Key features for GTOs
⌚ Duration: recommended 6 days +
📷 Visiting: North East England, North West England
🦋 Theme(s): Gardens
😴 Accommodation: 3/4 star hotel(s)
✔️ Includes: all entrance fees
📢 Tour guide: recommended
📌Start/end: optional (UK-wide)
⚙️ Customisable: fully
📲 Planning integrations: app, pdf, print
- Private garden tour of contemporary The Alnwick Garden
- Tea & home-made scones at Crook Hall Gardens
- Holiday exploring gardens in County Durham, Northumberland & The Lake District
- Personal introduction talk on arrival evening
- Birthplace of Capability Brown
- Optional add-ons: private garden visits / guided tours
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Day 1 A Personal Welcome
Stay in a country house hotel in the beautiful Northumberland countryside or enjoy the bustle of the city lights – the choice is yours… Our meet & greet service on hotel arrival will make your welcome into a personal experience. Enjoy your first evening together with a Welcome Dinner and introduction talk on the region you are visiting.
Day 2 Northern Gardens of Durham & Washington Old Hall
In the morning, enjoy a short journey to a little hidden gem of the region - Washington Old Hall. Famous for the Washington family, this National Trust manor house includes a delightful garden providing a tranquil oasis, reflecting gentry life following the turbulence of the English Civil War. Later, discover the little hidden yet spectacular Botanic Gardens of Durham and enjoy a walk through parts of England’s third oldest university into the heart of Durham & onto Durham Cathedral. Explore the city at leisure. Riverside walks with magnificent views onto castle and cathedral round-off a stunning day.
Day 3 Northern Garden's Historical delights – A day with Capability Brown
Begin your day at Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens, only a few miles outside Newcastle but already amidst the beautiful Northumberland countryside. Here you can explore not only the beautiful Greek Revival villa but also a ruined castle and the enchanting plant-rich gardens surrounding the property. Continue your day to one of many fabulous gardens in the surrounding area at Wallington, owned by the National Trust. Dating back to 1688, Wallington Hall was once home to the Blacketts and Trevelyan families. The gardens have been influenced heavily by ‘Capability’ Brown who went to school nearby. The estate accommodates several walks within the many aspects of the garden. You can explore the walled garden or follow the walks through a variety of lawns, shrubberies and woodland. Finally, visit the birthplace of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown at Kirkharle and discover the church he was baptised in, wonderful craft shops and a fabulous landscape garden recently recreated in his honour.
Day 4 The dream of a Duchess
Explore the magnificent town of Alnwick – setting to movies such as Transformers, The Avengers or Robin Hood Prince of Thieves as well as great TV productions such as Downton Abbey. The Alnwick Garden is one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. From the tranquility of the Cherry Orchard, the excitement of the Grand Cascade and the mysteries of the Bamboo Labyrinth, to the Serpent Garden’s spell-binding water sculptures, the intrigue of the Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest tree houses – there is plenty to surprise and delight.
Day 5 The romantic Lake District
Your journey today takes you to one of England’s most stunning landscapes – the English Lake District, once home to the romantic poets and painters such as William Wordsworth, John Constable or J.M.W. Turner… At the gateway stands the impressive Levens Hall and the world renowned topiary garden, sculpted over hundreds of years. Find a total of 10 wonderful acres of garden waiting to be explored - the unique collection of ancient and extraordinary topiary characters sculpted from box and yew are a clear favourite. The atmosphere changes at every turn as you are led on along vistas and though hedged archways to find yourself in new areas. Later enjoy a stunning scenic drive through the Lake District National Park.
Day 6 Depart at leisure
After a hearty breakfast, depart at leisure - speak to us to create a small highlight on your journey home - a garden visit in Yorkshire perhaps, small market town exploration or simply a nice stop for a cup of tea...