Thursday, 2nd May
8.40 Arrival to London Gatwick airport from Riga, flight BT 651
9.15 Departure from Airport by coach
Leonardslee Lake and Garden
The ‘Finest Spring Gardens in England’, the 100 ha. The beautiful landscaped Grade I listed gardens, first planted in 1801. See the outstanding spring displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and bluebells. Restoration began when the present owner, Penny Streeter OBE, acquired the estate in 2017. The elegant 19th-century Italianate-style Mansion House, the unique dolls’ house exhibition – and the rare colony of wallabies, wildfowl and huge carp in the seven ponds.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Botanical Garden covers an area of 16 hectares. The site is almost entirely on level ground and in addition to its scientific value, the garden is highly rated by gardening enthusiasts. It holds a plant collection of over 8000 plant species from all over the world to facilitate teaching and research. The garden was created for the University of Cambridge in 1831 and was opened to the public in 1846.
Accommodation in Norwich, Holiday Inn Norwich City
Norwich is a historic city in Norfolk, England. It is the county town of Norfolk and is considered the capital of East Anglia. From the Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important. Norwich is the only city containing part of a National Park, the Norfolk Broads, and it also holds the largest permanent undercover market in Europe.
Friday, 3rd May
Sandringham House is a country house in the parish of Sandringham, Norfolk. It is the private home of Queen Elizabeth II. The house stands in 83 330 ha estate in the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The gardens and country park comprise 240 ha of the estate with the gardens extending to 20 ha. They were predominantly laid out from the 1860s, with later alterations and simplifications.
East Ruston Old Vicarage
The gardens were established in 1973 by Alan Gray and Graham Robeson, who have created a 32-acre design which incorporates exuberant and innovative planting alongside a more traditional formal design. On an unpromising site, close to the North Sea and surrounded by arable prairie, the gardens are protected from harsh onshore wind and has own micro-climate. The gardens contain an interesting collection of sculptures by local artists as well as many architectural features.
Accommodation in Southend-on-Sea, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel
Southend-On-Sea is a resort town on the Thames Estuary in Essex, southeast England. The long Southend Pier is serviced by a small train and has a museum at its shore end. Nearby, Adventure Island is an amusement park with fairground rides and water slides. The Cliff Lift, a century-old funicular, clings to the hillside and offers coastal views.
Saturday, 4th May
RHS Hyde Hall Garden
RHS Garden Hyde Hall is as one of four public gardens run by the Royal Horticulture Society. The garden at Hyde Hall was created in 1955. Hyde Hall was formerly a working farm on a hilltop surrounded by arable land. In 1976 Helen and Dick Robinson formed the Hyde Hall garden Trust which would manage the garden on a long-term basis. The trust donated Hyde Hall to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993.
Great Comp Garden
A seventeenth century house with a twentieth century woodland garden, made since 1957 by Roderick Cameron. There are grass walks, borders, statuary, a heather garden and a rose garden. It is one of Kent’s finest gardens to visit, 3 ha beautiful and rare plants. In Spring this tranquil garden erupts into bloom with numerous Magnolias, Azaleas and Rhododendrons, underplanted with large drifts of Helebores and bulbs.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden was created by Vita Sackville-West, poet and writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. It is among the most famous gardens in England and is designated Grade I on Historic England‘s register of historic parks and gardens. Following Sackville-West’s death in 1962, the estate was gifted to the National Trust. It is one of the Trust’s most popular properties, with nearly 200,000 visitors in year.
Accommodation in Ashford, Holiday Inn Ashford North
Sunday, 5th May
Hole Park Garden
The gardens at Hole Park cover a total of some 6 has and were laid out and planted by Colonel Barham, the great grandfather of the present owner. Immaculately trimmed yew hedges, many with geometric topiary shapes, surround much of the formal gardens, creating a strong backdrop to Italianate and walled gardens where soft golden gravel paths are lined by overflowing herbaceous borders, and statues and elaborate planted urns create a visual standpoint.
15.15 Arrival Gatwick Airport, flight to Riga BT 651 17:25 22:05
Gardens visit admission, 8 gardens, group rate, total 85,5 GBP
Cambridge Botanical garden £6
Sandrigham Estate £17,5, includes house, museum, park
East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden £9,5
RHS Hyde Hall Garden £9,5
Great Comp Garden £7,5
Sissinghurst Garden £13,1
Hole Park Garden £7, guided tour £3,5
Leonardslee Lake and Garden £11
Group has been completed.