If you love all things quintessentially English, this is the tour for you. Discover intricately designed secret gardens, full of twists and turns. Enjoy historic Bath and the picture-perfect English Cotswolds.
Day 1: Iford Manor Estate, Bradford on Avon ● Bath
Iford Manor, Wiltshire
Start this tour in Bradford on Avon, just a short drive from the city of Bath. A must-see town set on the river Avon, full of Bath-stone houses, tiny weavers’ cottages, old mills and independent shops and cafes.
Located on the outskirts of the town, Iford Manor Estate is one of the most stunning English secret gardens. Learn about Harold Peto’s best known Italianate terraced garden, set on a steep slope by the river Frome, beside the manor house he bought in 1899. Take a stroll around Peto’s lovingly composed garden; here you’ll see stone walls, steps, columns and the brilliant planting of evergreens. Visit during the summer months and you can enjoy recitals and operas, held in the Cloisters as part of the Iford Arts programme.
It’s just a short 20-minute drive to the historic city of Bath, a designated World Heritage Site, famous for its beautiful architecture, fascinating history and naturally hot spa water. Start your afternoon with English tea and the local delicacy: a Sally Lunn Bun at Sally Lunn’s historic eating house and museum, one of the oldest houses in Bath, c1482. Meander through the lanes to The Roman Baths and Pump Room, one of the best preserved roman remains in the world, constructed around 70AD. Learn about how Bath was founded upon natural hot springs with steaming water playing an important role throughout its history. If you want to experience the many benefits of the spa water, take an evening dip in the hot rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa. End your day with an evening meal at one of the many fabulous places to eat in Bath.
Day 2: Hidcote, near Chipping Campden ● Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswolds
Hidcote, Chipping Campden
After a hearty breakfast, take your time to enjoy the two hour scenic journey to your next place of interest, the manor gardens at Hidcote. Take the A4 and A429 through stunning Cotswold towns and villages, including Malmesbury, Cirencester and Bourton-on-the-Water. Hidcote is a fascinating Arts and Crafts garden created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston. Discover intricately designed secret ‘rooms’, stunning vistas and colourful plants.
Take a short 20-minute drive to the thriving Cotswold market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, dating back 1,000 years to the Saxon era. Its broad street is lined with elegant buildings many originating from the 17th and 18th century. Relax in one of the many traditional pubs or inns, where you’ll find great local food and beers. Visit on a Tuesday and enjoy the variety of different sellers at the open-air street market or browse the independent shops located in the town.