The Garden Wonders of Wales
June 2 - 10, 2024
Join Huron Tours as we discover a wealth of garden wonders in Wales set amongst the glorious scenery of the mountains of Snowdonia, dramatic seascapes and ancient castles. This deluxe 9 Day Tour is the perfect way to see the very best Northern Wales has to offer.
This small Group tour will be accompanied by our exceptional guide Valery as well as two full time Huron tours tour managers to make sure every second of this luxury tour runs smoothly.
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
Sunday, June 2
London Heathrow Airport arrival, private transfer to Biltmore Mayfair, Queen Mary's Rose garden, welcome dinner reception
Arrive London Heathrow Airport (LHR) for your private VIP Meet and Greet airport transfer to our 5-Star hotel The Biltmore Mayfair. The Biltmore is ideally situated on stately Grosvenor Square in the heart of Mayfair - location, location, location! You're just a few blocks from some of London's grandest parks and best shopping. The hotel’s interiors are the essence of style and opulence and the staff provides unrivaled service. Nothing is too much trouble.
The property houses a vibrant and relaxing restaurant and terrace for both indoor and outdoor dining as well as a wonderful steakhouse, Grill 88. The Pine Bar is a sleek and sophisticated lounge offering a range of fine wines, spirits, cognacs, and cocktails
After settling in, we’ll visit Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in nearby Regent’s Park. June is the perfect time to visit this picturesque garden in full bloom. Created in the 1930s and showcasing over 12,000 rose bushes in beautifully landscaped grounds, this is London's largest and most spectacular collection of roses.
This evening we’ll kick off our garden adventures with a private welcome ‘gala dinner’ in the hotel’s Manhattan Suite.
(Meals on flight, welcome dinner included.)
Monday, June 3
Train to Chester, Walking tour of Chester and free time, private dinner at the St. George
After a wonderful English breakfast at our hotel, we'll make our way to London Euston Station for our journey to the walled city of Chester, England. No need to worry about your luggage - Huron will deliver your bags straight to your room at our historic seafront hotel in Llandudno, Wales while you enjoy the comfort and ease of travel by train.
Chester is the only city in Britain that retains the full circuit of its ancient defensive walls, parts of which are almost 2000 years old! Our Blue Badge Guide will give us fantastic insight into Chester's long history as we take in spectacular views of the city center, cathedral, castle and River Dee. After our tour of Chester you’ll have plenty of free time for your own explorations and lunch in one of Chester’s many historic pubs.
We’ll then make our way to the coastal town of Llandudno, Wales and our home for the next 6 nights, the historic St. George’s Hotel. Situated on the seafront promenade overlooking the beautiful bay, this 4-Star luxury hotel was known as ‘The Queen of Welsh Resorts’ ’by the Victorians and Edwardians. Llandudno is graced with some of Britain’s most elegant architecture and the St George was the first luxury property built here. The hotel remains a bastion of old-fashioned standards having been the home to seaside breaks since 1854. Our water-view bedrooms are bright and airy and feature luxury bathrooms with plush robes and towels, comfy slippers and Elemis toiletries. There is an elegant restaurant and lounge in which to relax and unwind after our castle and garden-filled touring days.
This evening join your fellow travelers at our ‘welcome to Wales’ private dinner reception in the hotel’s Conwy suite.
(Breakfast and dinner included)
Arden is a direct result of personal artistry, planning, design and expression, and lots of hard work. You can't help but be inspired. Following Huron's 2022 visit to Ardan garden they posted on Instagram:
"If you wonder about opening your garden, go for it. Visitors are so encouraging and appreciative of your work, and it is always a positive experience. We learn so much from visitors, gain such great encouragement and build a network of gardeners."
The feeling is mutual!
Tuesday, June 4
Bodnant Garden, Penrhyn Castle
After a wonderful start in the hotel’s Wedgewood breakfast room, a grand celebration of the famous porcelain, we will visit one of the truly great British gardens, the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden. This impressive 80-acre stunner is home to an astonishing Laburnum Arch stretching for almost 200 feet which should be in full bloom at the time of our visit. With an exotic variety of seeds and cuttings gathered on expeditions which took place over a century ago as well as five National Plant Collections, Bodnant is a botanical dream.
