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Gardens of Cornwall & Tresco

Gardens of Cornwall & Tresco

per person

Cornwall’s gardens are renowned the world over for their colour and variety, and there are some truly outstanding examples here. Choose between spring when the rhododendrons burst into life or high summer when the hydrangeas run riot.

We start at Lanhydrock, rich in flowering shrubs and trees, before visiting Bosvigo, with its bold and imaginative planting and Trelissick, a modern garden which is constantly evolving. On our middle day we offer the opportunity to fly to the Scilly Isles and spend a day at the sub-tropical paradise of Tresco’s Abbey Garden. Given that we normally run tours to Tresco in the early spring and autumn months, this is a rare chance to see the garden either in its full spring freshness or at the peak of its summer flowering.

Our final three garden visits are the wild and colourful garden of Trebah, the Italianate style of Lamorran and the private garden of Marsh Villa, a labour of love that has paid off handsomely.

We are based at the 4-star Alverton Hotel in the cathedral city of Truro, a historic Grade II listed building with luxurious rooms and two AA rosette-rated food and drink.

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  • Departure/Return Location
    London Tothill St, Westminster
  • Departure Time
    08:00 AM
  • Return Time
    10:00 PM
  • Included
  • Not Included
    All Inclusive
    Train Travel

Tour Plan

We depart from our pick-up points and head down into Cornwall, where we begin with a visit to Lanhydrock Gardens. Now the property of the National Trust, Lanhydrock was the home of the Robartes family from 1620 until 1953. The magnificent seventeenth century house is surrounded by nineteenth century formal terraced gardens which formed part of a scheme of improvements overseen by George Gilbert Scott in 1857. Beyond the terraced gardens are areas of informal pleasure grounds which were developed from the mid nineteenth century with many choice trees and shrubs. The parkland with the famous beech avenue was first enclosed in the mid seventeenth century, and remains one of the finest examples in Cornwall. Lanhydrock Gardens feature a formal courtyard garden, beds of modern roses and a woodland garden, rich in flowering shrubs and trees, especially rhododendrons and magnolias. Lanhydrock is also home to the National Collection of crocosmias. Following our visit we continue to our hotel, the 4-star Alverton Hotel, Truro. Dinner is served at the hotel in the evening. Meals include: Dinner Hotel: Alverton Hotel
After breakfast we travel to Bosvigo, which TV gardener Carol Klein identified as her favourite Cornish garden. To one side of the handsome 18th century house is a woodland garden whose borders explode with dahlias, roses and nasturtiums. Around the house are several beautifully planted enclosures showing exciting and fastidious colour harmonies. There is also an excellent nursery here selling some rare plants. After an opportunity for lunch (not included) in the cathedral city of Truro, in the afternoon we visit Trelissick, a modern garden which was created within shelter belts planted 200 years ago. The garden is constantly evolving, with new planting and fresh ideas. Trelissick has seen trees grow to maturity, the tide ebbing and flowing, but has become a dynamic, forward-looking estate. The iconic Water Tower was built for irrigation and fire-control; now the lavatories are flushed with rainwater stored underground in modern reservoirs. Heat is extracted from kitchen appliances and the sun to provide hot water and heating. Dinner will be served back at the hotel. Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner Hotel: Alverton Hotel
Today you have the option of relaxing in the hotel or exploring the surrounding area, or alternatively joining our optional excursion to Tresco in the Isles of Scilly. After an early breakfast we depart for Land’s End Airport from where we will fly to St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly. On arrival you will be taken to the quayside for a short boat transfer to Tresco, where we visit the unique Abbey Gardens, home to more than 3,000 species and magnificent vistas, colours and scents. Here you will be given a guided walk around the magnificent gardens and the Valhalla collection of ship's figureheads with the head gardener or a member of staff. Lunch is available in the café here after which you are free to explore the garden at your leisure or take a wander round this tiny island. Later in the afternoon we return to St Mary’s for the flight back to Land’s End and the transfer back to our hotel (please note this is subject to minimum numbers). Dinner is served in the evening. Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner Hotel: Alverton Hotel
Following our full English breakfast we depart for a visit to Trebah, a wild and colourful Cornish garden with something for everyone. The garden was laid out originally in the 1840s and flourished to become one of England's great gardens by the 1930s. After the death of the then owner, the garden was sadly neglected for many years until it was taken over by the Hibbert family, who still run it today. Wander down the "Zig-Zag", a slope where a rare collection of exotic Mediterranean plants was recently planted. You will also see Rhododendron Valley, a huge amphitheatre of sixty foot high rhododendrons, many of which were imported as seed in the 1890s. It was here that rare Chinese palm trees, giant ferns and a host of other exotic plants were discovered a few years ago when some of the rhododendrons were cut back. We then transfer to Falmouth, where there will be an opportunity for lunch (not included) and some free time to enjoy this lively harbour town. In the afternoon we visit the garden of Lamorran House, overlooking Falmouth Bay, which has been designed by the owner in an Italianate style, although there are also Japanese influences here. The intention was to create an intimate garden very much in the mould of Mediterranean gardens but with water ever-present, both as a backdrop to the garden and with running water featured in the many pools and streams. Many features are included to divide the garden into intimate compartments which the visitor can explore. Hence there are areas of woodland, a water garden in Japanese style as well as temples and archways in the steeper parts of the garden and a small bridge on which to lean to look out over the bay exhibiting a distinctively Venetian influence. An introductory talk is included here. We return to our hotel in time for dinner. Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner Hotel: Alverton Hotel
Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for a visit to Marsh Villa, situated in a former tidal creek made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s book The House on the Strand. This three-acre garden is result of years of hard work by the enthusiastic owner – not to mention several lorry loads of manure. The main feature of the garden is the magnificent pond. The water table rises in winter and so marginal planting consists of reed mace, filipendula, lythrum and the ubiquitous flag iris. A passion for perennials brought about the construction of a secluded, rather formal garden set within escallonia hedges. Here there is colour all year round from the tulip season right through to the heleniums and eupatoriums. Following our visit we will return to our original pick-up points, where the group will disperse or make onward connections. Meals include: Breakfast

Tour Dates

  • 10 APRIL 2020
  • 12 JUNE 2020