3 nights starting from
York Gate Gardens – one of the finest small gardens in England
RHS Harlow Carr – very much part of the Yorkshire countryside
Castle Howard – stately home and gardens in north Yorkshire
Fountain Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden – UNESCO World Heritage site
Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park – a rare gem
Littlethorpe Manor Gardens – a garden for all seasons
Our lovely new tour for 2024, in the company of BBC Gardeners’ World Associate Editor David Hurrion, takes us to a selection of wonderful gardens, in a variety of styles and sizes and often attached to spectacular buildings such as Castle Howard, Littlethorpe Manor, and the ruins of Fountains Abbey.
|28 - July - 2024
|Travel Info Book Now
Day 1: Arrive independently at The Ripon Inn from 15.00 for check-in. Evening welcome drink and talk from David Hurrion followed by 3-course dinner with 2 glasses of wine per person.
Day 2: York Gate Gardens and RHS Harlow Carr
Our exploration begins with a guided tour of York Gate Gardens with the head gardener or garden guide. Granted Grade II national heritage status in a list of post-war gardens and landscapes for England, York Gate is one of the finest small gardens in the country thanks to its design and the detail you will find throughout. We then travel to RHS Harlow Carr starting with a light lunch at the RHS café. Enjoy exploring the diverse landscape at Harlow Carr, the most northerly of all RHS gardens. Free time to visit Betty’s café (own expense) before returning to the hotel. Evening dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 3: Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
We start the day with a visit to Castle Howard to explore a treasure trove of inspiring architecture and interiors. The peaceful gardens here include temples, lakes, fountains, and woodland walks, with a breathtaking backdrop of the Howardian hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. After lunch (own expense) we travel to the atmospheric ruins of Fountains Abbey, and Studley Royal Water Garden which were recognised in 1986 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the planning of the water garden around the largest medieval ruins in the UK.
Evening dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 4: Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park and Littlethorpe Manor Gardens
The last day of our fascinating itinerary takes us first to Himalayan Garden and sculpture park for a guided tour of the beautifully planted woodland gardens, lakes and an arboretum dotted with 85 striking sculptures. After lunch in the tearoom, we drive to Littlethorpe Manor Gardens for a guided tour with the head gardener. Set on two levels, the upper part covers 4 acres around the manor and uses hard landscape materials and key planting to link a series four gardens with different themes. The heart of the estate is the walled garden, which is centred around Ygdrassil, the Norwegian World Tree – the symbolic Tree of Life. Enjoy afternoon tea and cake to finish your tour.
Return to the hotel around 5pm for onward travel.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note: Extra nights are available at a supplement, please click here or on the availability tab above to select your date of travel and extra night rates.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
The Ripon Inn
An elegant Edwardian building located in the centre of England’s third-smallest city, The Ripon Inn is a four-star hotel, well located to visit the sites on this itinerary. Facilities include bar, restaurant and comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities including en-suite bathroom, TV, free wifi, air-conditioning, and tea/coffee making facilities.
Car parking is free of charge on a first come, first served basis and there are 40 spaces. Check in is at 3pm but you are welcome to park up earlier to secure your space.
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 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
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