Celebrate English gardens and grand estates in Britain’s capital and the rolling hills of the picturesque Cotswolds. This spring journey features an exclusive Members’ Day tour of London’s Chelsea Flower Show. Spend three days in London, with accommodations at St. James’ Court, a classic Taj hotel. Delight in an afternoon visit to the Chelsea Physic Garden and a private look at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Your Members’ Day visit at the Chelsea Flower Show will feature the exhibits at their most vibrant. Then, enjoy four days in the Cotswolds, where a highlight will be a private visit and afternoon tea at Highgrove House, the family home and gardens of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Other Cotswolds delights include special visits to two arboreta containing rare plant species. In nearby Oxford, admire the renowned Oxford Botanic Garden, and embark on a guided tour of this historical university city. Indulge in a private lunch at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, with an exclusive look around the marvelous grounds, which were landscaped by Capability Brown, known as “England’s greatest gardener.”
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
May 20, 2022 - May 28, 2022
ST. JAMES’ COURT, A TAJ HOTEL, LONDON
Opened in 1902, St. James’ Court in central London is an English classic epitomizing the charm of Britain’s finest hotels. The rooms and suites are ideal for relaxation and indulgence, a perfect synthesis of Old World charm, modern design, and state-of-the-art amenities. The hotel’s celebrated restaurants in London, including Michelin-starred Quilon and contemporary European Bistro, have pleased the most discerning of gourmands. The newly relaunched wellness center offers the finest of East-meets-West spa treatments, designed to completely relax and restore the equilibrium of body and mind.
COTSWOLD HOUSE HOTEL & SPA, CHIPPING CAMPDEN
Nestled in the heart of Chipping Campden, the award- winning Cotswold House Hotel & Spa is housed in a charming Regency townhouse complete with a tranquil spa, relaxed bistro, and the beautiful Fig Lounge, a versatile space available for morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails. The hotel’s central location offers picturesque Cotswold scenery from every window; be that rolling hills, nearby fields, or the honey colored architecture of the town center.
Reserve your place with confidence: Your deposit will be fully refundable until 120 days before departure.
MAY 20: DEPARTURE
Depart for London on an overnight flight.
MAY 21: LONDON
Arrive in London this morning, and check in at your hotel, the centrally located St. James’ Court. Venture to the Chelsea Physic Garden for an afternoon visit, with a warm welcome from the staff. Founded in 1673 as the Apothecaries’ Garden, its unique, walled location along the Thames creates a warmer microclimate for a wide variety of native and non-native plants to thrive year-round. Return to the hotel for introductory remarks, followed by dinner.
MAY 22: LONDON
The focus of the morning is the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens, commonly called Kew Gardens. With more than 250 years of history, this is one of the most comprehensive plant collections in Britain. While there, take in a private guided visit, with an inside look at the palace and the Georgian royal kitchens. Visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship garden in Wisley, and enjoy lunch in its restaurant. Later, visit Wisley’s herbarium, which is currently housed in the original Laboratory building. Gifted to the Society in 1903, it has evolved into an imaginative, world-class garden. Return to London, where dinner and the evening are at leisure.
MAY 23: LONDON
Drive to the Royal Hospital grounds to visit the famed Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s supreme floral and horticultural event. Our specially arranged visit is on Members’ Day, when the exhibits are at their peak. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure. You may wish to continue your afternoon admiring the show, or move on to your favorite places in the city.
MAY 24: LONDON / COTSWOLDS
Depart for the Cotswolds, where we plan to have a late morning tour and afternoon tea at Highgrove House. The family home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles and Camilla), Highgrove is graced with organic gardens renowned for their environmental sustainability and beauty. Spend the afternoon at Kiftsgate Court Garden, created by three generations of women gardeners beginning in 1920 and well known for its scented, climbing Kiftsgate rose. Arrive in Chipping Campden at Cotswold House Hotel & Spa, where accommodations are arranged for four nights. The evening is at leisure. B
MAY 25: COTSWOLDS
Spend the morning among Japanese and Chinese trees at Batsford Arboretum, home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country, including several Red Data List species extinct in the wild. Return for lunch at leisure in Chipping Campden. While there, you may also wish to visit the Ernest Wilson Memorial Garden, which contains many of the plants this notably intrepid English collector introduced to Britain from China. Spend the afternoon at Hidcote Manor, one of the finest garden examples of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. Return to the hotel for dinner. B
MAY 26: COTSWOLDS
Stroll amid the picturesque landscapes at Westonbirt Arboretum, created during an exciting Victorian period when plant hunters were returning with exotic species from the edges of the British Empire. Continue to Barnsley House for lunch and a tour of its enchanting gardens, which boast the grand features and ornamentation of a much larger space. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
MAY 27: OXFORD
Drive to Oxford, “The City of Dreaming Spires,” for a guided walking tour, followed by a visit to the famed University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum. Founded in 1621, it is among the oldest of the existing scientific gardens, with one of the most compact and diverse plant representations in the world. Continue to Blenheim Palace for a private lunch. Built in the short-lived 18th-century English Baroque style, the UNESCO-listed Blenheim is the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The surrounding park of over 2,000 acres was notably redesigned by Capability Brown, known as “England’s greatest gardener.” This afternoon, delight in an exclusive tour of its North Park and the newly discovered ancient oak trees, some of which are over 1,000 years old. Attend a festive farewell dinner at the highly regarded Lords of the Manor restaurant this evening.
MAY 28: COTSWOLDS / LONDON / RETURN
Following breakfast, transfer to London for the return flights home.
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