Join David Hurrion on this Around Britain Cruise including The Isles of Scilly
11-23 September 2022 - 12 night cruise from Southampton
£125 per person onboard spend
- EXCLUSIVE ON BOARD EXPERIENCE hosted by Deputy Editor of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, David Hurrion to include Masterclass on ways to transform your garden with design tips and a wealth of inspiration from a lifetime of gardening! Put your garden questions to David in a special Q&A. Enjoy an illustrated informative talk and meet for drinks at an informal get-together.
12 night cruise aboard Fred. Olsen’s Braemar in a comfortable, stylish cabin of your choice
Full board cuisine every day throughout your cruise including five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast, lunch buffets, afternoon tea, late-night snacks and more
Self-service tea and coffee available 24hrs at selected venues
Evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, comedy, dancing and live music
Use of on board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
Formal welcome and/or Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet
HORTICULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS - EXCLUSIVE OPTIONAL TOUR PACKAGE*
A sub-tropical paradise with coastal backdrop and one of the great gardens of Cornwall, Trebah
In the glorious Abbey Gardens on Tresco, some 20,000 exotic species thrive in the sub-tropical climate
A double horticultural treat awaits in Dublin visiting June Blake’s Garden & Hunting Brook Gardens
Set in over 70 acres of beautiful landscape with views of the city skyline and Edinburgh Castle explore the world-famous Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh including Panoramic scenic tour of Edinburgh and Guided tour of the gardens
TOUR PACKAGE PRICE
At this stage, we can advise you that the cost of the Tour package will be approximately £300 per person. All tours are being organised by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and their port agents exclusively for our group of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Readers.
TREBAH GARDENS from Falmouth
Located just a short drive from Falmouth, Trebah Gardens is a sub-tropical paradise that cascades down to a private and secluded beach on the tranquil Helford River. Rated as one of the 80 finest gardens in the world, its 26 acres are home to a stunning collection of rare and exotic plants, trees and shrubs.
Enjoy a guided visit of the gardens and free time to explore on your own; marvel at the water gardens which have been built around a natural spring and admire the cool tranquillity of the Koi Pool. Take a wander through 18 feet high giant Gunneva (rhubarb) and glades of 100-year-old Tree Ferns. Discover Alice’s Seat, a recreation of the original structure built for Alice Hext, who purchased Trebah with her husband in 1907, and so much more.
These wonderful gardens boast almost 200 years of history and during World War Two the beach was concreted to allow access for tanks whilst the garden was used as an ammunition store. On 1st June 1944 a regiment of US Infantry set off from Trebah Beach through raging seas to the D-Day assault landing in Normandy suffering huge casualties. There is a memorial at the bottom of the garden commemorating their bravery. Stay a while on the beach here, skim stones across the calm waters or seek refreshment at the Boathouse beach café – be sure to sample the creamy Roskilly’s ice-cream which is made just across the river.
Departing the gardens, make the journey back to Falmouth along the scenic Cornish coast taking in King Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle for a photo stop, with its commanding sea views of Falmouth, St Mawes and the Fal Estuary, before heading to the ship.
HELPFUL TOUR NOTES
Tour duration – 4 hours
Trebah is a valley garden with steep paths and steps. Pathways are made of compacted gravel or resin and can be uneven with loose. The garden has four miles of footpaths but the visit to the garden is free flow and therefore the amount of walking is at your discretion. Guided Tour available. There are many benches throughout the garden. Refreshments can be purchased from Trebah Kitchen. Toilets available.
TRESCO ABBEY GARDENS from St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly
Tender ashore to Scilly’s second largest island, Tresco and be met by a local guide before walking to the world-class Tresco Abbey gardens. This incredible sub-tropical ‘botanical paradise’ has been planted in the ruins of a Benedictine priory under the direction of Augustus Smith. A wealthy merchant banker, Smith purchased the island from the Duchy of Cornwall in the mid-1830’s and began working on the gardens almost immediately in 1834.
Today the gardens are home to an impressive collection of 20,000 plant species heralding from as far as New Zealand, South America and South Africa. The mild climate in Scilly combined with high numbers of sunshine hours has allowed plants to flourish here when they would not survive anywhere else in the world. A walled enclosure around the priory ruins acts as a wind-break, providing shelter from the force of the Atlantic weather during the winter months when more than 300 plants will be in flower.
These magnificent gardens lure visitors from around the globe, each eager to explore this ‘perennial Kew’, where Red Squirrels, one of Britain’s most treasured yet most endangered species, dart about in the trees alongside the humble bee, both species thriving, safe in this garden sanctuary.
After an introduction by one of the gardeners, stroll the gardens at leisure to uncover the many treasures including the magnificent Valhalla figure head collection of ship-wrecked figureheads and decorative carvings, most dating from 19th Century merchant sailing vessels and steamships who met their demise off Scilly’s shores.
It will then be time to leave the gardens behind and head back to the pier.
