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The Land of Wide Skies

Enjoy a hand-picked selection of fine private gardens in a quintessentially English region of rural Britain, a little-known landscape of flint and red brick architecture, steeply pitched roofs of tile and thatch, round church towers and long sandy beaches. In every garden visited in this quiet corner of old England we are met for special guided tours to learn the essentials of the creation of exceptional gardens. The owners of Holme Hale Hall will guide us through the work of Arne Maynard; classical garden designer George Carter will describe his theatrical green garden; Roger Last invites us to view the garden that he began to create with his brother as a boy and is still developing into retirement; at Hunworth Hall we will see the passion and hard work of Dr Henry Crawley in the creation of an inspired garden from a paddock and family vegetable plot and at The Old Vicarage, East Ruston, Alan Gray will show us a garden that started as a field to become what is one of the most remarkable and enjoyable contemporary gardens in Britain. We are accommodated for three nights at Titchwell Manor Hotel, a small hotel on the North Norfolk coast with views across wild marshes to the sea. The rooms are simple, fresh and comfortable and the restaurant currently holds three AA Rosettes for excellent, innovative food.

Your Tour Includes

  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast in the four-star Titchwell Manor Hotel, Norfolk
  • Three evening meals and four lunches
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Tour Leader and Hosts
  • Detailed programme and garden notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
  • Guided tour of the garden of Silverstone Farm: the home of garden designer George Carter
  • Visit to Kettle Hill
  • Early bird tour of the gardens at Houghton Hall
  • Visit to Hunworth Hall
  • Visit the contemporary gardens of East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden
  • See the gardens of Elsing Hall
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Itinerary

Overview

Our tour begins at Norwich Railway Station. Those parking at the hotel will be collected by our coach before we drive together to Silverstone Farm, home and garden of designer, George Carter, where we are invited to lunch and a guided tour of his formal theatrical green garden. We then head to Kettle Hill, a jewel of a garden punctuated by pink follies with excellent views across to Blakeney Point and the sea: a garden with a new head of steam. We then drive along the North Norfolk coast to Titchwell Manor Hotel with time to settle in before an evening meal together.

Overview

We start the day with a real treat: an ‘early bird’ tour by the head gardener of the wonderful walled gardens at Houghton Hall, home of David, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. We arrive before the garden is officially open with time to explore the larger garden before lunching together. In the afternoon, we are guests of Charlotte and Dr Henry Crawley at Hunworth Hall. This new creation has strong Dutch influences with much topiary and formal hedges dissected by water canals and vistas headed by a very fine pavilion, all reflecting the style and the period of the house. We then return to Titchwell Manor for an evening meal together.

Overview

Just a short distance from the East coast yet sheltered from the worst of the elements we find East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden where we are shown one of the most remarkable and enjoyable contemporary gardens in the country by owner, Alan Gray. Following lunch, we are invited to Corpusty Mill, a complex series of interlinking contrasting spaces overflowing with fine plants. We will be shown three very different sections: one, a manicured web of fine plants and intricate follies; another, informal and relaxed with lake and stainless-steel obelisk; and the last, latest section with an unexpected twist! We then head back to Titchwell Manor for our final evening meal together.

Overview

There are a number of moated manor houses in Norfolk but not all with fine gardens: Elsing Hall is an exception.  The 15th century manor is surrounded by beautiful gardens with especially notable collections of old English roses and pines as well as a fine gingko avenue. Not far away you are invited by Mr and Mrs Simon Broke to a lunch made by the ladies from Holme Hale Church and to visit the gardens of Holme Hale Hall that has been in the Broke family for several generations. The gardens have been reworked by garden designer, Arne Maynard from the bones of the original garden. The walled garden has come back to life, once again growing vegetables and fruits now with long borders in pastel shades. Elsewhere, low cloud hedges of box are filled with perennial grasses framing the formal façade of the Hall. Later this afternoon we return to Norwich Railway Station. Those who have travelled by car will be transferred to Titchwell Manor.

  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast in the four-star Titchwell Manor Hotel, Norfolk
  • Three evening meals and four lunches
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Tour Leader and Hosts
  • Detailed programme and garden notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters 
 

Accommodation

Titchwell Manor is a Victorian farmhouse which now offers luxurious boutique accommodation. With a variety of rooms across the farm buildings and main house, Titchwell Manor provides a calm and comfortable setting in north Norfolk.