1802 | Cornwall & Bath

Shaped by the mighty Atlantic Ocean and warmed by the Gulf Stream, this last Celtic corner of England is a treasure chest of secret coves, wonderful gardens and a rich industrial past.

Excellent accommodation, superb food, outstanding gardens and a world-class city combine to make this tour a perennial favourite, and we expect that our 2018 Cornwall & Bath garden & city tour will be as popular as ever.

Jutting out into the Atlantic and washed by the mild Gulf Stream, climatically and horticulturally, England's most southwesterly county enjoys an enviable position. Cornish gardens couldn't have it much better, and it is no wonder that a few Cornish gardens are open all year round, and those that aren't often open as early as mid-February!

Indeed, some 80 gardens open their gates to the public during the annual Spring Gardens Festival, and we take you to the very best of them.

Besides Cornwall's gardens, and its famously rugged coastline, Cornwall is famous for its industrial heritage, the important part it played in the industrial revolution and its world-leading China Clay deposits. It has some excellent food, especially its seafood and its dairy produce, it has a proud maritime heritage and it is fiercely Celtic, not English! All of which we will touch upon during our stay in this green and pleasant county.

Bath is quite simply of Europe's most elegant towns, proud of its Roman roots and Georgian renaissance and the perfect place to spend a free day.

Sleeping & Eating
We spend the first five nights of the tour in Truro, the county town and cathedral city, at The Alverton, a hotel we have used for more than ten years, and which has recently undergone some much appreciated renovation, and our final two nights at the charming Queensberry Hotel, a wonderfully comfortable hotel, right in the centre of Bath.

We dine-in, at The Alverton, on three evenings and dine out twice, at two favourite establishments, Tabb's, where we have dined for over a dozen years, and The Old Coastguard, which we have enjoyed for the past few years. In Bath we dine out at The Circus, a wonderful restaurant which we discovered a few years ago and dine-in, for our end-of-tour dinner, at the Olive Tree, our hotel's award-winning restaurant.

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At a glance
Garden & City tour
11 gardens inc:
free day in historic Bath
Max group size 12
landscapes & coastlines
Lost Gardens of Heligan
2 private guided tours
5-nights Cornwall
Eden Project
3 private garden visits
2-nights Bath
Iford Manor
Fully escorted
Day 1 | Tuesday, 17 April

From the airports to Truro, via Stourhead

Tim will collect you from either Stansted Airport or from the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel, immediately north of Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport and, once we are all together, we drive south west to Stourhead for lunch and a walk around these world-famous, eighteenth century landscape gardens.

Stourhead is a little more than half-way on our journey to our hotel, The Alverton, where we plan to arrive late in the afternoon, in good time to check-in and relax, before dinner at the hotel. The Alverton, our home for the next five nights, is quietly located, 5 minutes walk from the centre of Truro, Cornwall's county town and only cathedral city.

NB. In order to be in Truro by our planned arrival time, we need to leave the Heathrow area by about 08:30.

Today's total driving is about 320 miles/520 km from Stansted and from Heathrow about 250 miles/400 km

Tuesday, 17 April
The Temple, Stourhead
Day 2 | Wednesday, 18 April

A day on the Helford River and the Lizard peninsula

We spend the day to the south of Truro on the beautiful Helford River and on the Lizard Peninsula, the southern-most tip of mainland Britain, starting with a morning visit to one of our favourite gardens, Trebah, a sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop and one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall.

After lunch, at Trebah, we venture into the centre of the Lizard Peninsula, to spend the afternoon at Bonython a relatively new garden, created by Sue Nathan when she and her husband bought Bonython in 1999. Little did she realise then, that they were about to embark on an all-consuming journey of learning and discovery, which was to lead to the creation of this magnificent garden.

Late in the afternoon we return to The Alverton, to freshen up and walk into Truro, for dinner at Tabb's, one of our favourite restaurants.

Today's total driving is about 50 miles/80 km

Wednesday, 18 April
Bonython Manor House
Day 3 | Thursday, 19 April

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Tregrehan & China Clay

Our day starts at the world-famous Lost Gardens of Heligan, with a private guided tour of the Northern Gardens, just one part of these vast 200 acre/80 ha garden. Rediscovered some twenty-five years ago, Heligan's historic gardens were lost under a tangle of weeds, unknown and unseen since its gardeners departed for the First World War.

There will be plenty of time, after your guided tour, to explore much of the rest of Heligan and to have lunch in their wonderful café, before we set off to Tregrehan, a garden we first visited some years ago, and a garden that I am keen to revisit.

From Tregrehan we will explore the nearby china clay workings and, if time allows, call in at the Wheal Martyn china clay museum, before returning for dinner at The Alverton.  

Today's total driving is about 50 miles/80 km

Thursday, 19 April
The 'Jungle', Lost Gardens of Heligan
Day 4 | Friday, 20 April

A day on the Land's End peninsula

Almost the entire day is spent on the Land's End peninsula, firstly at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, still a relatively new garden to Cornwall, having opened to the public in September 2012 and which we first visited in 2015. It's a fantastic and fascinating garden with some stunning features, including some impressive artistic installations, and a superb café!

