GARDENS ILLUSTRATED: The Wiltshire Collection
A Special Selection of Quintessentially English Country Gardens
A garden tour led by Dr Sophie Piebenga, featuring a day with Tania Compton, garden writer, designer and author of The Private Gardens of England.
The southern English county of Wiltshire contains many world heritage sites including Stonehenge, Avebury and Salisbury Cathedral. Almost half the county is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, so it is not surprising to find such a collection of outstanding private gardens. We are accommodated for three nights at The Manor House Hotel, a stylish, comfortable hotel with fine food and peaceful ambience set in the heart of Castle Combe, often named the prettiest village in England.
Day 1: Monday 18th September
The tour commences at The Manor House Hotel at 09:45 or at 10:30 for those who wish to join the tour at Chippenham Railway Station from where we travel by coach to The Courts, a country garden of perfect harmony. After a light lunch in the Glove Factory, we visit Iford Manor with Harold Peto’s Italianate garden. Set idyllically by the River Frome, the garden is characterised by steps, terraces, sculpture and magnificent rural views. We then check in at The Manor House Hotel with time to settle before an evening meal together with wine included.
Day 2: Tuesday 19th September
For our second day we are joined by Tania Compton, garden designer and author of the recently published The Private Gardens of England. We visit three exceptional private gardens, two designed by Tania and one designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. Fonthill House, the home of Lord and Lady Margadale features a garden with a strong structure to look good throughout the year. There follows a special invitation to lunch at Moor Hatches, a contemporary garden designed by Tom Stuart Smith; a family garden that looks stunning throughout the year, helped by the beautiful Woodford valley setting, on the banks of the Wiltshire Avon, a clear chalk stream. In the afternoon we visit Spilsbury, Tania and botanist husband, Dr Jamie Compton’s own informal family garden. Return to The Manor House. Tonight we stroll the short distance into the village to dine at the local village inn, renowned for good food.
Day 3: Wednesday 20th September
We start the day with a morning visit to Special Plants, a nursery for passionate gardeners, where we meet owner Derry Watkins and tour her own private garden with a chance to explore the nursery. Lunch follows at Lucknam Park with time to explore the beautiful gardens. In the afternoon we visit Ridleys Cheer, created from scratch over the last 45 years by owner garden designer Anthony Young and his wife Sue. We will find a young arboretum, wild flower meadows and sheets of cyclamen beneath specimen trees and shrubs suited to the alkaline soil. We return for our last evening at The Manor House.
Day 4: Thursday 21st September
Our final day begins with a visit to Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s private walled garden at Bowood House featuring beautiful formal borders, picking garden, glass houses and a productive kitchen garden, with time to stroll to the lake to view the Capability Brown landscape before lunch. Finally, we drive to the beautiful village of Lacock to the Queen Anne former vicarage, now tenanted by Deborah van der Beek and her husband. The garden of Cantax House has been designed by the Van der Beeks and is wonderfully embellished with intricate yet powerful sculptures by Deborah Van der Beek. Return to Chippenham Railway station for 16:00 and to the hotel for 16:30 for those who have left cars.
How much & what's included
The price per person: £1998.00
Single supplement: £220.00 (per person, levied by the hotel)
The price includes: three nights bed and breakfast at The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe; two evening meals with wines at the hotel and one at an excellent local inn; plus four lunches and transport from Chippenham Railway Station or from the hotel. The price does not include extras at the hotel, or travel insurance.
FINANCIAL FAILURE INSURANCE
In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” customers of Boxwood Tours Ltd will be indemnified in respect of their net ascertained financial loss sustained arising from the cancellation or curtailment of the declared trip travel arrangements arising solely from the event of the financial failure of Boxwood Tours Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited on behalf of Towergate Chapman Stevens through Hiscox Insurance Company Limited. Customer bookings will be declared on a monthly basis to Travel & General Insurance Services Limited. Invoices issued to passengers for their bookings will contain these insurance wordings. This cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the insurance policy wordings, a copy of which is available on request.