16th to 19th September 2019:
An exclusive TELEGRAPH tour hosted by gardens correspondent, HELEN YEMM and led by SOPHIE PIEBENGA; including the Tamar Valley & Dartmoor.
Tucked down in the southwest corner of England, Devon is a county tailor-made for the garden-visiting connoisseur: a dramatically contrasting landscape of wild, romantic moorland, wooded coombes, and rich red earth. Here, we have found some exceptional gardens, including Wildside, ‘the most innovative, daring and vibrant new garden in Britain’. In the heart of the county, we discover Plaz Metaxu, described as the most ambitious of contemporary intellectual gardens, and explore Dan Pearson’s new garden at Dartington Hall. To cap it all, we stay at the enchanting Hotel Endsleigh overlooking the fast-flowing River Tamar with stunning gardens thought to be one of the last commissions of Humphry Repton; originally a hunting lodge belonging to the Dukes of Bedford, now beautifully revived by hotelier Olga Polizzi of the famous Forte family; all in all, the perfect base for a tour of the gardens of this beautiful region.
Day 1: Monday, September 16
This tour starts at Tiverton Parkway Railway Station at 13:15 or at 15:00 for those preferring to travel by car to the hotel. From Tiverton, we drive to Hotel Endsleigh for afternoon tea on the terrace before a special tour of the gardens with the Head Gardener, Ben Rushcombe-King: through wooded walks, past the old dairy, round to the Shell House and stunning terraced gardens with plenty of time to settle in before an evening meal together.
Day 2: Tuesday, September 17
Head over the hills to Coombe Trenchard Manor for a private view of the intriguing Arts & Crafts manor house and fine Edwardian gardens with far reaching views of Dartmoor with lunch included. A short drive away, in the village of Buckland Monachoram, we are invited to see Wildside, created by Keith & Ros Wiley. Using an excavator, Keith has sculpted a new garden from a flat field and, with great skill and daring, planted it with a thriving abundance of wonderful plants. Up the road is The Garden House, former home of the vicars of Buckland Monachorum. The garden was put on the map by Lionel Fortescue who gardened here for 40 years. He created a Trust and made Keith Wiley head gardener who moved the garden into a whole different league. The current Head Gardener is Nick Haworth who will introduce the garden. Return to the hotel with time to change before dining together.
Day 3: Wednesday, September 18
Drive across Dartmoor to Coleton Fishacre on the English Riviera to visit this Arts & Crafts house and gardens that sweep down to the sea, now famous for rich sub-tropical plantings that come into their own in September. We are invited to lunch at Dartington Hall and a chance to view Dan Pearson’s plans for developing their historic gardens before seeing the garden. Return to the Hotel Endsleigh with time to change before dining together.
Day 4: Thursday, September 19
As we move away from the Tamar Valley we are invited to another special garden, Plaz Metaxu (‘the place that is in-between’) where owner, Alasdair Forbes will introduce us to his challenging symbolic garden, one of the most ambitious in the country. After a delicious lunch together, we return to Tiverton Parkway for 16:00.
How much & what’s included
The price per person: £2380
Single supplement: £300
(levied by the hotel on double rooms for single occupation).
The price includes: three nights’ dinner (with wine), bed & breakfast accommodation at Hotel Endsleigh plus three lunches and one afternoon tea as stated in the itinerary and transport from Tiverton Parkway Railway Station. The tour is timed to connect with direct through trains from and to London Paddington. Please note that hotels used by Boxwood Tours are invariably hotels of character featuring a variety of rooms & styles.
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