This unique tour combines the splendour of the inaugural RHS
Chatsworth Flower Show with some of Britain's finest gardens, a
handful of iconic historic houses and the scenic paradise of the
All done in style, unhurriedly and with a small group of
We couldn't believe our luck when the Royal Horticultural Society
announced the inaugural Chatsworth RHS Flower Show,
not least, because we were looking for a prestigious event in the
horticultural calendar to balance our biennial Chelsea tour. But
also, because we love Chatsworth and we can't think of a better
excuse to go there!
We start the tour in the rolling countryside of north-east
Shropshire, close to the Staffordshire border, within easy reach of
Chatsworth House and with ready access to a wide range of
first-rate, if slightly less-well known, gardens and other
interesting attractions. The second half of the tour is set
amid the scenic splendour of Yorkshire, visiting Castle Howard,
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal and other world-renowned
gardens, and touching too, on the magnificent landscapes of the
Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.
Chatsworth has been the seat of the Dukes of Devonshire and the
Cavendish family home since Sir William
Cavendish, second husband of Bess of
Hardwick, bought the estate in 1549. Many famous people
are associated with the house, and famous women include
Georgiana Cavendish, the first wife of William Cavendish,
the 5th Duke, and great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana,
Princess of Wales; John F. Kennedy's sister, Kathleen Kennedy,
who married a later William Cavendish, elder son of the 10th Duke,
but he was killed in action in 1944 and Kathleen died in a plane
crash in 1948; his younger brother, Andrew, the 11th Duke, married
Deborah Mitford, one of the Mitford girls, sister to Nancy, Diana,
Pamela, Unity and Jessica Mitford.
The Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in
March 1804, by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood, as the
Horticultural Society of London and, in 1821, an experimental
garden was established in Chiswick. It became the Royal
Horticultural Society in 1861, a year before the first Great
Spring Show, which later became the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower
Show. Today, the RHS is the UK's leading gardening charity,
dedicated to helping people share a passion for plants, encouraging
excellence in horticulture and inspiring all those with an interest
The gardens and other attractions
We visit an array of the very best gardens in each area, some of
which are among Britain's finest gardens, and a selection of other
attractions, including a number of historic houses, either in their
own right or because of their garden, and the Wedgwood Museum, one
of the finest such museums in the world.
We are blessed with beautiful countryside, but there is no doubt
that in Yorkshire we excel! We will spend time in the Yorkshire
Dales and on the North York Moors, as well as the seaside at
Sleeping & Eating
Our two hotels are both comfortable and well-appointed country
hotels. Both family-owned and operated, each with their own charm
and style and both with 2 AA red rosettes for our culinary
excellence. Firstly, for four nights in Shropshire, Goldstone Hall Hotel and,
secondly, for four nights in North Yorkshire, The Pheasant Hotel.
The Pheasant is an old friend to us and Goldstone Hall is new.
We will dine-in, in our hotels' dining rooms on most evenings,
and dine-out on three evenings, at The Fox, a well-established
foody-pub, just down the road from Goldstone Hall, the Magpie
Café, world-famous purveyor of wonderful Fish &
Chips, on the Quay at Whitby, and The Star Inn, one of Britain's
first Michelin-starred pubs.
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