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5 or $75

From

% WHEN YOU off PAY IN FULL LOW DEPOSIT

2020

Quality Garden and Archaeology Tours


Welcome

River Avon in Bath

Welcome to Brightwater Holidays’ Garden and Archaeology tours collection for 2020. We have assembled our usual eclectic mix of tried and tested perennials, returning favorites and brand new ideas. At home we continue to showcase the very best gardens that the British Isles have to offer. Among the new tours is RHS Bridgewater and Gardens of the North-West, an opportunity to be among the first to visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s new project, which promises to be one of the garden events of the year. Other new ventures include Downton Abbey and the Stately Homes of England, Summer Gardens of the Peak District, Walmer Castle and the Cinque Ports, and Gardens of Distinction, which features exclusive access to the Rothschild’s walled garden at Eythrope. Making a welcome return to the fold are Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Burren in the west of Ireland. Overseas, we continue to take you to the outstanding gardens of Spain, France and Italy, all led by our experienced tour managers. Further afield, old favorites such as Costa Rica, Japan and South Africa (now featuring the Garden Route) are joined by Madagascar, New Zealand and a brand new vacation to the Spice Island of Grenada, whose expert gardeners recently picked up their fifth consecutive Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. Our archaeology portfolio includes favorites such as Bulgaria, Romania, Crete, and Malta, as well as the return of Portugal and also a brand new exploration of the ancient wonders of the Peloponnese. Finally there are two vacations unique to 2020 – our colorful tour to India for WAFA and our pilgrimage to Oberammergau for a once-in-a-decade spiritual experience at its Passion Play. So, whether you want to enjoy the glory of gardens or the allure of archaeology, or just fancy something a little different – settle down and share in our world of vacations. We look forward to welcoming you.

British Travel Award Winners 2018 Last year we were delighted to pick up two awards at the prestigious British Travel Awards – the Oscars of the travel industry. We won awards in the categories of best coach holiday company and best special interest holiday company. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.

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Early booking offers Low deposits are available on all 2020 bookings until 9 August, 2019. For UK/Europe vacations with no flights, pay $75pp deposit instead of $150pp; for UK/Europe vacations with flights, pay $150pp instead of $300pp; for tours over $4500pp, pay $450pp instead of 10%. Alternatively, pay in full at the time of booking, and receive a 5% discount on the basic vacation cost.

Pay in full at the time of booking and receive 5% off the cost of the vacation.

or

$75

From

5

% PAY IN FULL off

LOW DEPOSIT $75 (instead of $150), $150 (instead of $300), long haul $450 (instead of 10%)

Terms and conditions apply (see website for details)

2020 PRICES

W

e promise that when we launch our new vacations our lowest prices are made available to give you the very best value for money. Over 70% of our 2020 prices are the same or cheaper than in 2019. It pays to book early as prices can increase as the departure date approaches. Table Mountain

How to book

Full financial protection

After you have enjoyed browsing these pages at your leisure and you’re ready to treat yourself with a place on one of our tours, just get in touch and we will do the rest.

All our vacations are fully bonded and protected. The air vacation packages in this brochure are ATOL Protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organizer’s License granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 4498. ATOL protection does not apply to all vacation and travel services in this brochure. Vacations without flights are protected by ABTOT. This means that in the unlikely event of our insolvency, your vacation would be completed or refunded.

Give our friendly team a call on 1-844-368-9610, or send us an email at info@brightwaterholidays.com For further details on any of our vacations, including day-by-day itineraries, what’s included and full booking conditions, please just head to our website: www.brightwaterholidays.com Happy browsing, and we look forward to hearing from you!

5009

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UK and Irish Gardens

Asian-style garden

Cornwall and Tresco

pg 33

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens

pg 34

pg 22

Gardens of Devon

pg 35

The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and Gardens of Derbyshire

pg 23

Downton Abbey and the Stately Homes of England

pg 36

Gardens of Cheshire and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Gardens of Jersey

