Here are some common questions asked by our clients. We hope you’ll find the information you’re looking for. If not, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Do Sisley Garden Tours have offices in any other country than the UK?
Whilst our Head Office is in the U.K., we have partner Travel Agents in the USA and Canada who are able to assist with any enquiries, travel arrangements to join our Tours and taking bookings. All enquiries from countries other than the above should be directed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who goes on a Sisley Garden Tour?
Our Clients are come from all over the world with many joining us from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe. Most are English-speaking and all our main tour commentaries are in English. However, bespoke Tours for non-English speaking groups can be arranged. Our Tours appeal to a wide variety of individuals but all with a common love of beautiful gardens. All have a desire to explore the finest gardens and historic houses in small groups of like-minded colleagues with the expert guidance of a Sisley Tour Director. Tours are run in a relaxed manner with our sole aim to provide you with a wonderful holiday experience. We hope our clients join us as much-valued guests and leave us as friends.
Is it necessary to have a good level of mobility?
Our Tour aim is for every client to fully enjoy the gardens, historic houses and towns we visit. In order to achieve this, you do need to be fit enough to participate fully. Please bear in mind that you will have to negotiate getting on and off the vehicle on a regular basis, walking around gardens, managing stairs in the hotels and showers over the bath. If you have any queries as to whether our tours are suitable for you, please check with us.
I have some health problems, and want to know if this will be a problem?
If your health problem is minor and you can self-manage it without additional care or special facilities, then we should be able to accommodate you. Again, it is best to check. Whilst our primary aim as Tour Directors is to look after all our client’s needs, we must ensure that particular needs of individuals do not adversely affect the experience of other group members.
Do you only offer scheduled Tours or do you offer bespoke tour planning?
We are delighted to design and operate bespoke tour itineraries for families, friends wanting to travel together, or any other group. Please contact us to discuss your bespoke tour requirements.
Do you offer triple room accommodation?
Many of our hotels do not offer triple availability but please ask and we will confirm availability for the Tour you are interested in.
Do the rooms have bathtubs or showers?
All hotel rooms are private ensuite. In Europe, bathroom facilities can vary and you may find that some rooms will have a tub, some showers, some both.
What kind of room should I book?
An important point to note when you are booking is that we need to know whether you want a twin room (two single-sized beds in a room) or a double room (one standard-sized bed for two people).
I am a single traveller. Is it possible to share a room? Why must I pay a single supplement?
We do not “match up” single travellers but if you are keen to find a room share, we will let our Travel Agents know and if both parties agree, put you in touch with any other single travellers with the same request. All hotels charge extra for single occupancy and in most cases, this is for single occupancy of a double room.
What type of hotels do Sisley Garden Tours use?
We use all 4 and 5 star Hotels ranging from modern custom-built hotels to historic country houses. All our hotels are chosen for their excellent levels of comfort and service and their location to minimise travel time to our Tour destinations. All rooms are ensuite and many have leisure facilities. Some of our favourite hotels are located in fascinating and beautiful historic buildings and for this reason, rooms are often different shapes and sizes and the layout of the hotel may be “unusual”.
Is porterage included?
We include porterage wherever possible in the hotels.
Can Sisley Garden Tours arrange additional nights’ accommodation in the Tour Hotels at the start or end of the Tour?
Yes, if rooms are available we would be happy to arrange extra nights for you. Please let us or your local travel agent know at the time of your booking and we will confirm availability and prices. Where Tours start at Heathrow Airport, many clients flying in long haul from overseas find it beneficial to fly in the day before and stay at an Airport hotel so that they are fully rested for the Tour start. Again, we can assist you in booking airport hotels if required.
Are Airport Transfers included in the Tour price?
Unless the Tour itinerary specifically states that the Tour starts at the Airport, arrival transfers are not included. The Tours normally end at the final hotel. If you need any assistance with arrival or departure planning, please just ask.
Will I need a visa?
It is your responsibility to obtain any visas which might be necessary enabling you to join the Tour. Please check with your local consular office as to any visa requirements for entry into the U.K.
What sort of vehicle do we travel in?
