English Garden Extension
May 27 - 30, 2018
English Gardens is Guaranteed to Depart
If you have more time and the desire to experience some of the finest gardens
in all of Great Britain, join this well-organized four-day extension to the
delightful town of Rye and beautiful Kent countryside.
Sunday, May 27 ~ Hever Castle visit. Breakfast and dinner.
After breakfast, depart your London hotel with Huron Tour and Travel's
private motorcoach, Certified Blue-Badge Guide, and Huron Tours tour-manager.
We'll spend the next four days in the lovely English village
of Rye exploring a garden paradise, the county of Kent.
Our first stop is the stunning Hever Castle & Gardens.
One thousand men were employed by William Waldorf Astor to build the
35-acre lake, the outstanding four-acre Italian garden (complete with
hundreds of ancient statues and vases that will amaze you), the 120-foot
herbaceous border and the 16-acre water maze. These exquisite gardens surround
the moated castle which was Anne Boleyn's childhood home. The castle has a
gorgeous interior and you will have enough time to explore all the gardens
as well as the charming castle. Be sure not to miss the Rhododendron
Walk which normally is in full glorious bloom during our visit.
From Hever Castle we'll enjoy a pleasant drive through the country-side en-route our amazing and
historic hotel for the next three nights, The Mermaid Inn in Rye, England.
The Mermaid is highly sought after,
and is completely unique and unlike
any place you have ever stayed. This 15th Century English jewel is set on
Rye's most picturesque road and is brimming with old world charm and a
rich history. It is not only one of England's oldest inns, but also one of
its loveliest! It is great fun to pass through the crowds outside taking pictures of the Mermaid,
and head up to your room, past the "Residents Only Past This Point" sign, for a nice relaxing cup of tea.
This evening, after getting settled in the Mermaid,
we'll make a short walk together as a group to our favorite Fish & Chips restaurant for
a casual meal. Our fish & chips shop is on the main street of Rye, so you'll soon know your way around
this charming town.
Monday, May 28 ~ Great Dixter tour and visit. Free afternoon. Breakfast at hotel.
A day that gardeners dream about! After our full-English breakfast we depart for
Christopher Lloyd's famous creation, Great Dixter Gardens. We'll
be greeted by one of Dixter's gardeners who will take us on a guided tour of
one of the best known gardens in Britain (for many years Christopher wrote a
garden column for the Royal Horticultural Society's monthly magazine). And many of you have
had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Dixter's current head gardener Fergus Garret, who we often see on the grounds,
hard at work while we bob and romp about the garden in dumbfounded awe. Following the tour, you'll
have ample time to explore the gardens on your own and to marvel at the
topiary, the sunken garden, the wildflower and naturalized bulb meadow, and
the 300-foot plant-loaded border, plus more! Truly a delight.
When we return from Great Dixter this afternoon you'll have time to explore more of the village of Rye.
This ancient and delightful village is one of the few hill towns in
England and as such is very picturesque. There is just something about the air in Rye.
Spend the afternoon wandering the
enchanting cobblestone streets while marveling at the beautifully preserved
historic houses from medieval, Tudor and Georgian times. Take in the fantastic
views of the river Roth and Romney Marsh and be sure to pay a visit to the top
of the Parish Church of St. Mary's which houses the oldest working church
turret clock in England. The Lamb House which was the home of author Henry
James is also a favorite attraction, and has a lovely garden at the rear, more splendid than
you could imagine from looking at it from the street. There are plenty of pubs, tea-rooms, quiet benches,
antique shops and art galleries to keep you busy.
Dinner is on your own, perhaps at an English tavern or
award-winning Italian restaurant. Be sure to consult our restaurant list
Tuesday, May 29 ~ Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens,
breakfast included, free afternoon and farewell dinner.
This morning, we'll visit what is certainly one of the finest
gardens in the world, Sissinghurst Castle Gardens.
is a delightful spring garden with a magical setting around the
ruins of the castle which dates back to the 12th century. Vita
Sackville-West, the creator, designed one of the most romantic
gardens in the country and a magnificent example of English
Garden design. Everything is kept in an immaculate condition,
well labeled, with charming vistas around every turn. Vita"s
structure of separate outdoor rooms has had an immense influence
on garden design and her combinations of plant materials framed
by hundreds of feet of boxwood hedging is truly amazing.
This afternoon you are free to once again enjoy Rye.
If you prefer shopping to sightseeing, Rye is full of unique
antiques, potteries, art galleries and craft shops to browse.
When it is time for an afternoon break, visit one of Rye"s
famous tea rooms or traditional bakeries.
Tonight for our farewell dinner we'll celebrate our travels at the Mermaid's award-winning restaurant.
Wednesday, May 30 ~ Rye Departure.
After and early breakfast our private motorcoach takes us back to our airports for our
departures, arriving home the same day (Flights cannot depart before 12pm.)