pg 38

pg 24

Walmer Castle and the Cinque Ports

pg 40

Gardens of Northumberland

pg 25

Queen Victoria and the Isle of Wight

pg 42

Private Gardens of East Anglia

pg 26

Heritage of the Isle of Man

pg 43

Gardens of North Wales

pg 27

Steam in the Lake District

pg 44

Private Gardens of Herefordshire

pg 28

Summer Gardens of the Peak District

pg 46

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

pg 29

Gardens and Wildfowers of the Burren

pg 47

Gardens of Kent & Sussex

pg 30

Irish Rover

pg 48

In the Footsteps of Gertrude Jekyll

pg 31

Gardens of Distinction

pg 50

Gardens of Somerset and Dorset

pg 32

RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Classic English Gardens

pg 20

RHS Garden Bridgewater and Gardens of the North West

Overseas Gardens Iceland Northern Lights

pg 52

The Faroe Islands

pg 54

Dutch Bulbfields

pg 55

Gardens of the French Riviera

pg 56

Arts and Gardens of the French Riviera

pg 58

The Genius of Monet

pg 60

Palladian Villas of Veneto

pg 61

Rome, Ninfa and Castel Gandolfo

pg 62

Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes

pg 64

Gardens and Villas of Sicily

pg 66

Gardens and Architecture of Andalucia

pg 68

Gardens of Mallorca

pg 70 Villa Lante, Italy

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Long-haul

Lake Wakatipu

WAFA 2020 and Palaces & Gardens of India’s Golden Triangle

pg 16

Oberammergau & the Austrian Tyrol - 2020

pg 18

Grenada - Gardens of the Spice Island

pg 72

Gardens of Costa Rica

pg 74

Southern Costa Rica

pg 76

Seasonal Gardens of Japan

pg 78

New Zealand

pg 80

Flora and Fauna of Madagascar

pg 82

South Africa’s Garden Route

pg 84

Archaeology

Pompeii

An Archaeologist’s View of Orkney and Shetland pg 86

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Archaeology of Denmark & Sweden

pg 88

Romanian Archaeology

pg 90

Bulgarian Archaeology

pg 92

Albanian Archaeology

pg 94

Archaeology of the Peloponnese

pg 96

Crete Archaeology

pg 98

Malta’s Archaeological Heritage

pg 100

Pompeii and the Classic Wonders of Campania

pg 102

Portuguese Archaeology

pg 104

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Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore

Why choose Brightwater? H

aving been based in picturesque Cupar – Fife’s small county town – for over 25 years, we’ve seen our fair share of gardens and ancient sites. The team here at Brightwater really understands the restorative power of nature and feelings of awe that wandering around an archaeological treasure trove or a stunning garden can inspire, and we have designed our tours with these factors in mind. We’ve been going back to the same locations for so long that our relationships with the gardeners and staff allow us to treat guests to special access.

What makes our tours special? • • • • •

We have over 25 years of experience and knowledge Unique and innovative vacations Exclusive access to private gardens and visits No hidden extras Well-planned itineraries that are also perfectly paced

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• • • •

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Friendly and authoritative tour managers Professionally recognized partnerships Welcoming and friendly service from first contact You can enjoy peace of mind with financial protection


Departure points Our UK garden tours generally depart by coach from London, with additional pick-ups depending on the route of the coach. These include Reading, Swindon and Bristol if traveling west and Luton, Northampton and Birmingham if heading north. All Eurostar tours depart from London St Pancras. Our flight-inclusive tours depart from one or more of the main London airports, depending on the airline used, and regional flights are usually available at a supplement.

Connecting travel

What we include

There are currently two options regarding international flights and joining the group. You can either take advantage of the group flights from London (on request) or you can book a direct flight to the starting destination. If you choose to book a direct flight, you can either meet the group at the airport, or you can meet the group at the hotel. If you join our group flights from London, why not treat yourself to a first-class upgrade and travel in style? Or enjoy the relaxation of an airport lounge before departure.

Our program includes a host of tried and tested favorites, a handful of vacations making a welcome return and a peppering of brand new tours to capture the imagination. As always, we try to ensure that we give our guests a wealth of experiences. Whether it’s special access to gardens, hands-on workshops or visits to historic castles, you can do it all with us! All our tours now included porterage (where available), taking the weight off your mind.

Personalize your vacation We understand that you, as a traveler, are an individual. It’s important to us to offer ways in which you can tailor-make your trip to best fit your needs, and there are always things we can do to help:

Room and cabin upgrades

Rail/air connections

Extra nights either side

Extend pre- or post-tour

Whether you want to treat yourself to a sea view, a junior suite or an upper deck cabin, just let us know and we’ll do the rest.

