Depart The May Fair Hotel London at 8.30am for the trip west to Bowood House and Gardens. The property features a Grade I-listed Georgian country house with interiors by Robert Adam and a garden designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown. Lunch is enjoyed here before we spend some free time exploring Bath this afternoon. A Welcome Dinner awaits this evening. Stay Two Nights: Bath, Apex City of Bath Hotel or similar (L/D)
Explore Hauser & Wirth Somerset's world-class contemporary art gallery as well as its landscaped garden, designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf, which includes a 1.5-acre perennial meadow. Continue to Stourhead. Enjoy the breathtaking 18th-century landscape garden with lakeside walks, grottoes and classical temples, renowned as being one of England's most scenic gardens. (B)
Travel into Cornwall, the countryside location of the TV series Poldark. Explore the village of Lustleigh before spending time at the unique and unforgettable Eden Project. This top garden and eco-attraction, renowned for its innovative environmental programs, is also home to the world's largest greenhouse. Stay Three Nights: St Austell, Carlyon Bay Hotel or similar (B/D)
This morning, visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years. Heligan is one of England's most mysterious estates with a fascinating history. Today, it's home to the gloriously restored, award-winning and internationally acclaimed botanical gardens. Continue to Padstow, home to the famous English chef and television personality Rick Stein. Enjoy a gourmet lunch at Rick's flagship seafood restaurant before exploring the quaint fishing village of Port Isaac, where the popular television series Doc Martin was filmed. (B/L/D)
Visit Tregothnan Garden, Cornwall's largest private botanical gardens, which houses some rare ‘Red Book' endangered plants and trees, which are larger than any remaining in the wild. Continue to the subtropical paradise of Trebah Garden, set against an amazing coastal backdrop. Records of the garden date back to the Domesday survey of 1085. (B/D)
Today, visit the RHS Garden Rosemoor , nestled in a Devon valley. The garden blends formal and informal plantings to magical effect. At Hestercombe House & Gardens in Somerset, discover 300 years of garden design on one inspiring estate. Wander along the lakeside paths of the Georgian Landscape Garden, admire the views from the Victorian Terrace and see the stunning Edwardian Formal Garden, one of the finest examples of Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens' famous partnership. Stay: Taunton, The Castle Hotel or similar (B/D)
Today, visit the garden and grounds of Cliveden, set high above the Thames and benefitting from far-reaching views. Continue to London and check in to your hotel.
This evening, enjoy a special dinner and lecture on the ‘Chelsea Flower Show Gardens', which will give you great insight into the exhibits you will see at the remarkable Chelsea Flower Show. Stay: London, The May Fair Hotel or similar (B/D)
Depart early to arrive at the Chelsea Flower Show as the gates open. Explore the exhibition gardens along the main avenue with your Botanical Guides, before enjoying free time to view the extensive displays at your leisure. For over 140 years, the show has delighted visitors from all over the world.
For lunch, enjoy a special experience as you dine at the famous Chelsea Pensioners within the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Chelsea Flower Show has been held on the grounds of the hospital since 1913.
This evening you are free to dine at one of London's many restaurants. (B/L)
On the way to Portsmouth, we visit the RHS Garden Wisley, where your Botanical Guide, Colin Crosbie, was head gardener for many years. Enjoy a tour here with Colin to learn more about this garden, which is important for the Royal Horticultural Society. We then visit Painshill Garden, a beautiful landscape garden created in the 18th century by Charles Hamilton as a living painting.
This afternoon, we board the MS Hebridean Sky in Portsmouth. The ship will be our home for the next 10 nights; settle into your cabin before enjoying a Welcome Dinner. Stay 10 Nights: MS Hebridean Sky (B/D)
Arrive this morning in Fowey, along the Cornish Coast. Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which occupy one of England's most mysterious estates. Continue to Caerhays Estate, with its vast collection of camellias and rhododendrons and home to the National Magnolia Collection. Head back to the ship as we set sail for the Scilly Isles. (B/L/D)
Spend the morning on traffic-free Tresco, walking its idyllic lanes from the beach to the subtropical Abbey Gardens, home to more than 20,000 species of plants from over 80 countries. Enjoy time to wander the paths at your own pace before sailing to St Martins Island with its expansive beaches, dramatic coastline and cosy granite cottages. A frost-free island, it is home to a host of exotic plants, colonies of seabirds and rare marine life. We take a walk around the island in search of wildflowers, including the scarlet pimpernel and Jersey cudweed. (B/L/D)
Arrive in Swansea through a series of locks where we visit Aberglasny Gardens, made famous by the BBC television series A Garden Lost in Time, which followed the restoration of the Elizabethan Cloister Garden. There are more than 20 different garden styles from formal woodland, right through to exotic and modern.
