4 nights starting from
The astonishing Eden Project
Coastal Caerhays Castle
The magical Lost Gardens of Heligan
Stunning Trebah Garden
Based at the excellent Alverton Hotel
Our garden tours have been proving more and more popular and a new addition for 2024 is this stunning new tour to England’s extreme south west and the gorgeous county of Cornwall. A stunning array of gardens in a variety of styles with the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean make this four-night tour unmissable, with plant expert, garden enthusiast and genial host, David Hurrion on hand throughout to lend his considerable expertise to the visits. Highlights include the famous, such as the other-worldly Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan and the not so well known, but equally stunning and inspiring, such as Trebah, Trewithen, Trelissiick, Penjerrick and Marsh Villa.
|12 - May - 2024
|Travel Info On Request
Day 1: Arrive Independently at the Alverton Hotel from 15:00
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and talk by David Hurrion.
Day 2: Marsh Villa and the Eden Project
Our first visit on this inspiring tour is to the Marsh Villa Gardens, a magical three-acre water and woodland garden, which lies in a former tidal creek and is rich in variety and conservation significance. From here to the extraordinary Eden Project, opened in 2001 and described by The Guardian as “a mind-boggling feat of architecture and biological engineering”. Its eye-catching “Biomes” house one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests and a Mediterranean garden with cacti, gnarled olive trees, fruits and herbs. Plenty of time for lunch (not included) and to explore will be allowed here before returning to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Caerhays Castle
Our day begins with a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. These award-winning gardens, asleep for more than seventy years, are the scene of the largest garden restoration project in Europe. In the spring of 1991, the Gardens of Heligan lay under a blanket of bramble, ivy, rampant laurel and fallen timber. A year later the restoration team opened the gardens to enable the public to share in the excitement of their discovery, which thousands have been doing ever since. Time for lunch here (not included) before heading to the Caerhays Estate, bordered by the Southwest Coastal Path. Caerhays has an international reputation for camellias and rhododendrons and is home to a world-famous National Magnolia Collection, whilst the castle itself was designed by renowned architect, John Nash around 200 years ago and both the building and its occupants have played significant roles in the history of Cornwall. We enjoy a guided tour of the gardens. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Trebah Garden and Penjerrick Garden
Two splendid gardens on the agenda today, starting with Trebah - a wild and colourful Cornish garden with something for everyone. When the tour was being planned, David Hurrion simply described this garden as “wow – just wow!”, high praise indeed from someone who has visited literally thousands of gardens in his time. The garden was laid out originally in the 1840s and flourished to become one of England’s great gardens by the 1930s. The garden was sadly neglected for many years following the death of the original owner, until it was taken over by the Hibbert family, who still run it today. Wander down the “Zig-Zag”, a slope where a rare collection of exotic Mediterranean plants was recently planted. You will also see Rhododendron Valley, a huge amphitheatre of sixty-foot-high rhododendrons, many of which were imported as seed in the 1890s. Time for lunch here (not included) before heading to garden number two of the day. Garden number two today is Penjerrick, often referred to as “Cornwall’s true jungle garden, established in the 19th century by Robert Were Fox, whose brother was responsible for Trebah so a family connection between todays’ two sights. This peaceful 15 acre, sub-tropical, spring-flowering garden has considerable historical and botanical interest. Rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, magnificent trees all grow in this sub tropical valley, in which ponds, bamboos, gunnera and immense tree ferns abound. Wildlife and birds take full advantage of the semi wild garden. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Trewithen Gardens and Trelissick Gardens
Alas our time in the far southwest must come to an end but note before two final – and wonderful – gardens, starting with the gardens at Trewithen. Trewithen means “house of the trees” and the name truly describes this early Georgian house in its wood and parkland setting. The 30-acre garden is an International Camellia Society Garden of Excellence (1 of only 5 in the UK) and is also renowned for its rhododendrons, magnolias and Champion Trees. It is truly a beautiful place to visit, with something to discover at every turn of its level gravelled pathways. Time for lunch here (not included) before heading to the National Trust’s Trelissick, a woodland garden with formal lawns, herbaceous borders, exotic planting, an orchard and views over the River Fal. The 1750s house operates as a delightful place to sit and take in the view with refreshments from the house tearoom. Return to the hotel for approx. 17.00.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion
Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 39 passengers.
Alverton Hotel, Truro
The four-star Alverton Hotel is located in a grade II listed building which oozes character. With its own bell tower, slate roof, arched mullion windows, ivy clad walls and curved archways, the hotel is an architectural gem housing an excellent hotel with a high standard of comfort and service. Facilities here include bar, restaurant and comfortable bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, TV, telephone, radio, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
Car parking: complimentary at the hotel
Your Guide - David Hurrion
David started gardening as a young child and has been growing plants for more than 40 years. He has worked in gardens and nurseries, growing on a range of different soils and in different types of microclimate. His extensive knowledge and practical experience of plants, crops and growing techniques is founded on a thorough botanical and scientific training, complemented by an in depth understanding of garden design, wildlife, geology and climatology. He also trained as a teacher and has taught a huge diversity of subjects from botany, soil science and plant identification, to propagation, garden design and crop production, and from City & Guilds through to Degree level. He is also a popular speaker with local gardening groups.
As a journalist, David has spent more than 20 years writing for and editing the nation’s crop of garden magazines, currently as Associate Editor for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. He has also written for a number of websites and appeared both as a regular contributor and an expert commentator on TV and radio. David is a popular figure in the horticultural world, well liked and respected for his knowledge by nurserymen, professional gardeners, journalists and the gardening public. He has designed, built and planted show gardens and display stands at most of the major garden shows in the UK, including the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show, and is now a Designate Judge for the Royal Horticultural Society.
He has also travelled to every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, to discover plants and gardens, both independently and on more than 50 trips accompanying groups of gardeners
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 6pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
4 nights from £849View
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