Rail or air travel connections to get you to one of our pick-up points can be arranged, if required, for a supplement.

Overnight accommodation in London or near other pick-up points including airports are available at a supplement.

If you want to explore more of what your destination has to offer, why not extend your trip with an extra week and later flights, for example.

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Don’t just take our word for it... Private Gardens of Herefordshire

“As the organizer for my U3A group’s annual spring break, I was happy to chat with Jenni who suggested a few ideas of where to visit. I am grateful for her support and trusted her to plan the perfect trip for us. We chose the Private Gardens of Herefordshire tour and it was wonderful. The garden visits were varied and inspirational. We also paid a visit to the cathedrals of both Gloucester and Hereford, and stopped off at Brockhampton Estate as well as the Black and White Museum. Our tour manager, David MacLennan, ensured that everything ran like clockwork. The coach we had was extremely comfortable and Les, our driver, took fantastic care while taking us from the gardens to our hotel, which was conveniently situated for every place we explored. We’re looking forward to our next trip!”

Mrs. Kerrison, 2019 See pg 28 for 2020 tour

Hampton Court Castle

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Seasonal Gardens of Japan “From early childhood, I’ve had a love of plants and gardens – and have been fortunate to travel the world – but had never made it to Japan. When my ideal dates to travel coincided with cherry blossom season, I had to go. Colin Crosbie led the trip and I had such a brilliant time. The itinerary was just right, as were the hotels and visits throughout. One of the most memorable moments was the cruise on Lake Ashi as snow-peaked Mount Fuji commanded the vistas for most of the day. I’ll never forget the experience of visiting the shrines and temples, and I’d like to say thanks to all who helped organize the trip.”

Mrs. Tweed, 2019 See pg 78 for 2020 tour

Senso-ji Temple

Iceland’s Northern Lights “I’ve traveled with Brightwater three times and my experience in Iceland was filled with fascinating scenery and natural phenomena – the northern lights even put in an appearance! Our wonderful local guide, Daggi, managed to find the perfect spot for us to wait for them and it was so worthwhile. His infectious enthusiasm and depth of knowledge about all aspects of this country made our tour, and we’re grateful that Brightwater found him to accompany it! I will certainly book my future vacations with Brightwater as I’ve found it very easy to make arrangements to join their tours.”

Thingvellir National Park

Mr. Morgan, 2018 See pg 52 for 2020 tour

Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes

“Each of the vacations I’ve taken with Brightwater have been wonderful and I have many amazing memories of the people I traveled with as well as the places I visited. One of the most memorable trips was Gardens and Villas of the Italian Lakes. There was a very varied selection of locations and delightful gardens – both formal and informal – and on one of the days we had lunch at a private family home, which was a nice touch. Kate Williamson, our guide, gave us a wealth of interesting information about the area and Italy in general. Her knowledge and personable nature enhanced the vacation, and I’ll continue to book with Brightwater.” Mrs. Levinson, 2019

See pg 64 for 2020 tour

Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo

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Tresco’s Abbey Gardens Hidden away on the island of Tresco, the second-biggest of the Scilly Isles, is the magnificent Abbey Garden. A subtropical delight, it was established back in the 1830s by Augustus Smith and today is looked after by curator Mike Nelhams (pictured below). The gardens are adjacent to the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey founded in 964 AD, hence the name, and a visit here is always a memorable experience. Here, you’ll find succulents, beautiful Mediterranean species and vibrant flowers – all of which will make it hard to believe that you’re still within the United Kingdom!

Tresco Abbey Gardens

Within this glorious garden, you’ll also come across the Valhalla Museum, which is home to a fascinating collection of shipwrecked figureheads. This is a unique museum, and one that tells the story of the ships lost on the rocky coasts of the Scillies. We have a range of departures that visit the Abbey Garden at Tresco, and each time of year will showcase nature’s beauty in a different way. Join us in the spring and admire flowering plants that are in bloom earlier than their mainland counterparts. In autumn, admire the warm colors of the changing season. There is never a ‘best’ time to visit the garden as it is simply breathtaking all year round. Anticipate feasting your eyes upon plants from New Zealand, Myanmar, South Africa, and even Brazil – a true haven for garden lovers.