Afterwards, we travel to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, where we enjoy a tour around the garden and its centrepiece, the Great Glasshouse, which was designed by Norman Foster. (B/L/D)
Spend the day in Ireland visiting three exceptional gardens around the Waterford region. Mount Congreve Gardens is home to one of the ‘Great Gardens of the World', including one of the world's largest private collections of plants. Curraghmore Estate was the home of the 9th Marquess of Waterford. Explore the house and gardens, including the Shell House, and artwork from the 18th and 19th centuries.
This afternoon, choose to either visit Lismore Castle, where you can explore the garden, as well as one of Ireland's most famous fisheries and contemporary art gallery. Alternatively, take a tour of the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.
Afterwards, follow the Waterford Viking Triangle, whose cluster of museums detail the city's history. (B/L/D)
Arrive in the Dublin port of Dún Laoghaire, then travel south to Powerscourt Estate, which is comprised of a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes. Continue to Mt Usher, one of Monty Don's favourite gardens, and a world-class example of a Robinsonian garden.
This afternoon, choose to either visit the private garden of author Helen Dillon or perhaps take a city tour of Dublin. (B/L/D)
Arrive back in Wales, where we visit Bodnant Garden, renowned as one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK. This Grade I-listed historic garden comprises formal gardens, shrub-filled glades, meadows and water gardens.
Afterwards, visit Snowdonia National Park and travel aboard the Snowdon Mountain Railway, which has been described as one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. On a clear day, the view from the train extends all the way to Ireland. (B/L/D)
Arrive into Belfast to enjoy a tour of the city including the Cathedral Quarter, St Geroge's Market and learn about the layers of history that make Belfast such a compelling place to visit. We also visit the Titanic Experience to learn more about the ill-fated vessels history.
This afternoon visit Northern Ireland's much loved family home, Mount Stewart, located on the shores of Strangford Lough. The garden was planted by Edith, Lady Londonderry who had a passion for bold planting schemes. (B/L/D)
Today we explore some fascinating Scottish Gardens, starting with Arduaine and exotic garden with a spectacular array of colourful plants including giant Himalayan lilies and forget-me-nots. Take a walk along the secret path for breathtaking views of the Sound of Jura. At Ardkinglas Woodland Garden see Rhododendrons and Azaleas in full flower. With dramatic views over Loch Fyne, the garden is set on several levels and has its own scriptorium. Finally, we visit Crarae Gardens, Britian's finest example of a Himalayan-style garden with tumbling waterfalls and rippling burn. The garden was created by Lady Grace Campbell, the aunt of intrepid plant hunter Reginald Farrer. (B/L/D)
Arrive onto the Inner Hebrides Isle of Iona where we will visit the Abbey, founded by St Columba in 563 the Abbey has survived several Viking attacks and once housed a community of around 1200 Benedictine monks. We will then take a walk-in search of wildflowers including wild iris, yellow birds foot trefoil along with fields of buttercups. We will return to the ship where over lunch we will sail to the Aygyll Isle of Lunga to see the nesting slopes of the puffins.
Described as ‘a green jewel in a peacock sea' this uninhabited Island is a designated site of special scientific interest to protect the marine life and seabird colonies of the area as well as rare and endangered plants including primrose, birdsfoot trefoil and orchids. Get up close to the islands thousands of breeding puffins, which live on the island. (B/L/D)
This morning after breakfast, we will disembark the ship in Oban, where we will travel through dramatic Scottish countryside past Loch Lomond to Glasgow or onto Edinburgh where your tour concludes. (B)
|Base Cabin (Prices Shown)||$ 0|
|Standard Suite||$ 300|
|Superior Suite||$ 1,500|
|Premium Suite||$ 2,200|
|Corner Suite||$ 3,900|
|Deluxe Balcony Suite||$ 4,300|
|Owners Balcony Suite||$ 4,900|
|Hebridean Suite||$ 7,800|