Cornwall Spring Garden Spectacular
March 26 - April 5, 2023
Our last five Cornwall tours were fabulous sold-out successes! Huron Tours is thrilled to announce our return to the magnificent Cornwall gardens in the Spring of 2023. An incredibly scenic adventure with pure Huron style!
In our usual Huron style we’ve included many special events and wonderful dining experiences in addition to the gorgeous gardens.
Featuring: Kensington Palace Gardens ~ The Eden Project ~ Trewithen Garden ~ St. Michael’s Mount ~ Tregothnan Tea Plantation & Garden ~ Glendurgan Garden ~ Trebah Garden ~ Caerhays Castle & Garden ~ Lost Gardens of Heligan ~ Lanhydrock House and Garden - The Lodge ~ Trelissick ~ Killerton House and Garden - the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden ~ The Tate St. Ives ~ and more!
Please review the details below and consider joining us on this memorable garden adventure. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions - the people you speak with on the phone will be on the tour with you.
Happy Travels! - Katie and John Kosta
Saturday, March 25
Flights to London
Though not an official tour date we include this day here to help your planning efforts.
Travel to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on your favorite air carrier.
Please give us a call for airfare prices and schedules. (800) 734-1192 or (504) 267-2057.
Your air carrier provides dinner and breakfast.
Sunday, March 26
Meet your guides, Kensington Palace & Gardens, private welcome dinner
Arrive London and meet your Blue Badge Guide and Huron Tours & Travel tour managers who will be with you the entire tour.
Rest easy with your HTT arranged private transfer to your perfectly located, four-star hotel in London.
After getting settled, we'll enjoy a lovely visit to Kensington Palace & Gardens, a royal residence for over 300 years and former home of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. You will tour the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments as well as the beautiful Palace Gardens.
Early this evening we'll enjoy a private welcome dinner reception together in one of Huron's favorite South Kensington neighborhood restaurants.
(Meals on flight, welcome dinner included.)
Monday, March 27
Train to Cornwall, Trelissick Garden, Welcome Dinner Falmouth
After an early and hearty English breakfast at the hotel, we'll journey via scenic train to gorgeous Cornwall. Great Western Railway transports us from London Paddington to Truro traveling along the iconic part-coastal track built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 1830s. We'll travel in style and there is no need to worry about your luggage. With Huron Tours your bags will be delivered straight to our beach-front hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall while you enjoy the beauty, comfort and ease of travel by train.
On arrival into Truro, we'll pay a very special visit to the National Trust’s Trelissick Garden including a private, guided garden tour. This tranquil and diverse garden is known for its glorious maritime views down Carrick Road towards the sea. Trelissick has been planted with many of the tender shrubs so characteristic of Cornwall and on clear days you can see as far as Pendennis Castle in the distance. The perfect start to our spring garden tour!
After our garden visit at Trelissick, it is a short drive to our home for the next eight nights, Falmouth and The Greenbank Hotel.
The charming town of Falmouth is situated at the end of the River Fal and has been an important Maritime hub for more than 500 years. This is Cornwall's coolest town and one of England's leading cultural destinations. Its attractive old shops, numerous cafés, collection of interesting art galleries and central coastal location make it the perfect home base for our garden explorations.
Our accommodations, Falmouth's oldest and finest, is the Four-Star Greenbank Hotel.
Nestled on Falmouth harbor, this gorgeous property blends the best of coastal Cornish living with the finest in contemporary comfort. All rooms are perfectly appointed with luxurious toiletries, hairdryer, complimentary coffee and tea, flat screen televisions, 24 hour room service and free wifi. The on-site dining options include the 2 AA Rosette award-winning Water's Edge Restaurant offering truly Modern British cuisine.
This evening we toast our arrival with a private dinner reception at the hotel while enjoying panoramic harbor views.
(Breakfast and Dinner are included today.)
Tuesday, March 28
Tony Ryde’s The Lodge, Lanhydrock House and Gardens
After a delightful breakfast in the hotel's beautiful water-view dining room, we begin today’s garden explorations at Tony Ryde’s The Lodge, a beautiful three-acre riverside garden at Fletcher’s Bridge near Bodmin, opening just for us. This intimate visit was a favorite of our 2022 group and boasts an exciting feature of a range of sculptures complementing the garden’s natural features. Tony's garden is a wonderful example of following your vision to create the atmosphere you'd like. Tony will give us a tour of his garden and serve some tea and cakes.
Our next stop is The National Trust's Lanhydrock House & Gardens, a magnificent late Victorian country house and beautiful spring garden. The fabulous formal parterre brings a real touch of grandeur and the blooming borders are filled with flowers and fragrant plants. A gorgeous magnolia arch by the thatched cottage, offers a beautiful gateway to exploring the higher levels of the garden. The magnificent 17th century house has many interesting rooms including a magnificent Great Hall and historic kitchens. For anyone interested in historic houses this is a must see property and offers a fascinating insight into Upstairs, Downstairs life in Victorian England.