See pgs 33-34

Highgrove

RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Classic English Gardens There is something enchanting about the Chelsea Flower Show. Taking place once per year, this annual event is filled with show-stopping designs, amazing plants and some of the gardening world’s most celebrated personalities. Wander from garden to garden, admiring the creations that earn gold, silver-gilt, silver, and bronze medals. Discover the latest gardening trends, let the experts inspire your own handiwork and sip a cocktail in style as you soak up the unforgettable atmosphere of this iconic show. What’s more, we will also take you to a selection of other classic English gardens along the way. From the high standards of horticulture at RHS Garden Wisley and the manicured lawns at historic Sissinghurst, to Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edward Lutyens’ masterpiece at Hestercombe – this is a memorable vacation for the green-fingered among us. We also have time on this vacation to pay visits to the wonderful gardens at Stourhead, Wilton House and Iford Manor.

See pg 20

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show


The gardens we love the most...

Costa Rica Depending on which part of this amazing country you visit, you’ll be met with incredible examples of the natural world. From the Else Kientzler Botanical Gardens at the foot of the Poás Volcano to medicinal gardens in the shadow of the Arenal volcano, prepare to be astounded by the flora on display in Costa Rica.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Home to abundant hot springs, the richest orchid collection in all of South America – with over 1,400 identified species – and spice plantations where a visit will be more of a sensory experience, this is the perfect destination for any lover of the great outdoors. Elsewhere in Costa Rica, you’ll be able to stand before trees in danger of extinction, such as the cocobolo, guayacán real and the ron-ron.

See pgs 74-77

Highgrove and the Cotswolds Come and see why the country home of HRH the Prince of Wales is so beloved. With vegetable patches cultivated using wholly organic methods, a stumpery that provides a fantastic habitat for wildlife and a stunning sundial garden, enjoy a taste of royalty in the most magical of surroundings. See pg 29

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Rome, Ninfa & Castel Gandolfo The vibrant Italian capital of Rome needn’t be all Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. Venture around 40 miles south, to the Lazio region, and you’ll come to the magnificent Gardens of Ninfa. Considered to be among the world’s most romantic, these gardens are home to flower-covered ancient ruins. Hydrangeas, perfumed roses and jasmines curtain the walls of medieval buildings, and around 1,300 botanical species reside here in its eight acres. The history of the gardens is just as alluring – burned in 1382 and beset by malaria, the village of Ninfa lay abandoned for hundreds of years. After the mosquito hazard was removed in 1922, a beautiful garden was created.

See pg 62

Ninfa

11 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020 Grenada - Gardens of the Spice Island Grenada has now won 15 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, having struck gold for the fifth consecutive year in 2019. To find out why their gardens and gardeners are so special, join Trevor Edwards on this brand new vacation to the Spice Island, where we tour private gardens and chat with the owners, take gentle yet richly rewarding botanical walks through historic estates and relax in our comfortable hotel, set in its own lush grounds and filled with colorful plants and birds. With a daily dose of sunshine thrown in, this vacation is a tonic for body and soul.

See Pg.72

Botanical garden in Grenada

Mystras

Highclere Castle

Archaeology of the Peloponnese

Downton Abbey

The Peloponnese is home to a host of archaeological sites, many of them off the regular tourist trails, offering a chance to explore these fascinating places in relative peace.

Sadly, Carson the butler will not be on hand to welcome us, nor will Lady Edith entertain us in the drawing room, but what a thrill to see that grand house close up.

See Pg.96

See Pg.36

Summer Gardens of the Peak District

RHS Garden Bridgewater

Among the limestone hills and wooded dales of Derbyshire are some wonderful gardens, from an intimate cottage garden to the noble splendor of Chatsworth.

Be among the first to visit the prestigious new RHS Garden Bridgewater, along with some of the best gardens in the North West of England.

See Pg.46

See Pg.22

Arts and Gardens of the French Riviera

Gardens of Distinction A distinguished line-up of gardens greets us with connections to royalty, politicians and statesmen, as well as an exclusive private tour on the Waddesdon estate.

The French Riviera has been a hotspot for artists and the inspiration for countless works of art for a couple of hundred years. Join us on the Côte d’Azur and find out why.

