6 days from £620 Departing 6th September 2020
We depart from our designated pick up points in our executive coach and en route to our hotel we visit RHS Wisley Garden. Wisley is one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration. We then continue to the 4* Crowne Plaza Hotel at Felbridge, on the outskirts of East Grinstead for a five night stay on a half board basis.
Our Blue Badge guide meets us at our hotel this morning and accompanies us throughout the day. We first visit Nymans, one of the National Trust’s premier gardens and a creative retreat for the artistic Messel family. The garden showcases year-round colour and interest, with rare and unusual plant collections of national significance. This afternoon we visit the National Trust’s Standen House and Gardens. Designed by Philip Webb, the house is one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship, with Morris & Co. interiors creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This hillside garden is made up of delightful woodland and a succession of small very English gardens overlooking the Medway Valley and Weir Wood Reservoir.
This morning with our Blue Badge guide we visit the National Trust’s Emmetts Garden. The garden is known for its beautiful bluebells and spring colours; summer brings the romantic rose garden, followed by vibrant autumn foliage. We continue to the National Trust’s Alfriston Clergy House. This rare 14th century thatched Wealden hall-house has idyllic views across the River Cuckmere and was the first building to be acquired by the National Trust in 1896.
Spencer House is our destination this morning for a guided tour. Built between 1756 and 1766 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, it is London’s finest surviving 18th century town house. Designed by John Vardy and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, the state rooms are amongst the first neo-classical interiors in Europe. We then visit the English Heritage’s Aspley House. Once known as ‘Number 1 London’, Aspley House is London’s only surviving aristocratic town house and still residence of the Dukes of Wellington today. The mansion has changed very little since it was the London home of the famous first ‘Iron Duke’, after his great victory at Waterloo in 1815.
This morning we visit the National Trust’s Clandon Park. A major restoration project is underway at Clandon Park, to breathe new life in to this Palladian mansion after the fire in 2015. Visitors can enter the basement and explore into the deepest spaces of Clandon Park to see the full extent of the fire damage within the 18th century mansion. We then continue to the National Trust’s Hatchlands Park. With open fields, ancient woodland and wildflower meadows, the parkland is perfect for relaxation and exploration. Nestled in the parkland is the Georgian country house, built for naval hero Admiral Boscawen. The interior at Hatchlands Park is the earliest documented work in an English country house by celebrated neo-classical architect Robert Adam.
This morning, we visit Watts Gallery, near Guildford, as featured on the BBC television series ‘Restoration Village’; it was re-opened in 2011 after a two and a half year restoration. Our guided tour on arrival introduces us to a fine collection of works by the eminent Victorian artist G.F. Watts, and continues to the nearby Watts Chapel, an Arts and Crafts masterpiece full of Art Nouveau imagery and designed by Mary Watts. Our visit concludes with a guided tour of Limnerslease, the home of G.F. and Mary Watts. One of the most celebrated Arts and Crafts houses in Surrey, Limnerslease was designed by the famous architect Sir Ernest George. Taking carefully selected comfort stops en route, we return back to our original pick up points.
Cost £620 per person based on two people sharing a twin/double-bedded room; single room supplement £120.
For full details and a booking form, please apply to Clive Hooper, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope (approximately 4.25 x 8.5 inches).