After lunch we continue west, stopping at the market town of St Just, the most westerly town in mainland Britain, before a bracing walk on Cape Cornwall, or 'Old Land's End', just to the north of Land's End proper.

Finally, and in keeping to our costal theme, we have a private afternoon visit to Chygurno, a stunningly-sited cliff-top garden with views across Lamorna Cove, and from where we drive to the nearby picturesque fishing village of Mousehole, for a late afternoon stroll and supper at The Old Coastguard.

Today's total driving is about 100 miles/160 km

Friday, 20 April
Sculpture at Tremenheere
Day 5 | Saturday, 21 April

A day of wooded valleys, sunken lanes and wide open views

Our final full day in Cornwall is spent exploring the Roseland peninsula, its  wooded valleys, sunken lanes and wide open views, and we start with a morning visit Trewithen, an historic private estate, internationally renowned for its collection of magnolias and camellias and, more recently, its red squirrels. Lunch, and yet more magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons await us at nearby Caerhays, where, according to the Good Gardens Guide "…its collection of camellias and rhododendrons to be amongst the finest and its magnolias to be unrivalled".

Mid-afternoon we will depart Caerhays and drive to St Anthony Head, at the tip of the Roseland peninsula, to enjoy its views across the Fal estuary and explore something of its military history, before crossing the Fal on the historic King Harry Ferry, for drinks and dinner at The Alverton.
Today's total driving is about
50 miles/80 km

Saturday, 21 April
Magnolia, Caerhays Castle
Day 6 | Sunday, 22 April

From futuristic geodesic biomes to Roman baths

After loading the minibus we set off to the spectacular Eden Project, for a private guided tour of the Rainforest Biome, one of the two principal biomes, and to spend the rest of the morning exploring this unique, educational, experimental and engineering wonder.

After lunch, at Eden, we drive to Bath and arrive at our hotel, The Queensberry, late in the afternoon, in time for an early evening stroll through the city, before dinner at the Circus Restaurant, just around the corner from our hotel.

Today's total driving is about
200 miles/320 km

Sunday, 22 April
Tulips in the Temperate Biome, Eden
Day 7 | Monday, 23 April

A day, free to explore one of the most civilised towns in Europe

So much to do and so much to see, but, for those of you who wish to, we start with a short walk into the centre, to the Tourist Information Centre, itself next door to the Abbey, the Roman Baths and the Pump Rooms.

One suggestion is to take an open-topped tourist bus around the city, orientating yourself and seeing many of the sights from the bus. It's then a case of your own priorities and preferences: everything from the Roman Baths and the modern baths to boutique shopping, via Bath Abbey, world-famous Georgian town architecture and Jane Austen.

Whatever you do, we will meet at 4pm for afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms, but not so much as to spoil our end-of-tour dinner at The Queensberry.

Today is a minibus-free day!

Monday, 23 April
Enjoying afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms
Day 8 | Tuesday, 24 April

One last day, one last garden

After a decent breakfast and loading the minbus, we drive to nearby Iford Manor, for a private visit to one of Harold Peto's most famous gardens, and one of the most speldid gardens on any of our tours. Peto is not as well known as he ought to be, but there is a brief history here.

We have morning coffee and home-made biscuits at Iford Manor, and then set off for the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel and Stansted Airport, where the tour ends and where we will be in good time for your evening flight home. For those of you staying on in Britain, and not wanting to return to either Heathrow Airport or Stansted Airport, we will assist you in getting to your next destination and for those of you wanting to travel into central London, we will take you to Chippenham Railway Station.

Today's total driving is about 100
 miles/160 km to Heathrow or 170 miles/270 km to Stansted

Tuesday, 24 April
The Cloisters, Iford Manor
General Notes

During our tours, we endeavour to be as faithful to our itineraries as possible, but sometimes changes do occur, either necessarily or unavoidably.

Need some help?
We have prepared some helpful information - under 'Essential Information', and this information is designed to enhance your holiday. The pages are, 'An Introduction', 'Additional Information', 'Booking and Paying' and 'Travel Information'.

The tour area map
Click on the Google map of the tour area, and it will open in a new window. The various tour locations are marked GREEN (for gardens), ORANGE (for other attractions), RED (for pubs, hotels and restaurants) and BLUE (for transport) - and click on these markers for more information.

Tour Information
17 - 24 Apr
8 days
26 280,00
Single person suplement:
4 800,00

Please ask if you would like to upgrade your room, from a standard twin or double room to a superior twin or double room or to a suite, at either or both The Alverton, in Cornwall, and The Queensberry, in Bath.

Fully Booked - Cornwall & Bath
Typically, we aim to depart the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel at about 08:30, but confirmation of our precise meeting arrangements and introductions to your fellow travellers will be sent to everyone two weeks before the tour starts.

Please note that we do not collect from Heathrow terminal forecourts.
There are no specific notes for this particular tour.
Click to see where we visit