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| An Introduction

An introduction and overview of our tours

Our tours
Most of our tours start and finish at London Stansted Airport, the airport to the north of London, except for Scottish and Borders tours, which start and finish at Scottish airports. Most tours will also have planned additional meeting points and, with a little forethought, we can meet customers elsewhere, too.

Tim will accompany all of the tours - as your driver, tour guide and host - and you may meet Sofia, as she joins us for the occasional weekend or, even, one of the children on work experience!

The majority of our tours concentrate on just one small area of Britain, typically a county, like Kent or Cornwall, or a well-known area, like the Cotswolds or the Lake District. A few tours, especially those in the north of Scotland and those tours designed to be multi-centred tours, cover larger areas.

We travel comfortably and safely by minibus, often along country lanes, off the beaten track and away from busy main roads - something that larger buses cannot do. Onboard, we have bottled water to quench your thirst and a library of maps and guide books to feed your mind.

On a typical day, we will leave our hotel after breakfast and visit one garden or other attraction in the morning and another in the afternoon, taking lunch at one of the gardens or, occasionally, taking a picnic lunch with us. We stop for photographs, for brief visits to other places of interest and for excursions into picturesque villages along the way, and we will even drive off in the opposite direction to catch a stunning sunset!

Whichever tour you choose, we go to great lengths to ensure that the tour is relaxed and unhurried - though we freely admit that the first day of any tour, especially where there is a long drive to our destination, can feel a little less so!

Gardens & other attractions
We are extremely lucky and very proud of the fact that, in any one year in Britain, some 5,000 gardens will open to the public, and we take you to a selection of the very best ones in each tour area. Ordinarily, we leave you to wander around the gardens at will, although, at some gardens, we do arrange for a private guided tour or introductory talk - often by the owner or head gardener - and on some tours we visit private gardens, not frequently open to the public.

Likewise, in Britain, we will rarely be too far from any number of 'other' attractions, especially those of a historic and heritage nature, and we use these attractions as a backdrop to our day - stopping as our pleasure takes us.

Your group
We limit group sizes to a maximum of 12 people and encourage a multi-national mix of like-minded, similar-aged people, generally sharing a passion for gardens and gardening. Our youngest customers are in their twenties and the eldest are in their eighties, but the mean will be mid-sixties.

To date, we have been joined by customers from Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and most of the states of the United States of America.

English is spoken in a range of styles, and often with great humour!

Sleeping & eating
Your comfort is a chief priority of ours, and we go to great lengths in choosing where to stay. The majority of hotels we use are listed in the Good Hotel Guide and many of the hotels are ones we return to, year-after-year. When we consider using a new hotel, we go and check it out.

We seek out independent establishments with character, friendly service and a good kitchen.

We enjoy good food and choose hotels with reputable kitchens and, when we dine out, we do so at some of the very best local bistros, restaurants and pubs. Award-winning establishments, preparing locally-sourced fresh produce and cooking it superbly.

Depending upon the size of the group, dinner, at some of the hotels, may be from a limited menu, but when we dine out, you will choose what you will to eat.

Value for money
We think it fair to say that we are extremely good value for money - our tours include almost everything, and a great deal more than many other operators.

Personal service
Finally, please be assured of our personal service before, during and after your tour as this, together with our meticulous attention to detail, is our hallmark, and the reason that so many of our customers return to us, year after year.

Please also read ' Additional Information', before booking a tour. Thank you.

Updated 21 February 2016

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