Gardens of Southern England

9 Days London to London – Small Private Group Journey 

Highlights Include: London, Bath, The Cotswolds, Iford Manor, Wells Cathedral, Lancarffe Manor, Heligan, Scilly Isles, Ugbrooke House, Breamore House, Exbury Gardens

This suggested Luxury Custom Group itinerary showcases the highlights of Southern England and especially the region’s beautiful gardens.

Specially customized for small private groups of 6 to 12 guests. 

Please note: Clients should be made aware that there is a certain amount of walking involved in this itinerary. All of the gardens visited will require walking and there is no transport on the island of Tresco. Walking should never be strenuous, but comfortable shoes are essential and clients with walking difficulties may find their participation limited.

Gardens of Southern England

DAY 1 ARRIVE LONDON, ENGLAND – BATH:  On arrival at London you are met and transferred to your elegant hotel, situated at the very center of Bath’s beautiful Royal Crescent. This afternoon is at leisure to relax after your journey. Alternatively you may wish to join an introductory walking tour of Bath, including a visit to the famous Roman Baths, before meeting your fellow travelers for welcome drinks and dinner in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant.
Hotel Name: The Royal Crescent Hotel Hotel. (D)

DAY 2 THE COTSWOLDS, MANOR GARDENS, AND AFTERNOON TEA: A wonderful day spent in the Cotswold Hills, regarded as one of the most quintessentially English parts of the country. See the famous villages built out of the honey-colored limestone that is so characteristic of the region, and perhaps shop for antiques in the renowned galleries of Stow-on-the-Wold. There is free time for lunch in Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the most picturesque of the Cotswold villages. This afternoon continue to one of England’s great gardens, Hidcote Manor. This masterpiece consists of a series of outdoor ‘rooms’, each separated by walls and hedges of many different species and created by the horticulturist Lawrence Johnston.

Your final destination is Cerney House, where you are greeted by the head gardener. The secret garden of Cerney House, set high above the lovely Churn Valley and dominating a view composed of lawn, wildflower meadow and mature trees, is the perfect example of a cottage garden. Wander past one of the largest aspen poplars in the country, herbacious borders and the extensive herb garden, before enjoying afternoon tea. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Hotel Name: The Royal Crescent Hotel. (B)

DAY 3 PRIVATE VISIT TO IFORD MANOR AND WELLS CATHEDRAL: This morning depart for nearby Iford Manor where you are privileged to be welcomed exclusively by a member of the family who now owns the property. The manor was home to the Edwardian architect and landscape gardener Harold Peto until 1933 and the award-winning Italianate garden is famous for its tranquility and beauty. Enjoy the pools, sculptures, terraces, naturalized lillies and magnificent rural views as the head gardener takes you on a guided tour, followed by morning coffee.
Later continue to Wells to visit the famous cathedral and enjoy lunch at leisure. The return journey to Bath will take you through the Cheddar Gorge, a narrow, winding ravine with limestone rocks rising almost vertically on either side to a height of 400 feet. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure in Bath. This evening is also at your leisure.
Hotel Name: The Royal Crescent Hotel. (B)

DAY 4 LUNCH IN PRIDEAUX PLACE AND PRIVATE VISIT TO LANCARFFE MANOR: Set off early this morning for Cornwall, where you are to be the lunch guests of the Prideaux-Brune family in their enchanting Elizabethan home, Prideaux Place. Set in the oldest deer park in England, dating back to the 4th century, the house is also famous for its 16th century plaster-work ceiling in the Great Chamber depicting the Apocryphal story of Susannah and the Elders. Enjoy lunch in the dining room and there will be time to wander the gardens at leisure, before continuing to the town of Bodmin. Here enjoy a private visit of Lancarffe Manor with the owner Mr Richard Gilbert. This early manor house is set deep in a wooded valley with stunning gardens and an excellent collection of paintings. Later arrive at Tresanton, one of the West Country’s most famous hotels, situated at the edge of the unspoiled village of St Mawes with stunning views across the sea. Dinner this evening is à la carte in the hotel.
Hotel Name: Hotel Tresanton. (B/L/D)

DAY 5 THE EDEN PROJECT AND THE LOST GARDENS OF HELIGAN: Today visit two of Cornwall’s most famous gardens. Begin the day with a guided tour of the world-famous Eden Project which has transformed an abandoned china clay quarry into the world’s largest greenhouse, housing thousands of plants from around the world. Lunch will be taken at the Eden Project. After lunch visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan. In their heyday, the estate gardens at Heligan were one of the glories of Cornwall with a number of farms, quarries, woods, a flour mill, a sawmill, a brewery, productive orchards and kitchen gardens. Yet with the outbreak of the First World War more than half the staff were to perish in battle and although the Tremayne family returned after the war they eventually moved on and rented the property to friends. Decades of neglect had consigned these beautiful gardens to the history books until the present owners began the daunting task of restoring Heligan to its former glory. As the gardens have remained unaltered since the Victorian era, they provide a fascinating insight into estate life at the end of the 19th century. Returning to Tresanton, dinner is at leisure this evening.
Hotel Name: Hotel Tresanton. (B/L)

