Wednesday, February 12, 2014

England & Scotland's Greatest Hits!

I have another exciting opportunity for those of you who love to travel and see beautiful gardens and historic sites, but maybe couldn't work our earlier trip to England into your schedules. We still have several spaces left on a spectacular trip that starts in London, makes its way through northern England and ends up touring the castles and gardens of Scotland. The dates are June 27 - July 8, 2014.  The itinerary follows.

The cascade at Alnwick

June 26         Depart for Heathrow Airport London, England

June 27         Morning arrival at Heathrow.  Meet our motor coach for the transfer to West Green House for lunch and a visit to the garden.  West Green House was built in 1720 and is now the home of Marilyn Abbott who has restored and designed the gardens.  We visited several years ago and look forward to a return visit.  We will then continue to Cheltenham where we will spend the first two nights at The George Hotel.   This hotel is in a Georgian building and in the heart of Cheltenham.  Although the rooms have been recently redone, the building retains many of the original features.  You will have time to unpack and relax before we have dinner at the hotel. Lunch at West Green House, & dinner included.

June 28         We are trying to arrange a trip to Highgrove, the garden belonging to Prince Charles, this morning.  We will not know if we will be able to visit or when until after Feb. 1 when ticket requests are granted, but we are hopeful that we will be able to visit either in the morning or afternoon.  We will also visit the small English village of Tetbury.  We will be back in Cheltenham in time to visit the town and pick a place for dinner. Breakfast, Lunch included.

June 29         We head north today to York where you will have the afternoon and evening to explore the city of York and its treasures.  We are also trying to arrange a visit to Castle Howard and the Yorkshire Arboretum.

June 30         This morning we travel from York to Alnwick Castle for a visit of the house as well as the garden.  Alnwick is a young and modern garden, created by the young and modern Duchess of Northumberland, Jane Percy. This remarkable place even has a "Poison Garden" full of deadly plants, which we will have the chance to see! We will have a group lunch here.  After our visit, we will head for Edinburgh, Scotland which is about a 2 hour drive. We will be spending 3 nights in the Apex City Hotel.  Not only is this a very nice hotel, but the location is fantastic. Breakfast, lunch included.
The "Poison Garden" at Alnwick

July 1             After two days with relatively long bus rides, you will have a free day to enjoy the City of Edinburgh.  There is much to see. We are sure you will want to visit the Edinburgh Botanic Garden and may plan an impromptu tour on our own, with Troy pointing out some highlights and talking about some of the plants,  before dispersing to explore at your own pace.  Attendance will be optional if you want the day to explore Edinburgh at your leisure. Breakfast included.
The rock garden at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

July 2             After breakfast we will depart for Abbotsford, the home Sir Walter Scott.  The house was completed in 1831 and was designed by Sir Walter Scott himself.  It sits on the banks of the River Tweed.  The house embodies the Romantic Movement that Scott helped to create.  We will visit both the house and garden, as well as have a group lunch at Abbotsford.  After our visit we will take the very short drive to Bowhill House where if you were going to pick a spot to create a garden with grand views, you couldn’t do much better than Bowhill. A stroll on the formal southern terraces opens up stunning vistas across the Ettrick Valley and the upper loch, which was deliberately designed to complement the landscape. Here you can also explore a rose garden, formal flower borders and a rock garden Unusually, the gardens to the front of the House are less formal. rhododendrons and azaleas fill the area. Walk to the east end of the House and you’ll come upon the Sunken Garden. We will visit both the house and garden.  After our visit at Bowhill, we will return to our hotel in Edinburgh. Breakfast, lunch, and coffee and biscuit included.
Bowhill House

July 3             We will visit Edinburgh Castle as we leave this city for Dundee.  After a visit to the castle our first stop will be Kellie Castle and garden.  This is considered to be one of the most romantic gardens in Scotland with many wall plantings. Our next stop will be Drummond which will be a treat.  We are hoping to arrange an after hours tour with wine and no other tourists.  Our hotel tonight will be the Apex Hotel in Dundee.  Breakfast included.
The Garden at Castle Kellie

July 4             Today we will visit Glamis Castle which will be a highlight of this trip.  We will visit the house and the garden and have a very special lunch in the castle.  The castle which is located in the foothills of the Angus Glens was the childhood home of Elizabeth the Queen Mother.  We will have a guided tour.  We will head back to Dundee where you will have some free time. Breakfast and lunch included.

July 5          Today we head for Glasgow where we will spend the last three nights of our trip.  On the way we will stop at Greenbank to visit this National Trust garden. Our hotel for the remainder of the trip will be the Indigo Glasgow Hotel which is housed in an old power station from the 1880’s.  The mix of old building and modern interior is quite nice and will help to make our stay very nice.  Breakfast and lunch included.

July 6          Today we will visit Culzean which is a Romantic 18th century castle which is situated with wonderful views of the Firth of Clyde and three miles of coastline.  The cliff top setting is dramatic and the Robert Adams architecture is wonderful. Again we will visit both the house and garden which is extensive.  Our other stop for today will be Lagg which has the national collection of hydrangeas.  It is also located on cliffs with dramatic views, Breakfast, lunch included.
The amazing garden at Culzean, where you will find palm trees growing in Scotland!

July 7             We will have free time in Glasgow and a special visit to Carnell.  Carnell is well known for the water features, Japanese stonework, walled garden, and pagodas.  This will be our last garden and definitely a treat. Breakfast and tea included.

July 8                Return to US

The cost of this trip is $3895.00 which includes all hotels, breakfast each day, all entry fees where we enter as a group, lunches and dinner per itinerary, guided tours at many locations, travel by deluxe motor coach in England and Scotland.  If you have questions, please contact me at

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

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