Gardens of Somerset
Join us on a tour of the gardens of Somerset.
Sally Nex will be your host for this tailor-made tour, designed to give you a full taste of Somerset garden life, historic and contemporary, with great eating and inspiring talks from leading gardeners. We’ll be based in the superb Castle Hotel in Taunton, where you'll enjoy a relaxing start to your tour on Sunday evening at the hotel with a welcome drink, introductory talk from Sally Nex, and private dinner with wine.
19-23 September, 2021
Prices start from £995 per person*
- Private visit and lunch at Charles Dowding’s influential garden
- Private tour and dinner at Gertrude Jekyll / Edwin Lutyens’ gardens at Hestercombe
- Lunch and visit to the gardens at the Newt Inn
- Stay at the atmospheric 4-star Castle Hotel in Taunton: four nights B&B
- Welcome reception, welcome talk and first night private three-course dinner with wine
- Farewell afternoon tea at the Castle
- All talks, guided tours and admissions with welcome talks as detailed and coach travel
- Tour manager, horticulturist Sally Nex, throughout
- Joined for a day by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Editor, Lucy Hall
Your guide, Sally Nex
Sally is no stranger to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine readers, having contributed extensively over the past few years. Somerset resident, expert and enthusiast, Sally is the perfect host and guide for this tour.
Tour host, Sally Nex
Castle Hotel is an ivy-clad four-star retreat famed for its food. It's one of the UK’s most historic hotels dating back, in parts, some 1,000 years. Family-run for more than 60 years by the Chapman family, it is a wonderful place to stay and offers a range of room sizes and comfort levels (some supplements apply: call for details).
Castle Hotel, Taunton
- Day one We launch the tour with a visit to Charles Dowding’s ‘no-dig’ organic Homeacre gardens for a vegetarian lunch feast and a talk from Charles, who’ll be on hand throughout the afternoon to explain his ideas and methods – which have been hugely influential on our gardening today
- Day two We explore Kilver Court, featured on BBC Gardeners World, created by Roger Saul – founder of Mulberry fashion house and a renowned amateur gardener and plantsman. Roger will meet our group for an introductory talk about his passion for these gardens, before we plunge into over three acres of quirky design and plant-rich borders. We then head to England’s smallest Cathedral city to visit the gardens of the Bishops Palace in Wells, where time will be allowed for individual exploration and lunch. We have a real gardener’s treat for you with our visit to Yeo Valley’s organic gardens, which cover an area of some 6.5 acres with a vast array of edible plants. Here, we’ll hear from legendary head gardener Andi Strachan, formerly of Garden Organic, who’ll share her insight into successful growing the natural way
- Day three We dive into the historic side of Somerset, first stop being plantswoman Margery Fish’s iconic cottage garden at East Lambrook Manor – a colour-rich and romantic space that will delight. Travelling on to the National Trust’s historic Tintinhull Garden, where legendary gardeners Penelope Hobhouse and then Sandra and Nori Pope, built up its layers of interest through elegant formal borders, alongside a working kitchen garden. The late afternoon into evening brings a magical treat of a private exploration of the magnificent gardens at Hestercombe followed by a group reception and three- course dinner (with wine) in the manor’s great Hall. Discover the story of the garden, created by influential plantswoman Gertude Jekyll and leading Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, on this evening to remember!
- Day four Our final day starts at the National Trust treasure, Lytes Cary, an intimate manor house with Arts and Crafts-style garden. We travel on to the renowned Newt Inn, a fabulous Georgian estate with newly established luxury hotel amid exquisite grounds and gardens, which provide vegetables for guests. We will enjoy a delicious lunch in the Garden Café, overlooking the walled garden, with time to fully explore the gardens plus the UK’s only Garden Museum and small, on-site food and gift shopping. Finally, it’s back to the Castle to enjoy its famous afternoon tea, a fitting West Country farewell
Kilver Court Gardens
East Lambrook Manor Gardens
National Trust, Tintinhull
BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Editor, Lucy Hall says:
"Somerset is a hidden gem for gardeners – home to intimate country house gardens and cutting edge designer spaces, plus great food. Explore it with us, in comfort and safety, on our bespoke tour, led by local resident and magazine regular Sally Nex, and I will join you along the way. See you there!"
This is a busy itinerary visiting some sizeable gardens and involving a considerable amount of walking with little or no access to assistance. Please bear this in mind when booking this tour.
Terms & conditions:
Please note: this is a busy itinerary visiting some sizeable gardens and involving a considerable amount of walking, with little or no access to assistance. Please bear this in mind when booking this tour.
Holiday organised by and subject to booking conditions of Travel Editions Tours Ltd. Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. Joining instructions sent 10-14 days prior to departure. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, experts may be substituted.
Deluxe room upgrade - £36pp
Single room supplement - £164
Deluxe single supplement - £176
Cosy double for sole use - £192
Extra night – optional on B&B basis
Standard double - £73
Deluxe room upgrade - £82
Single room - £112
Deluxe single - £115
Cosy double for sole use - £121