Dinner this evening is on your own so why not try one of the fantastic eateries on our Falmouth restaurant recommendations list included with your final tour documents. Highlights include a wonderful Thai restaurant, award-winning gastro pub, and of course the freshest seafood. All within a few minutes walk of our hotel
(Breakfast is included this morning.)
Wednesday, March 29
St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum, St. Michael's Mount, Champagne Afternoon Tea at Carbis Bay Estate
We will begin today on a high note with a morning and afternoon visit to the coastal village of St. Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden.
St. Ives, a delightful old village of breathtaking beauty, has been a busy fishing port since the Middle Ages. En-route our Blue Badge guide will tell us all about the history and tradition of this ancient town. Once there, you'll have time to explore the cobbled streets, admire the pretty cottages and peak into the interesting shops and art galleries, as well as enjoy two great museums. Be sure to consult our “Guide To St. Ives” included in your final tour documents.
Barbara Hepworth, a renowned artist, lived and worked in St. Ives from 1949 until 1975. Her small house and working studios are set in a lush and secluded garden, now open to the public as a museum devoted to her life.
And, just up the street is the Tate St. Ives, recently re-opened after an extensive renovation. The galleries display works by an impressive collection of painters and sculptors associated with St. Ives, and the museum boasts some of the best water views in town.
Between gallery visits and strolling the streets you'll have time for some shopping, exploration, or to grab a snack at one of the many waterside cafes and pubs.
After our explorations in St. Ives, we’ll experience another one of Huron Tours’ exclusive events - Champagne Afternoon Tea at Carbis Bay Estate. The official venue of the 2021 G7 Summit, Carbis Bay was erected by celebrated Cornish architect Sylvanus Trevail in 1894, and blends historic grandeur and breathtaking views across one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Our last stop en-route back to Falmouth is a marvelous photo opportunity at St. Michael’s Mount. This dramatic island abbey was originally built by Benedictine monks and strikes a dramatic pose against the beautiful harbor.
(Breakfast and Champagne Tea is included today.)
Thursday, March 30
Trewithen, Lunch, Tregothnan Tea Plantation
After breakfast at the hotel we set out for a full day of Cornish garden beauty. We begin at Trewithen Garden, an eighteenth century house with walled and woodland gardens made by the renowned horticulturalist George Johnstone. Perhaps the most beautiful woodland garden in England, Trewithen is known for its great collection of magnolias, rhododendrons, and camellias best seen in early spring. The garden's 30 acres includes many rare trees and shrubs and new plantings abound to bring an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color to this gorgeous garden delight. The head gardener will give our private group special insight. After our tour we’ll have lunch together in the garden’s charming teahouse.
Following our visit to Trewithen is a Huron Tours exclusive: A Private Tour of Tregothnan Tea Plantation. We’ll take a journey through Coombe, Kea and discover the history of Tregothnan’s rich heritage of over 700 years. We’ll venture through Europe’s largest tea garden, the world famous rare Kea Plum orchards, and discover a jungle garden that has been hidden for 25 years. During our visit we’ll uncover the secrets of how Tregothnan pioneered growing tea in the UK, learn the historic process of tea making from bush to cup and indulge our taste buds with a tea tasting.
(Breakfast and lunch provided today.)
Friday, March 31
Trebah and Glendurgan Gardens
Fifteen miles south of Falmouth lie two of Cornwall’s “showstopper” gardens. Our first stop is Trebah Garden a 25 acre ravine garden planted in 1840 by Charles Fox. After our introduction talk you'll set out to explore this incredible masterpiece of undulating color. Trebah is a sub-tropical paradise featuring a stunning coastal backdrop and its own beach (the embarkation point of 7,500 US soldiers bound for Omaha beach.)
Just across the lane is the incomparable Glendurgan Garden, founded by Alfred Fox, brother to Charles, and now owned by the National Trust. The Foxes are known for making their fortune importing exotic plants, and this garden was designed to showcase their finds. Set in a wooded valley running down the Helford river, this garden is as rich in views as it is in unusual plants. It is one of the great sub-tropical gardens in the UK. Our visit to Glendurgan will be especially meaningful today, as Charles Fox, great-grandson of Alfred, will take us around the garden sharing thoughts on its history, design, and importance. We'll follow our garden tour with a lovely visit to the Fox family home for a nice cup of tea before heading back to our wonderful hotel in Falmouth.
(Breakfast and refreshments served today.)
Charles L. Fox
Charles has been a charming host to Huron, and is a knowledgeable and entertaining garden guide with personal historical knowledge to share, in addition to his professional garden design insight.
