Great Houses & Glorious Gardens of Kent

Staying at the 4* Bridgewood Manor Hotel in Chatham

6 DAYS | 30th July 2020

Known as the ‘garden of England’, Kent’s rolling countryside and abundance of picturesque gardens are some of the most beautiful in England. A favourite of King Henry VIII there is everything from ancient woodland to landscaped parkland, flower gardens to herb gardens, vineyards to orchards.

Our base for the tour is the 4* Bridgewood Manor Hotel in Chatham situated in the heart of Kent. The facilities include an indoor swimming pool, and the Squires Restaurant and Bar features an array of culinary choices. All bedrooms benefit from modern facilities including a TV, WiFi and courtesy tray.

We depart Macclesfield in the morning calling for coffee en route to Stockwood Country Park where we have the chance to visit the Mossman horse-drawn carriage collection. Bring along a picnic to enjoy in the picturesque surroundings, or head to the delightful cafe. After our visit we continue south and on to our hotel.

Our excursion today takes us on the short journey to the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. You will have free time to visit the museum, art gallery and to stroll along the Pantiles, the town’s colonnaded shopping street. After lunch we visit the Scotney Castle, a delightful Victorian country mansion with secrets and stories galore, as well as a stunning garden (NT members free, non-members £12.50).

This morning we visit the gardens of Sissinghurst. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with the Castle and created a world-renowned garden. (NT members free, non-members £14.00) After lunch we venture to the Carr Taylor Vineyard where we have a short tour and talk, then complete the afternoon with tea, coffee and cake.

Today you have the option of visiting Chatham Historic Dockyard, once home to the Royal Navy and the birthplace of many of Britain’s finest ships during the age of sail. The dockyard has more than 100 listed buildings including galleries and museums, and it has been the location of many film and TV series including ‘Call the Midwife’. Alternatively, spend the day at Leeds Castle; listed in the Domesday Book it has been a Norman stronghold and a royal residence. Please state at the time of booking which you would like to visit.

Goodnestone Park Gardens is a Palladian house with a garden exhibiting styles from various time periods, Jane Austen herself was a frequent visitor. Enjoy a wander around the parkland, the terrace, the walled garden or the woodland garden. Before lunch we head further south to Sandwich where you will have the option of a stroll around the pretty town or to visit The Salutation, otherwise known as the Secret Gardens of Sandwich. Designed by Lutyens in 1911, Jekyll is believed to have designed the planting.

This morning we head for home making our last visit at Chartwell, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill (NT members free, nonmembers £15.00). We have time for coffee and to visit the house, exhibition and gardens before we re-join the motorway network north. We make comfort stops en route and aim to arrive early evening.

Tour includes: 5 nights dinner, bed and breakfast, entrance to Goodnestone Gardens, Carr Taylor Vineyard with tea/coffee and cake, entrance to either Leeds Castle or Chatham Dockyard.
£545.00 per person sharing twin/double
£145.00 single room supplement
£32.50 insurance per person, inc. IPT

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