GARDENS OF A GOLDEN AFTERNOON
Shropshire & the Cheshire Borders
Peaceful gardens resplendent with a profusion of late summer blossom, comfortable hotel, fine dining, excellent company, and a charming, knowledgeable host…what more could you wish for? The Mytton & Mermaid Hotel is an old coaching inn perched on the banks of the River Severn. In the 1930’s, Sir Clough Williams Ellis turned it into a small hotel. Now sporting 2 rosette dining awards, this is an excellent base from which to explore the wonderful country gardens of Shropshire and the Cheshire borders.
Day 1: Sunday 21st September
The tour starts at 12.00 noon at Shrewsbury Railway station. If you are driving, you can leave your car at the Mytton & Mermaid and we will pick you up at 11.30 a.m. We start with a special invitation to lunch at Golding Hall followed by a special tour of this romantic country garden, a rare survivor of the 1660’s, with exuberant planting and fine views. We then drive to the Mytton & Mermaid with time to settle in before an evening meal together in the 2 rosette restaurant.
Day 2: Monday 22nd September
This morning we will be shown the prestigious Trentham Gardens by the Head Gardener, Michael Walker, a rare chance to see a glorious rejuvenation created with the help of Piet Oudolf, Tom Stuart-Smith and other leading contemporary garden designers. In the village of Rode Heath we visit two fine Cheshire country gardens: Boden Hall has an elegant seven acre garden designed by the owner, Mrs Victoria Wrather, a gardener with an exceptional ‘eye’. You will also see the working fruit and vegetable garden that excels in ‘show’ gooseberries. Sadly they have not yet won the awards bestowed on the neighbouring estate of Rode Hall where the gardener’s skill in the splendid kitchen garden produced a gooseberry as large as a goose egg noted in the Guinness book of records. We are invited to a delicious light lunch at Boden Hall and an afternoon cream tea (with homemade gooseberry jam) at Rode Hall.
Day 3: Tuesday 23rd September
Today we visit three country gardens in the southern Shropshire hills: Preen Manor, a remarkable garden set within the walls of a ruined monastery, then lunch at a local inn before visiting Windy Ridge, highly praised for its quality of design and planting. Not far away is The Dower House Garden at Morville Hall, lovingly created and described by garden historian Katherine Swift. For those familiar with Katherine’s book, ‘The Morville Hours’, this will be a pilgrimage.
Day 4: Wednesday 24th September
Drive through the rich rural landscape of northern Shropshire and across the border to Cholmondeley Castle. Owned by the Cholmondeley family since the 12th century, the current owner, Lavinia, Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, has invited the group to start the visit with coffee in the main hall before a special guided garden tour. The elegant romantic gardens combine stately formality with a wild natural approach. Close by is Wollerton Old Hall, a delightful 20th century garden around a 16th century manor house with wonderful borders and a fine nursery where plants can be purchased. Lunch is included in the tearooms at Wollerton.
Day 5: Thursday 25th September
Not far from the hotel is The Patch which may be small but manages to hold the National Collections of Camassia, Dictamnus, Veratrum & Nerine. Margaret Owen, plantswoman extraordinaire, will guide you around her patch of heaven. We then drive into Shrewsbury to visit Mount Cottage, a large town garden sweeping down to the River Severn, packed with rare and unusual plants. A hearty lunch together at The Armoury before the tour ends at 16.00 p.m. at Shrewsbury Railway Station for rail travellers and at 16.30 p.m. back at The Mytton & Mermaid for those who need to collect their cars.
How much & what's included
The price per person: £1758.00
Single supplement: £100.00 (levied by the hotel).
The price includes buffet breakfast each day, five lunches, and four evening meals (wine included). Please note that the tour starts and finishes at Shrewsbury Railway Station but we will also arrange to pick up at the Mytton & Mermaid for those wishing to arrive by car. Please do not hesitate to contact the Boxwood Office if you have any queries.
Financial Failure Cover
In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” all passengers booking with Boxwood Tours Limited are fully Insured for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Boxwood Tours Limited.
A certificate detailing this cover will be given to each and every passenger as evidence of cover. Please ensure that you have been given the appropriate certificate(s) at the time of booking.
This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through HCC International Insurance Company PLC.