Road Scholar : Home
England's Great Garden Heritage, From Sissinghurst to Chelsea

Program Number: 12181RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/21/2013 - 6/2/2013; 5/11/2015 - 5/22/2015; 5/19/2015 - 5/31/2015;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $3,055.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Homes & Gardens
Meals: 31; 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Join horticulturalist, botanist and garden historian Dr. Jane Longland on a grand survey of the best of English gardens from Kent and the Cotswolds to London for a full day at the world’s most prestigious annual garden show — the Chelsea Flower Show.




Highlights

• Spend a day at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show.
• Venture through the Cotswolds to Chipping Campden and the unique spa town of Bath.
• Accompanied throughout by horticulturalist, botanist and garden historian and designer Dr. Jane Longland.



Activity Particulars

Walking/standing up to three hours at a time.




Date Specific Information

5-21-2013

This date spends 2 nights in London at the start of the program rather than at the end and is one night longer.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



5-11-2015, 5-19-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival London, coach to near Chatham, 4 nights; coach to Gloucestershire, 4 nights; coach to London, 2 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival London
Coach to near Chatham in Kent
4 nights

Lecturer Jane Longland discusses gardens from the standpoint of the English Landscape School, Victorian and Edwardian gardens and post-1940s modern gardens and use of color. Explore Goodnestone Park, Christopher Lloyd’s Great Dixter, whose head gardener was trained by Jane Longland, and the renowned Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley. Visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden, famed for its themed garden “rooms.” Venture to coastal Rye in the Romney Marsh area, to the cathedral city of Canterbury and mingle with locals during pub lunches.



Coach to Gloucestershire
4 nights

Here, between the Cotswolds and the Severn Valley, discover the great houses and landscaped gardens at Stourhead and Blenheim Palace, the complete 18th-century Rococo garden at Painswick and the intimate garden at Kiftsgate Court. Experience more of the area on journeys to Chipping Campden and Bath.



Coach to London
2 nights
Departure

The Chelsea Flower Show is the largest and most prestigious annual garden show in the world. Enjoy a full-day at this internationally renowned gathering where exhibitors display the finest in plant species, arrangements, techniques, garden furniture and tools -- an exceptional event in the horticultural calendar.




England

It was the seat of an empire on which the sun never set. It has been Merry, Dickensian and Victorian. It has given us common law, Shakespeare, tennis, the Rolls-Royce and the Beatles. England and its people have played an outsize role in shaping world history. It is a country whose past, politics, culture and characters never cease to captivate.



Accommodations
Chatham: Modern hotel. Gloucestershire: Three-star hotel. London: Centrally located, four-star hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jane Longland

Dr. Jane Longland has been an expert leader on Road Scholar programs for a decade, sharing her deep knowledge of ornamental horticulture, garden history and landscape design. She earned her PhD in botany at the University of Edinburgh before teaching and doing research in the field for nearly a quarter century. For the past six years, Dr. Longland has traveled extensively in Europe, the United States and Asia to study the world’s gardens and teach others about them.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel.
  London., UK:England 2 nights
   Bridgewood Manor
  Chatham, UK:England 4 nights
   Cheltenham Chase Hotel
  Cheltenham., UK:England 4 nights
   Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel.
  London., UK:England 1 night
 Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel.
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel was once the London residence of the Vanderbilt family. Many original features have been carefully restored to their former glory including stained glass windows, wood panelled rooms and its magnificent artistic ceiling.
  Contact info: 68-86 Cromwell Road
London.,  SW7 5BT UK:England
phone: +44 20 7761 9000
web: www.radissonedwardian.com/hotels/gbvander
  Room amenities: Each room offers a mini bar, air conditioning, hairdryer, in room safe, iron and trouser press, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary wireless Internet access. Direct dial telephone, satellite TV.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar. Complimentary wireless Internet access, complimentary newspaper, 24 hour front desk, 24 hour room service, currency exchange, valet service available for laundry. Fitness room. Mobile phone rental. Business centre.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Bridgewood Manor
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Modern hotel with an attractive inner courtyard and interesting lounge areas. Inside there are 2 open fires for added cosiness along with a fine old stone fireplace and reclaimed timbers from local churches and manors to create a feel of a more traditional country house.
  Contact info: Bridgewood Roundabout
Walderslade Woods
Chatham, Kent,  ME5 9AX UK:England
phone: +44 1634 201333
web: www.QHotels.co.uk
  Room amenities: Direct dial telephone, satelitte TV, tea and coffe making facilities. WiFi access in public areas with 2 hours free in all bedrooms.
  Facility amenities: Squires Restaurant, bars. Spa and treatment area, steam room, sauna, indoor heated swimming pool.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Cheltenham Chase Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Superb views over Coopers Hill and the Gloucestershire countryside.
  Contact info: Sturdington Road
Brockworth
Gloucester,  GL3 4BP UK:England
phone: +44 1452 519988
web: www.qhotels.co.uk
  Room amenities: Air conditioning. Direct dial telephione, remote control TV with pay for view movies. Tea and coffee making facilities. Hairdryer. Trouser press and ironing board. Free internet access. 24 hour room service.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar. Leisure facilities and spa.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel.
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Close to Heathrow Airport.
  Contact info: 140 Bath Road.
Hayes, Middlesex.,  UB3 5AW UK:England
phone: +44 20 8759 6311
web: www.radissonedwardian.com
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. Direct dial telephone with personal number and voicemail, satllite TV and pay movies, in room safe. In room bar, iron and ironing board, tea and coffee making facilities.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar. Complimentary wireless internet access, business centre, newsagents, health spa and fitness centre.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
A light lunch is served in the hotel at 12:30pm. The welcome meeting/introduction to the Chelsea Flower Show follows dinner in the hotel. You will be staying at Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel. that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast in London. Some departures will leave before breakfast which ends at 10:00am and check out is by 11:00am. You will be staying at Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel. the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
No parking.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  London.
  Nearest city or town:  London.
  Nearest airport:  Heathrow and Gatwick.
  Transportation to site: Program Only Participants (POP) will be transferred on group arrival days so long as they complete the Participant Information Form on-line, or within the program materials and are arriving/departing on the group travel dates. Trains run from Gatwick or Heathrow Express.
  From End of Program
  Location: London.
  Transportation from site: Take a Hoppa shuttle bus (group leader will give you money for the bus) to Heathrow terminals on departure.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure
(Tuesday, May 21)
   