See Pg.50

See Pg.58

Gardens and Wildflowers of the Burren

Walmer Castle and the Cinque Ports

A distinctive landscape of limestone pavements, disappearing lakes and flower-rich grasslands, the Burren is a special little corner of Ireland.

The freshly rejuvenated gardens of Walmer Castle form the centerpiece of a revealing tour of the historic Cinque Ports and England’s chalky south coast.

See Pg.47

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See Pg.40

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Only in 2020

©Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

Oberammergau and the Austrian Tyrol

Taking place only once every 10 years, the bucket-list experience of the Oberammergau Passion Play is upon us. This is your chance to watch locals from this tiny Bavarian village bringing the story that celebrates the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ so vividly back to life. If you miss it, you’ll be waiting another decade.

See Pg.18

Taj Mahal

WAFA 2020 and Palaces & Gardens of India’s Golden Triangle The World Association of Flower Arrangers will bring its 2020 showpiece event to the vibrant city of Jaipur in India. On this tour, along with entry to the WAFA showcase, you’ll pay a memorable visit to the legendary Taj Mahal, the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort and the stunning Lodi Gardens. Explore the best of India’s horticultural delights with us.

See Pg.16

13 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


tailor-made group travel Since its inception over 25 years ago, Brightwater Holidays has provided tailor-made travel arrangements for many private groups and societies, with a dedicated Group Travel department providing a highly personal service. The itineraries and packages have been as varied as the groups themselves, ranging from a short city break to an extended tour of South Africa. Typically, tours include all transportation, accommodation and entry costs, visiting gardens, stately homes, art galleries, and other specialist attractions depending on the group’s individual requirements. On most occasions, we also provide an experienced Tour Manager, who will ensure the smooth running of the vacation, leaving the group organizers free to relax and enjoy themselves. We aim to understand fully the requirements of your group, so if you are a group travel organizer or a group of friends and would like some advice or a quotation for a tour, please contact our Private Groups Manager, Jenni Duncan, who would be delighted to help tailor make a package for you. Remember it’s your tour, and we will try and supply the perfect vacation to match your requirements and budget.

Group size

A small group of friends, a club of 50, or anything in between — no matter the number, we’ll find the visits and hotels that offer the perfect fit.

Transport

Plane, train, or coach — how will you get to your destination? We figure out the cost and itinerary implications so you can make an informed choice.

Room and board

Alexander Balli Garden, Malta

5* luxury accommodation and pre-dinner drinks or comfortable hotels and independent meals? You decide on the particulars, and we’ll factor it all into your total price.

Tour destination

Let us know where you’d like to go, and for how many days, and we’ll do the rest. Multi-center trip around Scotland or three-week break to New Zealand – whatever you have in mind, we can make it happen.

All inclusive

All site and garden visits included, or a pick-and-mix of optional excursions — just how much you’d like to cover in the cost of your tour is up to you.

Madeira Botanical Garden

Get in touch and get started

O

ur friendly and highly experienced Private Groups Manager, Jenni Duncan, has been with Brightwater for over 20 years. Give her a call on 1-844-368-9610, or send an email to groups@brightwaterholidays.com to get things started. If you would like some inspiration, have a look at our website www.brightwaterholidays.com No matter what stage of planning you’re at, our team will be able to work with you every step of the way.

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Popular itineraries

©Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

Oberammergau 2020: Great for Groups Occurring just once per decade, the historic Passion Play of Oberammergau is the rarest of rare treats — and it’s also, as luck would have it, the perfect example of how we can tailor a tour around your specific interests or travel goals. With the Passion Play as your tour’s headliner, there’s plenty of room for the supporting acts.

Flower Display WAFA

WAFA 2020 and Palaces & Gardens of India’s Golden Triangle Another key event taking place in 2020 is the World Association of Flower Arrangers show in Jaipur, India. We can arrange an inclusive tour that takes you to all the great sights of the Golden Triangle’, such as the Taj Mahal and the Amber Fort.

Great Dixter

Newby Hall

Gardens of Kent and Sussex

Gardens of Yorkshire

If there’s one tour that epitomises the joy of strolling around a perfect English country garden, it is this one – with one shining example after another to be savored and enjoyed. These include the much-copied Sissinghurst, Lullingstone Castle with its unique World of Plants, and Nymans Garden, which offers outstanding plants in a theatrical setting.

