Elsing Hall

Holkham Hall

Beth Chatto Garden

Elsing Hall

Sandringham Estate

East Ruston Old Vicarage

Beth Chatto Garden

Elsing Hall

Sandringham Estate

Historic Houses and Hidden Gardens of Eastern England – this tour is now FULLY BOOKED.  If you would like to join a waiting list for this tour please email us on tours@sisley.co.uk 


Saturday 17th – Saturday 24th June 2023 (7 nights)

Tour highlights:

Join us on our new, exclusive garden tour to Eastern England to explore some fascinating historic houses and discover its hidden gardens. The counties of Norfolk and Suffolk were once some of the wealthiest in England and are home to some superlative country estates, picturesque villages, rolling countryside and beautiful gardens.

  • A visit to Beth Chattos garden.
  • Exclusive ‘after hours’ visit to Her Majesty The Queen’s Sandringham estate.
  • Private lunch and tour of East Rushton Old Vicarage.
  • Pre-opening visit to Holkham Hall and walled garden.
  • Exclusive visits to five private gardens.
  • Private visit to the moated Helmingham Gardens and Columbine Hall.
  • Superb villages with thatched and half-timbered buildings.
  • View of the north Norfolk coastline and marshes.

Photo credits: Images courtesy of Elsing Hall, Columbine Hall, Helmingham Hall copyright Harpur Gardens Images & Tigger Air, Sandringham Estate, Holkham Hall, East Rushton Old Vicarage; Beth Chattos

Beth Chattos Garden

Saturday 17th June

After our morning pick up at the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel, we head north to our first hotel, the charming Titchwell Manor, on the North Norfolk Coast.

En-route we visit a delightful private garden, which surrounds and idyllic thatched cottage. We meet the owner, who is an excellent plantswoman and enjoy a a guided garden tour and lunch (included) in the garden. We check into the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner in the hotel (included).

Sunday 18th June

We being our day with a private guided tour of the 18th century Palladian style Holkham Hall – home of the Earl of Leicester. Afterwards, there will be time for lunch (independent) and a visit to the walled garden. An exciting project is underway to rejuvenate the 6 acres of walled garden which was originally laid out by Samuel Wyatt during the late 1700s.

In the afternoon we visit a fascinating private walled garden, designed by Arne Maynard. There is also a lake with picturesque island and historic dovecote to explore. We meet the owner and have tea in the ancient barn. We return to the hotel for dinner (included).

Monday 19th June

Today we take a scenic drive along the north Norfolk coast to East Ruston Old Vicarage. This beautiful, 32-acre modern garden contains many garden rooms with herbaceous borders, gravel gardens, sub-tropical gardens, a box parterre, sunken rose garden, Mediterranean garden, Desert Wash and a large woodland garden. We visit when the garden is closed to the public and will be joined by the owner for an introductory talk followed by a walk through the garden. Lunch will be served in the garden (included).

In the afternoon we stop off at Holt for some free time in this historic market town before returning to the hotel where your evening is at leisure.

Tuesday 20th June

After a leisurely start, we visit the local town of Burnham Market. This historic centre makes a pleasant stop for some lunch (independent) and shopping.

We continue from here to a stunning private property where we will be taken on a tour of the extensive gardens. In the early evening, we visit Sandringham Estate, a much loved country home of Her Majesty The Queen. We are treated to an exclusive tour of the house followed by drinks. We return to the hotel for dinner (included).

Wednesday 21st June

After checking out of the hotel, we head south towards Suffolk. Our first garden visit of the day is to the enchanting Elsing Hall – a medieval moated manor house dating from 1470. We meet the owners who have developed the gardens over the last 30 years and take a stroll through the gardens. A particular feature of the gardens is the multitude of old English roses that adorn the walls of the house, the walled garden and many borders.

We continue onto a unique garden which is the home of renowned garden designer, George Carter. The 2-acre formal garden is arranged round the farmhouse and early 19th century farm buildings and is a predominantly ‘green’ garden. It consist of a series of hedged outdoor rooms and utilise topiarised plants that would have been used in the gardens of the 17th and early 18th centuries. After lunch (included) in the delightful barn, we take a walk through the gardens with the owner.

We arrive in Lavenham in the late afternoon and check into the 4-star Swan Hotel. This historic hotel features wonderful original wooden beams and oozes atmosphere. Your evening is at leisure to explore the fabulous town of Lavenham.

Thursday 22nd June

Our first visit today is to Wyken Hall Garden –  a 1980s garden, divided into compartments which surrounds the Elizabethan manor house. It incorporates a number of old-style gardens which include a knot garden, herb garden, traditional English kitchen garden, wildflower meadows, nuttery and a copper beech maze. We have morning coffee (included) and time to explore the gardens and fabulous shop. Next we head to Bury St. Edmunds. There is time for lunch (independent) and to explore this historic centre with its magnificent St Edmundsbury Cathedral that stands among the ruins of the Abbey of St Edmund in the Abbey Gardens, once the most famous pilgrimage location in England.

Later we make a visit to one of Suffolk’s most interesting houses and gardens, Columbine Hall. The hall is over 600 years old and is surrounded by a deep and wide moat, thought to be older still and built to resist Viking raids. We will meet the owner for a tour of the fascinating house and glorious gardens. We return to the hotel for dinner (included).

Friday 23rd June

Today we begin with a visit to the home of Beth Chatto OBE who was an award-winning plantswoman, author and lecturer. She began work on her garden in 1960 when she took an overgrown wasteland of brambles, parched gravel and boggy ditches, transformed it using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions. She is famous for her philosophy of ‘right plant, right place’. After a talk about the gardens there is time to explore and have lunch (independent).

In the afternoon we visit a the privately-owned Helmingham Hall for an exclusive tour of the magnificent gardens. The Tollemarche family have been connected with this property for over 500 years and have developed the spectacular Grade I Listed gardens. We enjoy a private guided tour of the gardens. We return to the hotel for our final night dinner together (included).

Saturday 24th June

After checking out of the hotel, we visit a most intriguing garden, Ulting Wick. The 11-acre gardens have been redesigned, extended and developed over the past 20 years by Philippa and Bryan Burrough – who are knowledgeable and skilled plantspeople. The garden is centred around three listed black Essex barns and a 17th century farmhouse. The buildings provide structure, shelter and a canvas for exuberant, colourful and vibrant planting. We will meet Philippa for an introductory talk before wandering at leisure through the gardens. Lunch (included) will be served in one of the historic barns.

In the late 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 the itinerary, click here.

David Austin Roses

2023 Historic Houses and Hidden Gardens East of England

Our Hotels

Our hotels are 4-star and are selected for their high standards of comfort and service. All rooms are ensuite and offer free wifi access.

Titchwell Manor, North Norfolk (4 nights)

Titchwell Manor is an attractive boutique 28-bedroom country retreat offering relaxed fine dining. The Victorian farmhouse has recently been restored and offers bright airy bedrooms, an excellent restaurant, pretty garden with seating and warm welcome. It is perfectly located for exploring the nearby gardens and coastline.

hotel garden

The Swan Hotel, Lavenham (3 nights)

Set within the charming and historic medieval village of Lavenham, this luxury 4-star hotel has an oak beamed interior giving it a cosy feel and a sense of stepping back in time. The rooms are comfortably furnished and the hotel has a bar, two restaurants, a spa and garden and a very comfy lounge.

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)
£4,200 (GBP) £650 (GBP)


  • 7 nights’ accommodation at 4-star hotels with en-suite facilities.
  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches 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


  • 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.

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.

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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