 Afternoon: Board a transatlantic overnight flight.

Day 2: Introduction to Chelsea Flower Show
(Wednesday, May 22)
   
 Morning: Transfer to London Hotel.
 Lunch: In hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Introduction to Chelsea Flower Show.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Chelsea Flower Show
(Thursday, May 23)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to the Chelsea Flower Show. Early departure to avoid crowds.
 Lunch: Excluded- own choice.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues. 2:30pm Return to hotel.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4:
(Friday, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Chatham.
 Lunch: In hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon. Coach orientation. 5:00pm Introduction to programme.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Bridgewood Manor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Great Dixter and Rye
(Saturday, May 25)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "10th to 17th Century Gardens" "18th Century English Landscape School"
 Lunch: Taken out.
 Afternoon: Explore the town of Rye whilst taking the coastal route to Great Dixter in Sussex. Marvel at the colour schemes of Christopher Lloyd's garden at Great Dixter and see Lutyens' original garden designs as they remain today. Great Dixter was the family home of Christopher Lloyd, who devoted his lifetime to creating one of the most experimental, exciting and constantly changing gardens of our time. Incorporating many medieval buildings, the gardens surround the house, each complementing the other. There is a wide variety of interest from yew topiary, carpets of meadow flowers, the colourful tapestry of mixed borders (including the famous Long Border), natural ponds, a formal pool and the exuberant Exotic Garden
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Bridgewood Manor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Canterbury.
(Sunday, May 26)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture on "Victorian Gardens" and "Edwardian Gardens".
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Excursion to Canterbury. Field trip to Goodnestone Gardens.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Bridgewood Manor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Sissinghurst Castle Gardens
(Monday, May 27)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Modern Gardens" and Chelsea DVD.
 Lunch: Lunch out.
 Afternoon: Sissinghurst Castle Gardens is the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson. Surrounded by lovely unspoilt Wealden countryside Sissinghurst is a treasure trove for gardeners with romantic little compartments (rooms) filled with colourful floral displays, lakeside and woodland walks all in the intimate setting in the grounds of an Elizabethan mansion.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Bridgewood Manor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: RHS Wisley
(Tuesday, May 28)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer by coach to the Cotswolds via RHS Wisley, Woking. The Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley is one of Britain’s best loved garden with 97ha (240 acres) offering a fascinating blend of the beautiful with practical and innovative design and cultivation techniques. For many, it is the beauty and tranquility of the garden that captures the imagination, with its richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the exotica of the glasshouses, but a closer look reveals the real value of Wisley. In the trials fields, the finest flowers and vegetables are identified from the countless new introductions. Elsewhere in the garden, cultivation techniques, such as composting or pleaching, are tried and tested, and a series of model gardens answers the needs of a variety of conditions and circumstances.
 Lunch: Lunch out in Wisley.
 Afternoon: Transfer continues.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Cheltenham Chase Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Hidcote Manor Gardens and Kiftsgate.
(Wednesday, May 29)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore the "Jewel of the Cotswolds" on a field trip to Chipping Campden as we pass through the surrounding landscape of undulating valleys , quiet rivers and idyllic villages. We then visit Hidcote Manor Gardens, one of celebrated 20th-century garden in the beautiful North Cotswolds. Walks around the garden reveal an Arts & Crafts masterpiece with a series of outdoor rooms each with its own unique character. Hidcote is nestled in the Cotswolds with stunning panoramas across the Vale of Evesham
 Lunch: Lunch out in Kiftsgate.
 Afternoon: The Arts and Crafts theme continues at Kiftsgate Court Garden-made by Heather Muir with much help from Major Johnston of Hidcote. A woodland garden steps down the hillside to a half-moon swimming pool. Many features are typical of the Arts and Crafts period: herbaceous borders, a four square garden, a white garden, a yellow border, a rockery, lawns and a bluebell wood. Return via Stow on the Wold.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Cheltenham Chase Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Painswick Village and Rococo Gardens.
