Reader tour to the Gardens of Wiltshire

Discover a selection of English country gardens on our exclusive tour, including a day spent with designer Tania Compton allowing us exclusive access to some of the county’s finest private gardens. 18-21 September 2017.











The southern English county of Wiltshire contains many World Heritage Sites including Stonehenge, Avebury and Salisbury Cathedral. Almost half the county is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, so it is not surprising to find such a collection of outstanding gardens.

Our trip includes visits to The Courts, a country garden of perfect harmony with lots of late-summer interest. There’s also the iconic Italianate garden at Iford Manor, designed by Harold Peto. Nestled on the hillside overlooking the river Frome, this is an exceptional garden and one that invites lingering. At Bowood House, we have an invitation to view Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s private walled garden with its formal borders and productive kitchen garden. There’s also Cantax House, Ridleys Cheer and an inspiring visit to renowned plantswoman, Derry Watkins’ garden and nursery Special Plants.

Particular highlights, though, come when we are joined by Tania Compton, garden designer and author of the recently published The Private Gardens of England. Together we visit two gardens designed by Tania: Fonthill House, the home of Lord and Lady Margadale, and Spilsbury Farm where Tania lives with her husband the botanist Dr James Compton. Then it’s on to Moor Hatches, a contemporary family garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. Such access is a rare treat.

We are accommodated for three nights at The Manor House hotel, set in the heart of Castle Combe – frequently referred to as the prettiest village in England – this is a stylish, comfortable hotel offering fine food and a peaceful ambience. 



Tania Compton’s garden design career b egan at The English Gardening School. She is a trustee of the Garden Museum and a writer. Her latest book is The Private Gardens of England.


Dr Sophie Piebenga trained as a gardener at the National Trust and Kew Gardens. She then followed an interest in the conservation of historic landscapes and gardens, which included studying for a doctorate.




Price £1,998 per person, based on two people sharing (a single supplement of £220 will be levied by the hotel). The price includes: three nights bed and breakfast at The Manor House, Castle Combe; two evening meals with wines at the hotel and one at an excellent local inn; plus four lunches and transport from Chippenham Railway Station. The price does not include extras at the hotel, or travel insurance.

For further information about this trip, day-to-day activities, hotel accommodation and details of how to book, please contact:
Boxwood Tours, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd LL45 2NT, UK. 
Tel +44 (0)1341 241717

This tour has been arranged exclusively for readers of Gardens Illustrated by Boxwood Tours, Quality Garden Holidays, a specialist garden tour company set up in 1990 by Sue and Brian Macdonald, Kew-trained, professional gardeners.
NOTE itineraries are subject to confirmation. Places are limited, so early booking is recommended. 
Gardens Illustrated reserves the right to change any element of any event due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control.
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