Chelsea Flower Show
Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
Chelsea Flower Show
RHS Chelsea Flower Show & the Gardens of Kent. Sorry, this tour is now fully booked. Please contact us if you would like to be placed on our waiting list.
Sunday 17th – Saturday 23rd May 2020 (6 nights)
Join us to visit the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show on ‘members-only’ day and explore some of England’s most attractive gardens in Kent – the Garden of England.
- Prestigious first, members-only day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
- Pre-opening visit to the iconic gardens at Great Dixter
- A visit to the world famous Sissinghurst Gardens
- Visit and tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew – World Heritage Site
- Private visits to Long Barn, Godinton House, Great Comp
- Tour of the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley
- A visit to Charleston Farmhouse – home of the Bloomsbury Group
- Explore the historic towns of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Rye and Lewes
- One year’s individual membership of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
Photo credits: Long Barn and Great Dixter – Claire Takacs; Our thanks to Kew Gardens and Charleston for use of their images. Other images copyright Sisley Garden Tours.
After our morning pick-up at Heathrow Airport, we head to Wisley Garden, the home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Full of ideas and information, the garden delights and inspires in any season of the year. We have a guided tour of the gardens and stay for lunch (independent) at Wisley.
Then we check into the lovely 4-star Richmond Hill Hotel, our base for the next two nights. The hotel is located at the entrance to Richmond Park and close to the River Thames. Lovely walks through the park and along the river are on the doorstep of the hotel. This evening join your tour director and travel companions for dinner in the hotel (included).
Monday 18th May
Today we visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There will be an introductory tour of the gardens then free time for independent exploration and lunch (independent). Kew covers more than 320 acres of landscape and gardens, is home to 50,000 living plants and is recognised as a World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glass house that has reopened after a five year restoration. In the afternoon we return to the hotel by boat along the River Thames. Dinner in the hotel (included).
Tuesday 19th May
Today we enjoy the first 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.
In the afternoon we make our way to Kent and check into the 4-star Spa Hotel, Royal Tunbridge Wells for four nights. Dinner in the hotel (included).
Wednesday 20th 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 the picturesque town of Rye – a near perfect medieval gem – where you will have time to explore the town and have some lunch (independent).
In the afternoon we make a visit to Pashley Manor, an immaculate garden with emphasis on colour and form around a Tudor house with 18th century additions. We enjoy an introductory talk and time to explore the gardens. We have dinner at a traditional Kent Pub (included) before returning to the hotel.
Thursday 21st May
We start the day with an exclusive visit to the beautiful private gardens at Long Barn, the first home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson – where they ‘served their gardening apprenticeship’ before Sissinghurst. This visit is a rare treat as the gardens are seldom open to the public. We continue onto 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 go to 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 return to Royal Tunbridge Wells where your evening is at leisure.
Friday 22nd May
Today we travel south to Charleston, the home and country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Group which included some of the twentieth century’s most pioneering artists, writers and thinkers. We will have a tour of the fascinating house and free time to look around the gardens. We continue to the nearby town of Lewes with its medieval alleyways, old churches and ruins of the Norman Castle. There is time for lunch (independent) and shopping in the many independent boutiques and galleries.
In the afternoon we return to Royal Tunbridge Wells. There will be a short walking tour along the Pantiles of this delightful spa town, or you can simply return to the hotel to relax. Dinner in the hotel (included).
Saturday 23rd May
Our last 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
Our hotels are 4-star and are selected for their high standards of comfort and service. All rooms are en-suite and offer free wi-fi access.
Richmond Hill Hotel
Richmond Hill Hotel is a beautiful Georgian building perfectly situated in the charming town of Richmond, Surrey. The hotel’s location is idyllic with stunning views of Petersham Meadows and the River Thames just opposite the hotel. You can wander through Richmond Park and along the river path and entirely forget you are in the Greater London area. However, at the same time, Richmond’s vibrant town centre is conveniently just a short walk away. The hotel is recently refurbished to the highest standard, featuring quality furnishings and designer touches.
The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells
Situated in 14 acres of picturesque grounds on the edge of Royal Tunbridge Wells, The Spa is a family run Hotel offering 70 well appointed and individually styled bedrooms. Originally built in 1766 as a country mansion, the hotel first opened its doors as ‘The Bishops Down Spa Hotel’, named after the spa town of Tunbridge Wells, in 1880. The hotel is surrounded by glorious gardens and parkland and includes an indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, gym and floodlit tennis court plus a 2 AA rosette restaurant.
|Tour cost per person (sharing twin or double room)||Single Supplement (for single occupancy of a double room)|
|£3,550 (GBP)||£350 (GBP)|
PRICES INCLUDE: Accommodation at 4-star hotels with en-suite facilities based on twin/double room share; buffet breakfast daily; 1 lunch and 5 dinners; admissions to gardens and the prestigious first members-only day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show; 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.