This afternoon we’ll visit National Trust‘s Penrhyn Castle & Garden, a fantasy castle with extravagant Victorian furnishings and unbelievable views of the Snowdonia Mountains, Menai Strait, and Puffin Island.
The gardens at Penrhyn are bursting with colors and scents in the summer. You can stroll through the Walled Garden to find beautiful blooms including the flowering dogwood, the Indian bean tree and a variety of Eucryphia species. You'll also find a Fuchsia Arch in full bloom creating a lovely canopy of pink.
Once back in Llandudno you are free for dinner. Be sure to consult our well researched dining guide.
Wednesday, June 5
Isle of Anglesey, Plas Newydd House and Gardens, Château Rhianfa, Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens
After breakfast this morning we head to the Isle of Anglesey, a historic island full of character, unparalleled beauty and unblemished natural splendor.
Plas Newydd House and Gardens, the family home of the Marquis of Anglesey, is located on the picturesque shores of the Menai Strait and boasts breathtaking views of Snowdonia. The house is home to a Waterloo-inspired military museum, wonderful works of art, regular exhibitions and, at its heart, Rex Whistler's famous 58-foot fantasy landscape painting.
The wonderful gardens at Plas Newydd were based on a Henry Repton design. There will be an explosion of color in the terrace garden at the time of our visit and private tour.
This afternoon we’ll dine together in a truly magical setting, one of Britain's most extraordinary Victoria seaside houses, Château Rhianfa. This Grade ll-listed fairytale Château features unparalleled views and is nestled away on the Isle of Anglesey on the banks of the Menai Strait.
One of Britain's most extraordinary Victorian seaside houses, the château was built in 1849 by Sir John Hay-Williams, Baronet of Bodelwyddan, as a gift for his wife Lady Sarah. Originally built as a dower house, the couple drew design inspiration from their travels in the Loire region of France.
After lunch, we’ll be treated to a private tour and visit to Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens which are nestled in the 10 acre grounds of a Georgian manor house with contrasting formal and picturesque elements. The two acre Walled Garden with its lovely pool leads on to valley gardens planted with a huge array of interesting and rare specimens. In summer the double herbaceous borders are a fantastic sight. This mysterious and fascinating garden is one of North Wales' best-kept secrets.
On return to our hotel the evening is free to enjoy as you wish.
(Breakfast and lunch included)
Thursday, June 6
This morning we take a trip back in time. Out of the 600 castles built throughout the different periods of Welsh history, Caernarfon Castle is certainly a standout. Constructed in 1283 on the site of a Roman fort at the mouth of the River Seiont, the castle has been outstandingly preserved and is considered one of the best in Europe. King Edward's son (Edward II) was born in the castle and named the Prince of Wales, the title given to the eldest son of the reigning monarch since that time. In 1969, Prince Charles' investiture was held in Caernarfon Castle. This will be a fascinating visit to anyone with an interest in the history of the British Monarchy.
This afternoon we’ll return to Llandudno for some free time. The Great Orme is Llandudno’s own mini-mountain which rises straight out of the sea. You can walk up if you’re feeling energetic, or take the historic Great Orme Tramway which has been ferrying passengers to the summit since 1898. There are also excellent shops, bars, restaurants and art galleries just minutes from our hotel.
Friday, June 7
Portmeirion, Castell Deudraeth, Plas Brondanw
Portmeirion, a beautiful Italianate village created by Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis overlooking the sea in Wales, is home to a 70 acre sub-tropical forest with miles of paths, hidden lakes, temples and breathtaking views. Henry Seymour Westmacott was responsible for the first plantings at Portmeirion Gardens which date from early Victorian times. You might know the village as the backdrop to the cult 1960s television series The Prisoner. Our Blue Badge guide will lead us on an informative tour of the village.
