Gardens Of The Cotswolds with Adam Frost including Thenford Arboretum

All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.

  • Garden tour, free time and lunch with talk and Q&A at Michael and Anne Heseltine’s superlative Thenford Gardens and Arboretum

  • Sezincote – a unique taste of India in the heart of the Cotswolds!

  • Visit award-winning gardens at Bourton House

  • Visit Miserden House, HHA Garden of the Year 2018

  • Accompanied throughout by expert horticultural guide, Tony Russell, author of “The Cotswolds’ Finest Gardens.”

Our tailor-made itinerary through the Cotswolds, famous for its rural charm, includes several gardens not normally open to the public plus informative talks by owners and head gardeners. And you’ll be entertained by Adam Frost, as he joins us for lunch at the Heseltines’ extraordinary Gardens and Arboretum at Thenford House.

“I’ve known and loved the Cotswolds and its gardens for many years, and have helped to create this bespoke itinerary so you see the best this tranquil area has to offer. Join us for a week to remember!”

Lucy Hall Editor, BBC Gardeners World


Day 1: Arrive independently at the Blunsdon House Hotel  from 15.00.
Welcome reception, dinner with wine and introductory talk from your horticulturalist tour guide, Tony Russell.

Day 2. Thenford Gardens and Arboretum.
“This is the story of a big adventure, a search and an arrival.  A story of experimentation, disaster and – after mistake upon mistake – success!”  so wrote Anne Heseltine in the foreword to her and husband Michael’s book about Thenford.   Former deputy PM Michael Heseltine and his wife, Anne purchased Thenford House and its surrounding garden in 1976, whilst adding over 400 acres of agricultural land to the horticultural and agricultural assets of Haymarket Media Group.  Over the next twenty five years their priority consisted in the restoration of 40 acres of woodland, the reclamation of the walled garden back to its former use, the dredging of the medieval fish ponds and the clearance of the two acre lake.   had to be cleared of 3 metres of silt and its stone retaining wall rebuilt.  In order to help with the replanting programme the Heseltines sought advice from some of the leading horticultural leaders of the time, including Lanning Roper, Sir Harold Hillier, Roy Lancaster and Keith Rushforth, work which has continued throughout the first two decades of this century.   The gardens and arboretum, now spread out over seventy acres, features a collection of more than three thousand different trees and shrubs, together with extensive herbaceous borders, water gardens, an alpine trough garden, a sculpture garden, a rose garden and a rill.  They are one of England’s most impressive private gardens and our day here, with welcome refreshments, a guided tour with the head gardener, buffet 2-course lunch with wine, signed copy of the Thenford book and a talk and Q&A with Gardeners World’s Adam Frost is sure to be the highlight of this wonderful Cotswolds tour.

Day 3: Miserden Estate and Painswick Rococo Garden.
Today we visit Miserden Estate where we will enjoy a welcome talk about the estate, before a tour of the gardens, which won the HHA  Garden of the Year 2018 award, for its ongoing revival of this historic space. Our next stop is the quirky and unique Painswick Rococo Gardens. Designed as a pleasure garden in the 1740s, it’s the UK’s only remaining rococo garden, still rich in follies and stories to explore – which will be brought to life on the group’s private guided tour. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Rodmarton Manor & Upton Wold.
We start the day exploring the garden of Rodmarton Manor and its gardens are among the best examples of the Arts & Crafts movement in this country. After an included light lunch, it’s on to Upton Wold for a tour of this private garden that has been literally carved out of the limestone. 

Day 5: Bourton House, Chipping Campden and Sezincote..
Today we start with the wonderful gardens at Bourton House, whose three acres of rich planting surrounds an elegant 18th century manor house.  Some free time to relax and have lunch in the archetypal Cotswold town of Chipping Campden, one of the most picturesque in the Cotswolds, if not the whole of the country, before we head to the unique and impressive Sezincote House and Gardens. At the heart of a traditional, family-run estate covering 3,500 acres of rolling Cotswold countryside stands a 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace, set in a romantic landscape of temples, grottoes, waterfalls and canals reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. At the centre of a thriving agricultural estate, it sits at 875 feet above sea level in the North Cotswolds and is still privately owned and remains a genuine ‘family affair’ with a brother and sister team managing the house and estate respectively. The gardens were designed with the help of Humphrey Repton, whilst Sezincote is credited with influencing the design of the Brighton pavilion after a visit by The Prince Regent in 1807.  A tour with the head gardener will inform and delight.  Return to the hotel for about 1700.

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 49 passengers.


  • Four nights accommodation at the four-star Blunsdon House Hotel
  • One private dinner with wine at the hotel, including a Welcome talk from Tony Russell and three further dinners in the hotel restaurant
  • Guided tour of Thenford, lunch with wine, talk and Q&A with Adam Frost
  • Signed copy of Thenford book
  • All entry fees and garden tours
  • Light lunch at Rodmarton Manor
  • BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Editor, Lucy Hall, joins the tour on 17 Sept
  • Cotswolds garden expert, Tony Russell, as tour leader throughout


  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities


Blunsdon House Hotel

The Best Western Premier Blunsdon House Hotel is a four-star family-owned hotel situated in extensive grounds  on the edge of the Cotswolds, close to the M4 and M5. Facilities include a restaurant, three bars and Leisure Club with gym, and indoor pool as well as comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Website

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