A tour of the gardens of Yorkshire has an added attraction in that it takes place against an ever-changing backdrop of stunning landscapes, with peaks and dales, hidden wolds and peaceful market towns. The gardens themselves are equally fine and combine to create a tour as rich and refreshing as a pint of best Yorkshire bitter.

Kailizie

Achamore

Gardens of the Scottish Borders

Highland and Island Gardens

Among the rolling hills of the borderlands of Scotland and England are a host of attractive gardens, from contemporary classics such as the Alnwick Garden to intimate private gardens and historic manors. Our tour straddles the border as we visit timeless country house gardens and some splendid private gardens by the River Tweed.

The Western Seaboard of Scotland is home to some of the finest gardens in Europe. Many types of plant flourish in this gentle and moist climate, enjoying the benefit of the Gulf Stream, which is kind to unusual exotic shrubs and trees. Highlights include Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute and Arduaine Gardens at Loch Melfort.

15 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


WAFA 2020 and Palaces & Gardens of India’s Golden Triangle Taj Mahal

H

eld once every three years, the World Association of Flower Arrangers’ (WAFA) showpiece event has established itself as the premier event for anyone with an interest in flower-arranging and floral art. In 2020 it moves to the vibrant city of Jaipur in India, giving us the opportunity to combine our day at the show with visits to some of India’s most iconic locations and sumptuous gardens. We begin in Delhi, where we will have the rare opportunity to visit the Mughal gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan, which are only ever open in February. Elsewhere, we will enjoy the teeming bazaar and explore the Lodi Gardens, which have elements of early Mughal garden design. From here we transfer to Agra, where we will visit the gardens at Agra Fort and Mehtab Bagh and, of course, the Taj Mahal – an unmissable sight. We also explore the magnificent Amber Fort, the fascinating step well at Abhaneri, the elegant gardens of Rambagh Palace, and the many sights of Jaipur itself. The show itself will include flower-arranging demonstrations and lectures along with magnificent displays of floral art, and it promises to be a particularly colorful affair.

Departures

What’s Included Seven nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at 5-star hotels: two nights at the Meridien Hotel, Delhi; one night at the Trident Hotel, Agra; three nights at the Jaipur Marriott Hotel and one night at the Pride Plaza Aerocity, Delhi (all hotels subject to change). Upgrade to the 5-star Jaimahal Palace Jaipur available at a supplement

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Endemic Indian flowers

22 February 2020 Four lunches All local travel within India Services of a professional tour manager and local guides

Price 8 days from

$2245

Single room supplement

16

$790

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival, we meet our local guide and transfer

to our hotel. Later, we visit the beautiful Lodi Gardens, an oasis of shaded calm demonstrating the principles of Mughal garden design, but developed into a fine floral garden by Lady Willingdon, wife of a former Governor-General of India. It now features nearly 200 species of trees and 40 species of flower. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Mughal Garden

Day 4 A visit to the Taj Mahal awaits. This majestic

monument to love will simply take your breath away. After, time in contemplation of its marble glory, we travel to Jaipur, pausing at Abhaneri to visit the Chand Baori, a step well built over 1,000 years ago that featured in Michael Portillo’s ‘Great Indian Railway Journeys’. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 Today we visit the Amber Fort, with a photo stop

en route at Hawa Mahal, known as the ‘Palace of Winds’ – note that access to the fort is by jeep. Next, we tour the Maharajah’s City Palace, a building still used by the royal family of Jaipur before ending at the gardens of Rambagh Palace, renowned for their elegance and foliage, which attracts exotic birds. Lodi Gardens

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 Today is devoted to WAFA 2020 and we enjoy this Day 2 We begin today with a tour of Old Delhi, starting

at the Jama Mosque, the largest in India. This is followed by a rickshaw ride through the bazaar in Chandni Chowk. Our final stop is at Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation ground. In New Delhi, we visit Humayun’s Tomb. Built in 1560, the tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s senior widow thus inaugurating a series of grand Mughal Tombs, introducing the concept of the char bagh (four garden) system, with the main mausoleum in the center of the garden and paved walkways dividing the garden into four parts. Our tour concludes at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Mughal Gardens, the Lutyens-designed residence of the President of India, formerly Viceroy House. As such, the gardens feature both Mughal and English landscaping styles along with a great variety of flowers and even a fine bonsai collection. Rashtrapati Bhavan

iconic event’s exhibits and demonstrations. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 You can return to WAFA 2020 today (admission not

included) or you can choose to sightsee in Jaipur at leisure. Later, we travel to Delhi and stay overnight at the airport. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 After breakfast, we transfer to the airport to catch our individual return flights home. Inc. Meals: Breakfast.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 Today we ride the Gatiman Express train to Agra

where we visit the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort. We explore Mehtab Bagh (the Moonlit Garden) before making our way to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Agra Fort