(Thursday, May 30)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Journeying to the beautiful Cotswold town of Painswick we explore the honey-stone architecture before stepping back in time to the flamboyant English Rococo period at Painswick Rococo Garden. This gem of a garden, which was originally laid out in the 18th century, is set in a hidden Cotswold valley with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy an exclusive introduction by the Director of the Painswick Rococo Garden Trust, who also happens to be a remote descendent of the original 18th century creator
 Lunch: Own choice.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Cheltenham Chase Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Bath and Stourhead Gardens.
(Friday, May 31)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to Bath and Stourhead. After an early breakfast and start our excursion to Bath takes us through history from Roman Baths to magnificent Georgian crescents. Then explore one of the finest examples of 18th century landscape gardens at Stourhead. Stourhead is more a work of art than a garden with its classical Italianate temples, grottoes, lake and bridges and Palladian-style house
 Lunch: Lunch out in Stourhead.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Stourhead Gardens.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Cheltenham Chase Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Blenheim Palace
(Saturday, June 1)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to London. Visit Blenheim Palace-the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The Palace is a Baroque masterpiece surrounded by a Capability Brown designed park and lake. The magnificent water terrace gardens are the work of French architect Achille Duchene.
 Lunch: Packed lunch
 Afternoon: Transfer continues.
 Dinner: In hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13:
(Sunday, June 2)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to airport by Hoppa bus for transatlantic flights.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  London. London.
British Museum, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Coutauld Institute, Wallace Collection, National Portrait Gallery, National gallery, Saatchi Collection, Geffrye Museum, William Morris gallery, National Maritime Museum, Leighton House, Science Museum, Kensington Palace, Natural History Museum, V&A, Museum of London, Old Operating Theatre, Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The Guildhall, St Batholemew’s Church, Church of St Stephen Walbrook, Covent Garden, Hampstead, Kenwood House. For additional information, visit www.timeout.com/london/ www.londontown.com/
  Cheltenham. Cheltenham.
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, Holst Birthplace Museum, Chedworth Roman Villa, Pittville Pump Room. For additional information, visit www.visitcheltenham.gov.uk/
  Wye. Wye.
Local pubs The Flying Horse, The Tickled Trout, nearby Canterbury with Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey (train and buses available). For additional information, visit www.seetb.org.uk/
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Little History of British Gardening


Author: Jenny Uglow


Description: This book is easy to read and contains a wealth of factual information interspersed with social history and entertaining anecdotes, written by a prize-winning biographical author.



A Photographic Garden History


Author: Roger Phillips and Nicky Foy


Description: Highly recommended



Take Chelsea Home Practical Inspiration from the Chelsea Flower Show


Author: Chris Young


Description: This is a super armchair browsing book crammed with pictures and design ideas from the Chelsea Flower Shows 2005-2010 to give you an idea of what to expect at the two top Royal Horticultural Shows: Chelsea and Hampton Court.



The English Garden


Author: Ursula Buchan


Description: The beautiful colour photographs enhance a well-written and entertaining read, neither an academic and heavily referenced work, nor a mere “coffee-table” book, from a horticultural journalist/author.



The History of Gardens


Author: Christopher Thacker


Description: A classic and still one of the best books for world-wide coverage of garden history, written by a professional garden historian. Out of print but widely available from online sources.



The National Trust Book of the English Garden


Author: Richard Bisgrove


Description: An excellent scholarly read concentrating on English garden history from medieval to modern times, written by a university lecturer on the subject. Out of print but widely available from online sources.



Yew and Non Yew


Author: James Bartholomew


Description: Most definitely tongue-in-cheek, this humorous book explores the subtleties of British horticultural snobbery. This is why we have changed garden styles to the latest fashions so many times in past centuries. Already slightly out of date (Dahlias are definitely “Yew” now) nevertheless, it may help to explain why gnomes are still officially banned at Chelsea and Hampton Court Shows! Out of print but widely available from online sources.





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