The Garden Guide

Garden Tours in England

Gardening is more popular in England than anywhere else and this is reflected in the number of gardens open to visit in England. As an island surrounded by choppy seas and protected by a powerful navy, Britain's territory was physically secure from an earlier date than other European countries. English towns could spread beyond their medieval walls much earlier than in continental Europe. Instead of apartment blocks, the typical English dwelling was a small house with a small garden. The aristocracy always wanted 'a place in the country' for the summer and a town house for the winter. Also, the climate is never very cold and partly because it is never very hot.  One usually has to be up and doing something.

A wide range of design styles are well represented in England, although the most famous period in English garden history is the eighteenth century, when the original English landscape gardens were made.  England has some wonderful cloister gardens attached to the great cathedrals. The best are simple rectangles of grass. England also has many castles - but no ancient castle gardens. Nor are there many renaissance survivals. There are baroque gardens but not nearly so many as in France and Germany. But from the eighteenth century onwards Britain has excellent examples of most styles of garden design.

Escorted Garden Tours in England


Chelsea Flower Show, 23rd May 2019

The tour includes a full day at the Chelsea Flower Show, which is the most famous horticultural event in the world, a visit to one of the best known Arts and Crafts gardens in England ( Sissinghurst ), a tour of the RHS's flagship garden ( Wisley ) with its new glasshouse, Wilton House, Capability Brown's timeless Stourhead and Harold Peto's Iford Manor.


FLORA Garden Tours, 2018 small group tours

Flora Garden Tours Flora guided tours of gardens in England take 4 to 10 people to the best English gardens, large and small. The tours last 3-6 days but special interest tours can be run to suit your group.

In 2018 FLORA will tour Lake District and Yorkshire gardens 1st-6th May; Cotswold gardens 16-20th May; Wiltshire and Somerset gardens 3rd-7th June; Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampton Court Flower Show 3rd-8th July as well as Cambridge and Norfolk gardens 21st-26th September. Dr. Barbara Sommerville plans and escorts all garden tours in England and gives evening power-point talks on subjects relevant to touring English and British gardens.

The Legacy of Gertrude Jekyll, departing 20th May 2018

Follow in the footsteps of Gertrude Jekyll on this tour across the south of England, visiting many of her commissions including Hestercombe, Upton Grey and also the rare opportunity to visit Munstead Wood, her home for almost 40 years.


The TELEGRAPH Lakeland Collection, 21st to 24th September 2018

Lakeland Collection, Boxwood Tours Hosted by gardens correspondent, HELEN YEMM
The English Lake District is renowned for its dramatic beauty including England’s highest mountains and finest lakes. Previous home to William Wordsworth, the Lakeland poets and Beatrice Potter, we also find a contrasting range of wonderful gardens, especially in the warmer south of the region. The Lakeside Hotel sits on the lower reaches of Lake Windermere, a very welcoming, friendly hotel with our selected rooms overlooking the lake and gardens. The seamless blend of country-house character and contemporary four-star luxury with fine dining inspired by local produce ensures complete ease and comfort.


The Gardens of Kent and Sussex, departing 29th May and 25th June 2017

This is an excellent tour for visitors to London who would like to visit gardens in Kent and Sussex. The countryside is varied, well-wooded and very favoured from the points of view of garden makers and garden visitors. The tour includes visits to Lullingstone Castle, Great Comp, Nymans, Sussex Prairie Garden, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and Hever Castle.