DAY 6 THE SCILLY ISLES BY HELICOPTER: Drive this morning to the tip of Cornwall and board a helicopter for the short flight to St Mary’s, the largest of the Scilly Isles. You are met by ‘Katy’, a 1940’s Austin Bus which takes you on a panoramic tour of the island. There is free time to wander the Carreg Dhu gardens before lunch overlooking the bay. This afternoon board a ferry and travel to the island of Tresco, only two miles long and home to the famous Tresco Abbey Gardens. Nowhere else in England does such an exotic collection of plants grow in the open, protected by the island’s unique micro climate and the massive holm oak hedges which surround the 14 acre garden. After a guided tour of the gardens return to the mainland by helicopter. Dinner this evening is in the hotel.
Hotel Name: Hotel Tresanton. (B/L/D)

DAY 7 PRIVATE VISIT TO UGBROOKE HOUSE: Head to Devon this morning to Ugbrooke House, home of the Clifford family for over 300 years. Enjoy a tour of the house and gardens in the company of Lord and Lady Clifford, your hosts for lunch. Ugbrooke Park was designed by Capability Brown and offers tempting glimpses of Dartmoor in the distance. The estate is situated in the gentle valley of the Ug brook which falls through a series of picturesque lakes. The gardens stretch down to the lakeside unveiling delightful views at every turn, while the parkland contains groups of fine mature trees, including sessile, red and Luccombe oak, giant redwoods and magnificent English tree species.
Continue this afternoon to New Milton on the south coast where you check into your luxurious spa hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s excellent facilities which include a magnificent swimming pool, whirlpool, steam room and saunas, fully equipped exercise room, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a 9-hole golf course, croquet lawn and state of the art spa. Dinner will be in the hotel’s superb restaurant.
Hotel Name: Chewton Glen. (B/L/D)

DAY 8 PRIVATE VISIT TO BREAMORE HOUSE AND EXBURY GARDENS: Your first destination this morning is Breamore House, a Tudor manor overlooking the Avon valley and housing an impressive collection of period furniture and 17th and 18th century Dutch paintings. Enjoy a private visit before continuing to the heart of the New Forest, 150 square miles of woodland and wilderness heath awarded special protection by William the Conquerer more than nine centuries ago and, in many ways, unchanged since that time.
Drive to the pretty town of Brockenhurst to enjoy lunch at Le Poussin restaurant at Whitley Ridge, a Georgian country manor nestled in the heart of the New Forest countryside. Known for over a decade as one of southern England’s best restaurants, Le Poussin’s Michelin starred chef Alex Aitken is bound to prepare a lunch to remember.
This afternoon visit Exbury Gardens, most famous for their wonderful displays of azaleas and rhododendrons. Enjoy a guided tour with the head gardener and a ride on the new steam train, before returning to your hotel for farewell drinks and dinner this evening, bringing this enchanting tour to a close.
Hotel Name: Chewton Glen. (B/L/D)

DAY 9 DEPART ENGLAND: Transfer to London this morning for your final arrangements prior to your departure flight. (B)

Customize to Suit

The above suggested itinerary can be customized to suit; more or less meals, different cities and/or sightseeing based on your clients’ interests.  You name it, our expert group specialist professionals will put it together for you. Please call 1-855-220-6450, or simply complete the group request form, and we’ll get back to you with your proposal.


  • Private airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 9
  • Twin-bedded rooms in the 5-Star hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling
  • 8 breakfast
  • 5 Lunches
  • 5 Dinners
  • Services of an English-speaking local travel expert
  • Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach
  • Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges
  • Portfolio of travel documents
  • 24-hour emergency customer service while in England

Private Departures

Please Call 1-855-220-6450 for Group Rates on this Custom Group Journey

This suggested itinerary can be customized to suit; more or less meals, different cities and/or sightseeing based on your clients’ interests.  You name it, our expert group specialist professionals will put it together for you. Please call 1-855-220-6450, or simply complete the group request form, and we’ll get back to you with your proposal.

Group Discounts

On custom journeys, discounts vary depending on group requirements. Typically, travel with a group of 20 and the 21st traveler receives a 100% discount* off the land portion of the vacation price. A second traveler receives a 100% discount* off the land on a group of 40 paying passengers.

*Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Above dates represent “land start” date. Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Journeys Connect can quote you the lowest possible GROUP airfare available on the day that you book. Minimum of 10 seats from same gateway. Less than 10 air seats will require full payment at time of booking. Single Room Supplement: On Request. Triple Room Reduction: On Request. Group discounts cannot be combined with our Triple Room discounts. Not valid on Specialty, Customized Vacations or River Cruises, optional extensions, extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements, or airport transfers. Other restrictions may apply. All passengers’ names must be advised before the discount is applied. *Group discount is on a twin-share basis only.

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