17 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Oberammergau and the Austrian Tyrol ©Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

O

berammergau is a once-per-decade opportunity to witness one of the most powerful, dramatic spectacles in Europe – an epic portrayal of the Passion of Christ as performed by a cast of over 2,000 local residents. Before the play, we enjoy some of the delights of the neighboring Austrian Tyrol. Join us as we hop aboard the Zillertal Steam Railway and clink our complimentary glasses of schnapps as we sit back to admire the scenery in comfort and luxury. Taking us from the market town of Jenbach to the chic ski resort of Mayrhofen, which sits in the shadow of the great ‘Hintertux Glacier’, this is one picturesque journey that’s hard to beat. On our visit to Salzburg, choose from a Mozart or Sound of Music-themed excursion — whatever you choose, the considerable musical pedigree of this region is abundantly clear. Our visit to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck includes a guided tour of the beautiful old town and a stroll down the famous Maria-Theresien-Strasse, before we pay a visit to the vaulted halls of Tratzberg Castle.

Departures

What’s Included Five nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast: four at a 4-star hotel in the Tyrol; one at a hotel in the Oberammergau area One lunch

Innsbruck

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

13 May, 10 August & 12 August 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Price 6 days from

$2880

Single room supplement

per person

$420

May supplement $75pp

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Itinerary Day 1 Arrive in Munich and continue to the hotel in Zillertal. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Our first morning on tour sees us embark on an

excursion aboard the historic Zillertal Steam Railway. As we travel through stunning Tyrolean scenery from Jenbach to the chic ski resort of Mayrhofen, in the shadow of the great Hintertux Glacier, we are served a chilled glass of schnapps for an added touch of luxury. For lunch, we’re treated to another jaw-droppingly scenic journey, this time by cable car, to our mountainside restaurant. Afterwards, we return by coach to our hotel.

Salzburg

Day 5 Today’s the day! We bid farewell to Austria and say

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

“guten tag” to Germany as we transfer to Oberammergau via the ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. After free time for lunch in Oberammergau, the day’s performance of the immersive Passion Play begins at 2:30pm, with a generous break for dinner. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 6 Sadly, today is our final day. After a breakfast abuzz with the chatter of yesterday’s performance, we check out of our hotel and return to Munich airport for our individual flights home or independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Tratzberg Castle

Day 3 We’re spoilt for choice today as we make our way

to Salzburg, with the opportunity to decide between two themed excursions. Classical music aficionados will surely be enticed by the Mozart option, while others will be tempted to see some of the locations from the legendary musical, “The Sound of Music”. Both options cover visits to the castle and cathedral, and afterwards, we make our return by coach to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

©Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

Alpine vista

Day 4 We begin today with a visit to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck, where we enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful old town and a stroll down the famous Maria-TheresienStrasse, including a stop at Emperor Maximillian I’s ‘Golden Roof’. After lunch (not included) we pay a visit to Tratzberg Castle, before returning by coach to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Lost in Paradise ©Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

19 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


The RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Classic English Gardens RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

T

his tour combines the color, prestige and excitement of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with some of the south of England’s finest gardens, affording the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of horticultural excellence. Our two-center vacation includes visits to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the unmissable gardens of RHS Garden Wisley, as well as Sissinghurst in Kent and Great Dixter. We then head west, breaking our journey at the beautiful gardens of Wilton House near Salisbury and ‘Capability’ Brown’s famous landscape garden of Stourhead. From our hotel in the West Country we visit the ancient Bishop’s Palace in Wells, the Harold Peto designed garden at Iford Manor and Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. We also have some time in the town of Bath, famous for its Roman baths and elegant Georgian terraces. We conclude with a wander round Tyntesfield, a fine National Trust Victorian country house with a glorious walled garden, before returning to London. Great Dixter Garden