HELPFUL TOUR NOTES
Tour duration – 3 hours
A tender service is used to transport guests from the ship to shore. There is a walk of between 10 and 30 minutes to the gardens which is dependent on which landing pier is used. Tresco have two small vehicles available to help transport guests who would find the walk difficult. Your visit will include a welcome introduction on arrival and Tresco’s Gardeners will be at strategic locations around the gardens to answer any questions. The gardens are terraced, with slopes and steps. There is a café for refreshments, a gift shop and toilets.
JUNE BLAKE’S GARDEN & HUNTING BROOK from Dublin
Depart the pier and travel to County Wicklow, affectionately referred to as the “Garden of Ireland”. Your first stop is to June Blake’s Gardens. The very best gardens intrigue and restore us, and so it is with June Blake's Garden which is a rare fusion of inspired design and painterly planting. Situated in the townland of Tinode in west Wicklow, and spread over three rural acres, it wraps itself around June’s home, a handsome Victorian farm-steward’s cottage surrounded by a huddle of austerely beautiful, granite-stone farm buildings. Enjoy a guided tour here followed by free time to explore these stunning gardens.
Travel the short distance to Hunting Brook Gardens, June Blake’s brother Jimi’s gardens. Situated on the sunny, south-facing flanks of the Lamb Hill in the foothills of the lofty Wicklow mountains, Hunting Brook is the boldly idiosyncratic creation of Jimi Blake, the noted Irish horticulturist, teacher and plantsman who first came to prominence during the 1990s as the head gardener of the historic Airfield Gardens in Dundrum, Co Dublin. Hunting Brook is one of Ireland's largest private collections of plants and surrounding his home are many examples of the fiercely colourful and theatrically beautiful, large-scale planting combinations for which Jimi has become so well known. These fill Hunting Brook’s sunny beds and steep banks and tumble down along the edges of its curling pathways.
Hidden at the bottom of a secret, shady gorge that lies just west of the house is the chattering mountain stream that gives Hunting Brook its name and which runs through it like an artery, tumbling its way over granite boulders and through a tranquil woodland that Jimi has begun to clothe with an understorey of choice shade-loving plants. Enjoy tea/coffee and biscuits followed by a guided tour of these beautiful gardens.
After exploring these beautiful gardens, it is time to re-board your motor coach for the return journey to Dublin port.
HELPFUL TOUR NOTES
Tour duration – 6.5 hours
June Blake and Jimi Blake will meet you at the gardens.
Tea, coffee and biscuits served
Gardens may be visited in different order depending upon group numbers. Walking is over uneven surfaces with slight incline/decline. Toilet available.
THE ROYAL EDINBURGH BOTANIC GARDENS from Leith
Explore the world-famous Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. Founded over 300 years ago as a source for medicinal herbs and plants, the gardens have grown and grown with now over 13 thousand living species.
Depart the pier on a panoramic tour of Edinburgh. Through the New and Old Towns and past Arthur’s Seat for a viewpoint of the city. Pass the medieval Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city and has been home to Scottish Kings and Queens down through the centuries. After passing Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh, you will enter the well-known principal shopping area, Princes Street, with the towering Scott Monument and beautiful Princes Street Gardens. Pass some of the museums and art galleries before touring the Georgian New Town, with its elegant townhouses and private parks.
The Gardens are set in over 70 acres of beautiful landscape in the North of the city, with views of the city-centre skyline. Within the grounds are ranges of gardens, including the peaceful Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden. The real highlight are the Glasshouses. displays orchids, giant Amazonian water lilies and a 200-year-old West Indian palm tree - the latter found in the elegant 1850s glass-topped Palm House. Absorb the ambience and hear the tales of the intrepid explorers behind the collections.
Many of the most exotic plants were brought to Edinburgh by the famous horticulturist George Forrest, who made seven expeditions to southwest China between 1904 and 1932. There is also a major Chinese-style garden featuring a pavilion, a waterfall and the world’s largest collection of Chinese wild plants outside of China. Enjoy a guided tour of the gardens.
HELPFUL TOUR NOTES
Tour Duration – 4 hours
Panoramic tour of Edinburgh before arriving at the gardens for a guided tour. The terrain of the garden is mostly level with paved and tarmac paths. Gift shop at the Botanic Gardens. Toilets available.
COVID SAFE – Fred. Olsen’s comprehensive Safe Sailing Charter will enable you to book and travel with con:dence. Please ask for full details when you book.
To Book your place on our Gardeners’ Cruise call now on 0800 1707 233 quoting BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. This group departure is organised by Connoisseur Travel Service Ltd for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Connoisseur Travel Service Ltd are acting as agents for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and are subject to their terms and conditions. Please note all tours and places of interest mentioned, are not included in the cruise fare and may be visited on optional tours. The *Exclusive Optional Tour Package consisting of four garden excursions, is only available to readers of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine booked through Connoisseur Travel. The full tour details and price guide will be available at the time of booking. The experts hosting any of our cruises are subject to personal circumstances permitting. **Tender Port. We plan to visit the gardens and ports mentioned in the itinerary, however we reserve the right to change a visit should circumstances become necessary. E&OE