English Gardens & the Chelsea Flower Show - A Marco Polo Journey (2020)

Savour the joys of spring in the quintessential English landscape as you take in a member’s-only day at the Chelsea Flower Show; privately stroll the historic gardens of Abbey House; and tour the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace.

Journey Overview

Savour the joys of spring in the quintessential English landscape as you take in a member’s-only day at the Chelsea Flower Show; privately stroll the historic gardens of Abbey House; and tour the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace.

Journey Highlights

  • Enjoy privileged access at every turn on this quintessentially English journey that spans exclusive estates and gardens 
  • Stroll through the Arts and Crafts - style gardens of Sissinghurst Castle, planted by Vita Sackville-West
  • Spend an afternoon at Hidcote Manor, one of England's greatest gardens
  • Visit historic Abbey House, enjoying a morning walk through its iconic gardens before they open to the public
  • Gain exclusive access to Badminton House, enjoying tea at the country home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort 
  • Attend a members-only day at the Royal Horticultural Society's world-famous Chelsea Flower Show

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive London, England

Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your luxury hotel surrounded by gardens. Enjoy a private welcome dinner with your fellow guests at this historic manor house.
Ockenden Manor | Meals: D

Day 2: Storrington | Parham House

Journey to Storrington for a private tour of the 16th-century Parham House and its landscaped Pleasure Grounds. Stroll Veronica’s Maze and The Walled Garden, learning how they are organically maintained. After lunch at Parham House, visit magnificent and historic Arundel Castle.
Ockenden Manor | Meals: BL 

Day 3: Sissinghurst & Great Dixter | Arts & Crafts Gems

Today, enjoy a private tour of the late Christopher Lloyd’s garden at Great Dixter, conducted before opening hours. Built in the Arts and Crafts style, note how it mingles vegetables and flowers, a large orchard with pockets of wild flowers and a magnificent herbaceous border. Later, drive to Sissinghurst Castle and stroll its garden. Learn how Harold Nicolson, a diplomat and author, laid down its main lines, while his wife, Vita Sackville-West, a poet and garden writer, handled the planting. View the influential White Garden, which exemplifies Gertrude Jekyll’s idea of using colour themes.
Ockenden Manor | Meals: BD

Day 4: Hampshire | West Green House

Drive north to the quaint and charming Cotswolds area, pausing in a wooded corner of North Hampshire for a visit to the gardens of West Green House. Learn how acclaimed designer Marylyn Abbott masterfully fused neo-classical and contemporary influences as you tour the grounds with the senior gardener. Afterward, enjoy lunch with West Green House’s owner. Later, toast your day with a Scenic Sundowner before dining at your hotel.
Dormy House | Meals: BLD

Day 5: The Cotswolds | Kiftsgate & Hidcote Manor

Enjoy a private visit to Kiftsgate Court Gardens and stroll the harmonious, colour-schemed upper gardens. Continue to nearby Hidcote Manor — one of England’s greatest gardens and a real Arts and Crafts masterpiece — for a guided tour through a series of unique outdoor “rooms.” Nestled in the Cotswolds, a range of hills known for their beauty, the garden offers stunning panoramas across the Vale of Evesham. Afterward, drive to the lovely town of Chipping Campden to visit its attractive High Street, Jacobean Market Hall and impressive Church of St. James.
Dormy House | Meals: BD

Day 6: The Cotsworlds | Abbey House: Royal Resting Place

Visit the storied grounds of Abbey House, home to a historic estate and five acres of mature Cotswold gardens. The estate’s owner greets you before opening hours for a privately guided tour of the garden. Tended in the shade of Abbey Church for some 1,300 years, the garden marks the final resting place of England’s first king. Continue inside the estate for a tour of the house itself. After lunch on the grounds, enjoy a private visit to Badminton House, country home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. Tour the house and gardens, pausing to enjoy a traditional cream tea.
Dormy House | Meals: BL

Day 7: Blenheim Palace | Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill

Drive to Blenheim Palace, a magnificent edifice set in 2,100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Enjoy a special talk and tour focused on the life of Sir Winston Churchill, who was born here in 1874. Examine the breadth of his talent and achievement, from bricklayer to the “Greatest Briton.” After lunch, continue to London.
The Milestone Hotel | Meals: B

Day 8: The Chelsea Flower Show | A World of Inspiration

Attend the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show on an exclusive, members-only day. Enjoy a four-course luncheon and an open bar, as well as morning and afternoon tea, in an exclusive Royal Horticultural Society hospitality area. Walk countless exhibits showcasing the finest examples of English gardening and some of the most avant-garde show-garden designs in the world. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon, gathering in the evening for a farewell dinner.
The Milestone Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Depart London

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome briefing at 6:30 p.m. on Day 1.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:30 p.m. on Day 8.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Show Full Itinerary
Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

May 13, 2020 - May 21, 2020
Price AU$15,210pp Single Supplement AU$5,355 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.