We’ll have lunch today in the brasserie of hotel Castell Deudraeth overlooking the beautiful Dwyryd Estuary. The hotel, like the village, reflects the flamboyant history of Portmeirion and you’ll love dining in the lovely sunny conservatory.
After lunch we’ll visit Plas Brondanw, a wonderful Edwardian arts and crafts garden created by Clough William-Ellis. While the gardens at Plas Brondanw are not as famous as his village of Portmeirion, it is often considered to be Clough Williams-Ellis's most marvelous creation.
Situated in the spectacular scenery in the Snowdonia National Park, the gardens are divided into a series of rooms with topiary and many architectural features including statues, pools and steps. Like the village, the garden is Italianate in style but with British plantings. William-Ellis has certainly succeeded in creating a romantic and delightful garden.
Dinner is on your own this evening so be sure to ask John about his favorite fish and chips or for Katie to tell you all about a fantastic local Italian restaurant.
(Breakfast and lunch included)
Saturday, June 8
Caerua, lunch, Palé Hall
Situated over 1,000 feet above sea-level, with far reaching views over the Berwyn Mountains, Bala Lake and Cadair Idris, the gardens at Caerau are believed to be the highest gardens open to the public in Wales. It is remarkable what Toby and Stephanie Hickish have managed to achieve in such a challenging environment since moving to the property in 1994. Back then Caerau Uchaf was a derelict house and the garden no more than a field. Now, there are crescent-shaped herbaceous borders, laburnum-covered pergolas, rose gardens, castellated yew topiary, an arboretum containing fine Japanese maples, pleached lime walkways, courtyard gardens, a variegated ivy-clad water feature, woodland walks and even a beach hut garden! You’ll cherish the discovery of this remarkable garden made even more special by a private tour just for us.
For lunch today we’ll take the lonely country road that whips over the moors where waterfalls crash down the sides of bare, brooding mountains to Palé Hall.
Queen Victoria and Churchill have both sojourned at this fantasy Victorian mansion on the fringes of the Berwyn Mountains and Snowdonia National Park. Sitting in its own 50-acre estate, Palé looks proudly out across lawns and wooded hills that slope down to the River Dee. Seemingly immune to time, the manor was designed in flamboyant Jacobean style for high-flying railway engineer Henry Robertson in 1871. It is fabulously regal, with its spire, porte-cochère, stained-glass skylight and a grand hall, hand-stenciled by the owner. Time has been kind to the manor, with every intricate tile intact, every beautifully carved wooden banister gleaming.
Once back in Llandudno you’re free for dinner. The hotel restaurant is an absolute delight if you wish to stay in.
(Breakfast, lunch included)
Sunday, June 9
Cliveden house with private lunch and tour
This morning we leave beautiful Wales to head back to London via one last very special visit.
Formerly home of the Astor family, Cliveden House was built for entertaining. With over 350 years of powerful personalities, iconic parties and scandalous affairs this five-star stunner has seen it all! With magnificent formal gardens overlooking the Thames in the beautiful Berkshire countryside plus dining in the distinguished private dining room of the “Boudoir” this exclusive visit has “Huron” written all over it! We’ll celebrate our travels with a delightful lunch overlooking the gardens followed by a private garden tour featuring the celebrated Parterre, stunning floral displays, distinctive topiary and a collection of exceptional sculptures.
After our Cliveden adventures we’ll make the short drive to the luxurious Five-Star London Heathrow Sofitel conveniently attached to Terminal 5 and within easy transfer to all other terminals.
(Breakfast and lunch included.)
Monday, June 10
London Departure (or join us in Ireland)
Departure* today is made easy as you are connected to Heathrow Airport. Be sure to enjoy the Sofitel’s wonderful and extensive breakfast buffet before heading for your flight back home. You’ll leave with new friends and limitless inspiration from your time in wondrous Wales.
*Or join Huron in Ireland for our Dublin Private Gardens Getaway featuring the most legendary names in Irish Gardening
(Breakfast, meals on flight)
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.