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Gravetye Manor

Great Dixter

Town Place Garden

Wisley

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Gravetye Manor

Nymans Garden

Great Comp

Hever Castle

Exclusive English Summer Gardens from Hever Castle

Sunday 25th – Friday 30th June 2023 (5 nights)

Tour highlights:

This spectacular high-season tour explores some of our very best English gardens and houses. Our base is the historic and luxurious Hever Castle and we will enjoy extraordinary gardens in their full profusion, private tours, fascinating historic houses and attractive scenery.

  • Pre-opening guided tours of Sissinghurst Castle garden and Great Dixter
  • 5 night stay at the medieval, moated Hever Castle with exclusive after-hours access to the gardens
  • Exclusive lunch and garden tour at Gravetye Manor
  • Visit to Great Comp, curated by the salvia specialist, William Dyson
  • Tour of the RHS Gardens at Wisley
  • Three exquisite private gardens
  • Time in the historic towns of Royal Tunbridge Wells and Rye

Photo credits: Great Dixter and Gravetye Manor copyright of Claire Takacs; Great Comp copyright Peter Davin;

Great Dixter September

Sunday 25th June

Our tour departs the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel mid-morning. We travel to Penshurst Place, a wonderful 13th century fortified manor house with an 11-acre, formal, Grade I listed garden. We have a tour of the gardens followed by lunch (independent).

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. We have a private tour of the castle after it closes to the public, followed by dinner in the Tudor Dining Suite (included). Guests are able to explore parts of the grounds at Hever Castle after the castle closes.

Monday 26th June

This morning we enjoy a visit to Nymans Garden, one of the most fashionable and romantic gardens of the Edwardian and interwar years, and the creation of the Messel family. The house was devastated by fire, leaving just a romantic ruin to dominate the garden. There is time to explore the gardens and the part of the house that escaped the fire.

We then head to Gravetye Manor, the home of William Robinson, author, botanist and gardener. Gravetye is considered to be amongst the most influential in English gardening history, as Robinson’s ideas about naturalised planting were ground breaking. The house is now an independently owned hotel. We are treated to lunch in the hotel restaurant (included), followed by a guided tour of the gardens. We return to Hever Castle for a traditional English Afternoon Tea (included).

Tuesday 27th June

This morning we have time at leisure at Hever Castle to enjoy the gardens, grounds and even the outdoor heated swimming pool. We depart late morning for the historic town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. There will be time for shopping and lunch (independent).

In the afternoon we visit the private Town Place Garden. This 3-acre garden is set round a 17th century Sussex farmhouse the features over 600 roses, herbaceous borders, herb garden, topiary inspired by the sculptures of Henry Moore, ornamental grasses, an 800 year old oak, potager, and a unique ‘ruined’ Priory Church and Cloisters, in hornbeam.

Afterwards we continue onto a superb private 6-acre garden that is divided by hedges into smaller gardens, reflecting different periods of English Garden design. After looking around the gardens with the owner, we will enjoy supper in the coach house (included).

Wednesday 28th June

We start the day with a pre-opening guided tour of Great Dixter House and Garden, a cottage garden on a grand scale. The well-known gardening writer and lecturer Christopher Lloyd, who developed the garden until his death in 2006, liked to tease the followers of garden fashion with bold experimentation. The gardens are now superbly managed by internationally renowned gardener, Fergus Garrett. There is time at Great Dixter for lunch (independent).

In the afternoon we visit a nearby private home with an impressive award-winning hillside garden. Set within an 80-acre estate, this compact and richly planted garden includes distinct areas including a water garden, a Japanese garden, a woodland garden and a walled vegetable garden. The numerous grasses provide glorious texture and colour. This evening, we have dinner in a traditional English pub (included).

Thursday 29th June

Today we begin with a ‘pre-opening’ 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”. There will be free time for lunch (independent) and exploration of the gardens.

In the afternoon we have time to explore Great Comp Garden, an enormous achievement by two people who retired in 1957 from a busy London life. This is an informal garden set against a background of deciduous woodland. The gardens are now cared for by curator, William Dyson, the UK’s leading Salvia expert so you’ll see wonderful herbaceous borders and unusual plants. We return to Hever Castle for our final night dinner in the Castle Dining Room (included).

Friday 30th June

For our final visit of the tour, we go to RHS Wisley, the home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Full of ideas and information, the garden delights and inspires in any season of the year. We enjoy a guided tour so you’ll be sure to see the very best of these impressive gardens. We stay for lunch (included) at Wisley.

In the afternoon we drop off at the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel and Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 for inter-terminal transport links and the Heathrow Express train for travel into London.

Please read our Tour Joining and Departure Arrangements information sheet here. To download a printable version of this itinerary, please click here.

Great Dixter SeptemberGeneric flower shots ( WisleyGravetye ManorHever Castle copyright VisitBritainGravetye ManorGreat DixterSissinghurst Castle, Kent

2023 English Summer Gardens

Our Castle

Hever Castle, Kent (5 nights)

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 the Astor 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 the castle and grounds are closed to the public.

Hever Castle copyright VisitBritain

TOUR PRICES: Prices are per person, based on twin/double room share, with single supplement (solo occupancy of a double room) shown separately. Tours are priced in £GBP.

 Tour cost per person (sharing twin or double room) Single supplement (for single occupancy of a double room)
£4,000 (GBP) £350 (GBP)

PRICES INCLUDE:

  • 5 nights’ accommodation at Hever Castle’s Astor Wing with en-suite facilities.
  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunch and 5 dinners.
  • All garden visits including tours with garden owners and head gardeners.
  • All tour gratuities (driver, tour director and hotels).
  • Deluxe coach travel with professional driver.
  • Gift information pack with detailed information about the gardens we will be visiting.
  • Services of your Sisley tour director throughout

PRICES EXCLUDE:

  • Airfares.
  • Passport and/or visa fees if applicable.
  • Meals not included in the tour, drinks, laundry, and telephone calls.

TOUR PAYMENT: A 10% non-refundable deposit is requested at the time of booking to secure your place on the tour.  Your tour balance payment is due 90 days prior to tour departure.

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 conversion rates include fees and will generally differ from these rates.

WisleySissinghurst Castle, KentGravetye ManorNymans

Online booking form: To reserve your tour place(s) please complete our online booking form by clicking the Book Now button below. As soon as we receive your booking form, we will confirm availability on the tour of your choice and arrange collection of your deposit to secure your booking.

You can book and pay for your tour in three ways:

With your own travel agent: You can book a Sisley Garden Tour in your local currency through your own travel agent. Just provide us with their contact details in your booking form and we will take care of the rest.

With our travel partner in the USA: After 20 happy years of partnership, Worldwide Traveler has retired as our US travel partner. We are currently seeking to appoint a new representative to work with in the US. Please contact us for details.

With Sisley Garden Tours: All clients are welcome to book a tour directly with us. We can accept payment in GBP£ by bank transfer or by credit/ debit card.

Book now

Full details of our booking Terms & Conditions can be found at here. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section for further information.

We very much look forward to welcoming you, but please email tours@sisley.co.uk if you have any queries.

Town PlaceGreat Dixter SeptemberWisley

If you would like to complete our online booking form, please click the Book Now button.
Please contact us if you have any queries about the tour or would like to arrange for us to call you back.
To download a PDF of the tour itinerary to print out or send to friends, please choose the Print Itinerary button.
Read through our Frequently Asked Question section to find out more about our tours, dress code, average day, tips etc.
To assist you in pre and post tour planning, you might wish to read our tour Joining and Departure Arrangements. Click opposite for further details.
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