Sisley Garden Tours has a number of established partnerships with professional coach operators who provide both a professional driver and deluxe midi-coach for our Tours in addition to the services of your Sisley Tour Director. We like to use local companies with excellent local knowledge and the coaches we use are chosen for their comfort and sized appropriately for the Tour group size. Luggage is stored in a rear compartment and our coaches benefit from air conditioning and PA system.
How many people will be on my tour?
Our Tour Groups vary in size and are typically between 12 – 18 passengers. The maximum number we carry is 20.
What is a typical day on a Sisley Garden Tour?
Days can sometimes be fairly long, but we aim to take things at a relaxed pace and build in time for rest and relaxation in the day. We might typically leave at 9am and arrive back at our hotel at 5pm, however, some days may be longer and others shorter depending on what needs to be covered that day.
How much walking is involved on tour?
The nature of exploring the gardens and historic towns we visit means there is a reasonable amount of walking involved in our daily itineraries.Where guided tours of gardens are included as part of our visit, clients may always opt out to rest and where we visit historic towns and villages, the amount of walking and independent exploration is up to the Client. Often there is much pleasure to be had in sitting watching the world go by! Should Clients wish to take a day off from the Tour, they are perfectly entitled to do so as long as we are returning to the same hotel in the evening.Please note: if you have a mobility problem or concern, you may not find our tours suitable. Please contact us if you have any doubts.
Am I expected to leave gratuities?
It is common in the UK & Europe to leave a small gratuity in restaurants and cafes if you have received good service (typically 10% on top of the bill). It would also be usual to give your tour guide a tip at the end of the tour if he/she has done a good job. The amount is entirely at your discretion, and is not mandatory, but it is always much appreciated.
How much driving do we do?
We design tours so that there is as little wasted time as possible on the bus and plenty to see while aboard. Inevitably, there are days when travelling between locations may involve motorway driving and more mileage. We do travel along scenic routes wherever possible and you will see more of the countryside and local village life than on a regular tour.
What are the benefits of travelling in a small group?
Unlike a large coach company we can offer a truly personal experience exploring beautiful gardens and meeting head gardeners, volunteers and garden owners with a real passion for the gardens they tend. You will meet like-minded friends and enjoy the special attentions of a professional driver plus your own Sisley Tour Director who will impart their local knowledge and ensure you get the very best out of the gardens, historic houses and towns that we visit.
What meals are included?
Delicious breakfasts and Dinners are included daily reducing the need to find evening restaurants in unfamiliar places. Dinner times in the U.K. & Europe are likely to be 7.00pm at the earliest and often later in mainland Europe. Some lunches may be included, these will be detailed in the itinerary.
Can special dietary needs be accommodated?
We will do our best to satisfy your dietary needs, but you must ensure that any restrictions are made clear to us at the time of booking so we can pass the information on to our hotels.
Do you include entrance fees to attractions?
All entries to the gardens and Flower Shows set out in the Tour itinerary are included in the Tour price. In addition, we include entrance fees to historic houses that form part of our itinerary when they are open to the public and a number of garden talks/ tours by head gardeners and garden owners.
What happens if I have to cancel?
Please see our cancellation policy in our terms & conditions. We rarely have cancellations but if you do, through illness or any other reason, there would be a charge as set out in our terms & conditions. We do require that all clients take out suitable travel insurance covering cancellations and any other standard travel insurance risks at the time of booking.
Do I need to take out travel insurance for my trip?
You must always ensure you are fully insured when travelling overseas, and we require all Clients to have suitable and adequate cover. We will ask for your insurance details on booking. Please check that your insurance includes covering cancellation fees in the instance you are forced to cancel your tour prior to departure due to unforeseen circumstances.
How much luggage can we bring?
Luggage is restricted to one standard sized suitcase and one carry-on per person.
What is not included in a Sisley Garden Tour?
Air Fares: Air travel must be booked independently and the flight details given to us. Our Travel Consultants can assist with booking flights and any other travel arrangements that you may require as part of your trip. Driver/Tour Director gratuity is at your discretion. Lunches, social drinks, items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not included on our Tour itinerary. Guide Books and other literature for sale at the gardens we visit. Optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour notes. Incidental expenses, such as telephone bills, newspapers, laundry and room service incurred at the Hotels is the responsibility of the individual client. All expenses are to be settled at check-out.