Day 17: 21 May 2020


A full-day entrance to the Chelsea Flower show with our local guide awaits! After breakfast we get to visit The RHS Chelsea Flower Show! This is a garden show held for five days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London. Held at Chelsea since 1912, it is the most famous flower and landscape gardens show in the United Kingdom, and perhaps in the world, attracting visitors from all continents. Highlights of the Chelsea Flower Show include the avant-garde show gardens designed by leading names, with the Floral Marquee at the centrepiece. The Show also features smaller gardens such as the Artisan and Urban Gardens.

A pleasurable day comes to an end after dinner at a nearby restaurant, before returning to our hotel.

Overnight Tower Hotel or similar Breakfast and Dinner

Day 18: 22 May 2020

London – Heathrow Airport

This morning we have some time to pack and for a leisurely breakfast before we say goodbye to the city of London, and make our way to Heathrow airport.

Overnight Aircraft Breakfast and meals on board

Day 19: 23 May 2020

Arrive in Johannesburg

We collect our luggage, say goodbye to our travel companions and make our way home with our memorabilia and gifts to commemorate our exquisite English cultural experience.

Overnight Aircraft

Meals on board

Bon Voyage!

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