One of the highlights of The English Manner ‘learning with a difference’ programmes are our highly sought after and exclusive Garden Tours. Groups of guests (usually around 2 to 18 people) are whisked around the countryside – usually England, Scotland and Wales, but occasionally France and Ireland – visiting private gardens and houses of note, accompanied by a wealth of experts and owners.
Like everything we at The English Manner provide, every aspect of our tours are organised down to the last detail. From the moment guests leave their own house to the moment they return, we look after them memorably. Accommodation is in the finest private houses or country house hotels, food and wine is a highlight of the day, and because groups are small, master classes are much more meaningful. Each programme is bespoke and takes into account the background knowledge and specific interests of the guests, their agility and desire for little or much activity, and we offer a wide range of visits to demonstrate the versatility of gardens, architecture and design. Masterclasses may be led by Royal Gardens Advisor Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Penelope Hobhouse, Tim Penrose or Mary-Ann Robb, and tickets are usually available for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show or Hampton Court Palace.
This year’s main tour was centred around the Cotswolds, with the theme of the English country house style gardens of Nancy Lancaster and Norah Lindsay, and our guests from Virginia were enchanted by Cottesbrooke Hall, private gardens in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire including Rockcliffe and Quenington, and a private tour of the Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, with Barbara Pollard. A visit to the final home of Nancy Lancaster before a day at Chelsea helped add the icing to the cake after a tour of the garden of a well known VIP which is completely inaccessible to the general public. These visits, accompanied by local produce in award winning luxury country house surroundings, made for a truly outstanding tour, and we are already planning some exciting ideas for 2010.
Come and join us! Novices welcome, no need to own a Palace, just enjoy the landscape and all that our gardens and talented gardeners can offer will be yours.
Making accessible the inaccessible………
Founder, The English Manner