Charles is a poet and a painter and has painted many of the gardens we'll be visiting during our tour in Cornwall.
Saturday, April 1
Free Day to Explore Falmouth
A completely free day to enjoy the best that the seaside town of Falmouth has to offer. Perhaps pay a visit to the flagship attraction, The National Maritime Museum, or take a cruise along the Fal River for beautiful views. For a great bit of history, see Pendennis Castle, constructed by Henry VIII to defend the British mainland from Spanish and French invasion. There is shopping galore in Falmouth including Beerwolf Books, a pub and bookshop rolled into one!
You are on your own for dinner this evening so be sure to consult our extensive (and well researched) Falmouth dining guide full of excellent suggestions.
(Breakfast included today.)
Sunday, April 2
Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Sunday Roast Dinner
This morning, we'll pay a visit to an unforgettable experience in an epic location. The Eden Project is one of Cornwall's most iconic sights, and its three giant greenhouses have been described as a wonder of the modern world. These futuristic biomes house a dizzying array of plants, trees and botanical wonders from across the globe.
This afternoon we'll visit and enjoy a history tour of one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK, The Lost Gardens of Heligan. The “Willow Tree Garden” (as translated from Cornish) is an essential visit as much for the story of its rehabilitation as for its design and contents. Once a lost and overgrown wasteland, the garden was resurrected when the garden plan, found behind a hidden door amidst World War I rubble, was uncovered in the 1990s. The garden restoration was broadcast throughout Europe and visiting is an absolute must
Dinner this evening is a traditional Sunday Roast at a well-known local landmark and popular, historic pub!
(Breakfast and Dinner included today.)
Monday, April 3
Caerhays Castle Private Reception, Lunch & Garden Tour
After breakfast we make our way to the stunning Caerhays Castle & Gardens which is located in a sheltered valley overlooking Porthluney Cove on the South Cornish Coast. Origins of the 60+ acre garden can be traced back to the Chinese plant hunters around 1900.
Home to the Williams camellia hybrids, Caerhays is perhaps best known for its huge, Asiatic magnolias, usually in their prime in early April. The Williams Family sponsored some of the great plant hunters and their discoveries have a marvelous home in this beautiful setting on the Cornish coast, north of the early 19th century castle, designed by Nash.
Our visit to Caerhays will be extra special today as Huron Tours will attend a private reception in Castle Hall followed by an informal tour of the castle with a member of the Williams Family. You will enjoy lunch in the castle’s Georgian Hall followed by a private garden tour and leisurely stroll on the lawn. A magical way to experience a truly magical place.
(Breakfast and Lunch are provided today.)
Tuesday, April 4
Transfer to London, Killerton House, Cocktail and Canape Reception
Our time in Cornwall has come to an end but we still have one last garden visit in store. En-route back to London we will visit Killerton House & Gardens, a glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland. A fine 18th-century house features a renowned historical fashion collection.
Sir Thomas Acland wished to have gardens and parkland fit for his new family seat at Killerton. He employed the best landscaper designers and nurseryman John Veitch to turn his vision into a reality. Veitch and his son James created a network of woodland paths and planted varieties of foreign trees and shrubs, including Wellingtonia. Because of its mild climate Killerton was used as something of a trial ground for plants brought back from all corners of the globe, and many plants which are now found throughout the British Isles were first planted at Killerton.
The Elegant 18th century house boasts interiors featuring a wonderful mix of period styles, from Georgian to Edwardian. There is an impressive first floor exhibition of Killerton's fashion collection, the biggest in the National Trust, with over 20,000 items of clothing and accessories.
Once back in London, we will check into the luxurious Five-Star London Heathrow Sofitel conveniently attached to Terminal 5 and within easy transfer to all other terminals. Join us in the Zen Garden for cocktails and canapes for a farewell toast (while your luggage is whisked to your room.)
Dinner is on your own this evening but you have many options. The hotel offers two great restaurants - La Belle Epoque for fine French cuisine or Vivre for fresh thematic cooking. If you up for it, why not take the high-speed Heathrow Express into central London (just 15 minutes!) and enjoy one last night out in Britain's gorgeous capital.
(Breakfast at the hotel today.)
Wednesday, April 5
Make sure to leave time this morning for the included breakfast buffet at the Sofitel before your flight back to the US. It is legendary in its size and scope of offerings (Miso soup anyone?).
We know you will head home today with wonderful memories of this fabulous trip and longing to return to the glorious gardens of England, hopefully on another Huron tour.
Please give us a call today if we can answer any questions: (800) 734-1192 or (504) 267-2057.
(Breakfast at the Sofitel.)
A $1,000 per person deposit will hold your space. Please use the link above or below to access our online shopping cart. If you'd like to reserve over the phone, we'd be happy to talk to you and can be reached at either (504) 267-2057 or (800) 734-1192.