Join our exclusive GARDENS ILLUSTRATED tour of the Gardens of Dorset. The tour starts in London before heading to deepest Dorset in the company of David Wheeler, your knowledgeable and charming host.
From fossil-stacked cliffs to rolling chalk hills and rich pastures, many travellers, artists, novelists and poets have been inspired by this most rural of counties.
Dorset’s timeless air of sleepy isolation holds its secrets well: we will visit an array of exquisite, little-known gardens, many linked to a plethora of small manor houses, including Cranborne Manor, unquestionably one of the most lovely country gardens in England; the ancient topiary-filled valley at Mapperton; Shute House, whose garden was created by the late Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and the charming garden at Chiff Chaffs that surrounds a 400-year-old cottage (picture above); as well as many other delightful private gardens, a number of which have featured in GARDENS ILLUSTRATED.
Your base in Dorset is Plumber Manor, where you will be warmly welcomed: this is an archetypal English country house hotel with fine dining, surrounded by beautiful gardens, and owned and run by the Prideaux-Brune family since the 17th century.
Your host David Wheeler has a lifelong interest in plants, gardens and garden making. He is editor of Hortus and The Penguin Bookof Garden Writing. He regularly contributes to GARDENS ILLUSTRATED, Country Life and a range of UK and US publications. He gardens eight acres at Bryan's Ground on the Welsh borders.
The tour price is £1,380 per person (£100 single supplement). The tour starts and finishes in central London and the price includes transport to and from London and to each of the gardens, three evening meals with wine at Plumber Manor and four light lunches.
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, directed by Sue & Brian Macdonald, Kew-trained, professional gardeners.
TO BOOK OR FIND OUT MORE contact
Boxwood Tours, Quality Garden Holidays, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd LL45 2NT, UK
Tel +44 (0)1341 241 717
Main photo: Chiff Chaffs by John Glover / Alamy
• Please note: the Chelsea invitation package is no longer available but Boxwood Tours is happy to assist any planning should you wish to extend your stay.