Chelsea Flower Show
Hever Castle ©VisitBritain
Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
Chelsea Flower Show
Godinton House, Kent
RHS Chelsea Flower Show & the Gardens of Kent
Sunday 19th – Friday 24th May 2019 (5 nights)
- Pre-opening visits to the iconic gardens of Sissinghurst and Great Dixter
- Prestigious members-only day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
- 5-star accommodation at Hever Castle with access to the gardens after closing & private castle tour and dinner.
- Explore the historic centres of Canterbury and Royal Tunbridge Wells
- Private visits to Long Barn, Godinton House, Goodnestone Park and Great Comp
- One year’s individual membership of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
Our tour departs Heathrow Airport mid-morning and we make our way to Penshurst Place, a wonderful 13th century fortified manor house with an 11 acre formal Grade I listed garden. There is time for lunch (independent) here.
Later we check into the very special Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII. Marvel at this double moated castle and its garden, with a 35 acre lake, fountains and magnificent original Roman and Italian Renaissance statuary. Our exclusive accommodation for five nights, is in the Astor and Anne Boleyn Wings at Hever Castle. We will enjoy dinner in the Tudor Dining Suite (included). Guests are able to explore parts of the grounds at Hever Castle after the castle closes to the public.
Monday 20th May
Our first visit of the day is to Godinton House and Gardens, a superb ancient estate where we will enjoy a private guided tour of the splendid formal gardens. Both the Jacobean house and gardens have been lovingly restored. We enjoy lunch in Godinton House (included).
In the afternoon we continue onto to the private gardens at Goodnestone Park, a 14 acre garden in parkland with fine old specimen trees, around an 18th century Palladian-style mansion with Jane Austen connections. A mature woodland garden with 1920’s rockery has a pond and shrubbery. Three interconnected exuberantly planted walled gardens use the adjacent church tower as a dramatic eye-catcher.
We then visit the historic city of Canterbury. There is time in the late afternoon and early evening for a visit to Canterbury Cathedral and the surrounding quaint streets and shops. Dinner can be taken independently at your leisure in Canterbury.
Tuesday 21st May
We start the day with a private ‘pre-opening’ guided tour of Sissinghurst Castle, a romantic garden created around a slender brick-built castle tower – this is always one of our most enjoyed visits. Its designer Vita Sackville-West’s own words describe the garden: “Profusion, even extravagance and exuberance within the confines of the utmost linear severity”.
We continue to the attractive town of Royal Tunbridge Wells where there will be free time for independent exploration and lunch. In the afternoon we enjoy an exclusive visit to the beautiful private gardens at Long Barn, the first home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson – where they ‘served their gardening apprenticeship’. We have dinner at a traditional Kent Pub (included) before returning to Hever Castle.
Wednesday 22nd May
Today we enjoy an exclusive members-only day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a highlight every time this world class show is on our itinerary. You will see magnificent floral displays, extraordinary show gardens, garden tools and products, a host of garden structures and artefacts by world famous names at this classic event close to London’s fashionable shopping.
We return to Hever Castle for dinner (included).
Thursday 23rd May
Our first visit today is a private, pre-opening guided tour of Great Dixter House and Garden, a cottage garden on a grand scale. In 1910 the English architect Edwin Lutyens restored the house and designed the gardens. The well-known gardening writer and lecturer Christopher Lloyd who further developed the garden until his passing in 2006, liked to tease the followers of garden fashion with bold experimentation. The gardens are now superbly curated by internationally renowned gardener, Fergus Garrett.
We continue onto Pashley Manor, an immaculate garden with emphasis on colour and form around a Tudor house with 18th century additions. After free time for lunch (independent) we enjoy an introductory talk and time to explore the gardens.
We return to Hever Castle for a private tour of the castle followed by dinner in the majestic and historic Castle Dining Room (included).
Friday 24th May
Our day begins with a private visit to Great Comp, an enormous achievement by two people who retired in 1957 from a busy London life. This is an informal garden against a background of deciduous woodland with an apron of lawn. The gardens are now cared for by curator, William Dyson, the UK’s leading Salvia expert.
We then make two coach drop-offs; the first in central London and the second at Heathrow Airport. We can advise on departure planning.
Note: This tour includes one year’s individual membership of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
Please read our Tour Joining and Departure Arrangements information sheet here
Have you ever dreamed of staying at an English Castle? Well, here is your chance.
Our luxury accommodation for this five-night tour will be in the Astor Wing and the Anne Boleyn Wing, an Edwardian Wing designed in the Tudor style attached to Hever Castle by an enclosed bridge over the moat. The comfortably appointed accommodation offers antique furnishings and original features along with all the modern comforts required – ensuite bathrooms, wifi and luxury textiles. We will have exclusive use of the Astor wing during our stay. There is an outdoor heated pool, tennis court and billiards room for your exclusive use. Guests can access parts of the garden when it is closed to the public.
|Tour cost per person (sharing twin or double room)||Single Supplement (for single occupancy of a double room)|
|£3,100 (GBP)||£290 (GBP)|
PRICES INCLUDE: Exclusive accommodation at Hever Castle with en-suite facilities based on twin/double room share; buffet breakfast daily; 1 lunch and 4 dinners; admissions to gardens and RHS Chelsea Flower Show on members-only day; one year’s membership to the RHS; deluxe coach travel with professional driver; guided tours as described in an information pack provided at the start of the tour; services of your Sisley tour director throughout; arrival transfers are included only if you are joining the tour at Heathrow Airport on the first morning of the tour.
PRICES EXCLUDE: Airfares; passport and/or visa fees; beverages; laundry; telephone calls; lunches and dinners (except where included in the itinerary); gratuities; souvenirs and items of a personal nature.
EXCHANGE RATE INFORMATION: You can get an idea of the cost of the tour in your local currency by using a currency converter. Conversion rates are based on institutional or inter-bank daily rates. Retail conversation rates include fees and will generally differ from these rates.
We are delighted you’ve decided to join a Sisley Garden Tour. There are several ways to book:
- You can book directly through Sisley Garden Tours
- You can book through our appointed agents in the USA, Worldwide Traveler and pay in $USD
- You can ask your local travel agent to contact us and book on your behalf
- We can also offer Bespoke Tours for small groups (minimum 12). Please contact us with your requirements.
We very much look forward to welcoming you.