What’s Included Six nights’ dinner bed and breakfast: three nights at the 3-star Holiday Inn Farnborough (or similar) and three nights at the 3-star Walnut Tree Hotel, North Petherton, Somerset (or similar)

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

21 May 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Price

Full-day ticket for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

7 days from

$1945

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

20

$495

per person


Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our pick-up points in London and transfer to the showpiece RHS Garden Wisley, where we enjoy a guided tour. This outdoor space is home to glasshouses, an arboretum and many glorious gardens. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey

stunning. Later, we take a trip to Iford Manor, where we have an exclusive private visit. Its Italianate garden is Grade I listed and was created by the architect and landscape gardener, Harold Peto. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We start our day at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells,

Show, a great British tradition and exciting source of inspiration and advice. One of the highlights of the show is the collection of over 20 full-sized show gardens. Inside the Great Marquee, visitors are dazzled by hundreds of floral displays, many of them incorporating new, rare and unusual plants. Other popular features here include flower-arranging, floristry and garden design marquees, courtyard gardens, window boxes, and hanging baskets.

Somerset. This is a stunning medieval building and we enjoy a special ‘Horticulture at the Palace’ tour upon arrival. There are 14 acres of gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name. We will also be given some free time here to experience the city’s architecture, view its breathtaking cathedral and have free time for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. The garden is home to a round pool in a round walled garden filled with wintersweet and roses, a Dutch garden of lamb’s ears, lavender and the most beautiful orangery of the 20th century.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 Today, we head for the manicured gardens of

Day 6 Today begins at the gardens at Stourhead, first

Stourhead

Day 2 Our entire day is spent at the RHS Chelsea Flower

Sissinghurst, where we are treated to an exclusive guided tour before the gardens open to the public. The history to be explored here is rich and fascinating, and the gardens themselves are simply stunning. We continue to another classic English garden – this time, Great Dixter. The distinguished garden writer Christopher Lloyd was the genius behind the elegant gardens of a timbered 15th century house. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

opened in the 1740s. Temples, urns, a grotto and a wealth of trees all contribute to the special atmosphere of this celebrated landscape garden. It is, above all, a garden to walk in, following the serpentine path that borders the lake which forms the serene centerpiece. After a tour of this beautiful garden, we head back to Bath for some free time. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 This morning we travel to Tyntesfield, a fine Victorian

country house. Spiralling turrets and pinnacles adorn the roof, and ornate stone carvings and church-like windows complete the Gothic look, giving the feel of a mysterious, fairytale mansion. Terraced lawns give way to spacious parkland filled with hundreds of trees collected by the family, and a glorious walled kitchen garden beyond. The rolling Somerset hills in the distance create an atmospheric backdrop. Here, we are treated to a guided tour before we return to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

Day 4 A drive south starts our morning as we visit the

gardens of Wilton House, near Salisbury. This impressive Palladian mansion has been the country seat for the Earls of Pembroke for over 400 years and its gardens are simply

Sissinghurst

21 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

RHS Garden Bridgewater and Gardens of the North West Arley Hall

C

Itinerary

urrently the largest gardening project in Europe, RHS Garden Bridgewater opens to the public in 2020 and we are delighted to be able to offer the opportunity to be among the first to visit it.

Day 1 We depart from our

Based on an overall design by leading landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, this once in a generation project will include one of the largest walled gardens in the UK, beautifully landscaped grounds, living plant collections and horticultural trails. We will also take the opportunity to visit some of the best gardens in the North West, including Trentham Estate in Staffordshire, where the contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens was also led by Tom Stuart-Smith; Dunham Massey, a great plantsman’s garden; and Arley Hall, whose pair of herbaceous borders is one of the great garden sights of England.

pick-up points and head for the gardens of Trentham Estate in Staffordshire. The revival of the famous Italian Gardens was led by the winner of multiple Chelsea gold medals, Tom Stuart-Smith. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We depart for the

Three nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast at the 4-star Best Western Plus Pinewood on Wimslow Hotel, Cheshire (or similar)

brand new RHS Garden Bridgewater at Worsley. This once in a generation project will see the Royal Horticultural Society take inspiration from the heritage of the site and transform it into a world-class garden. In the afternoon, we visit a nearby private garden, which, in contrast to Bridgewater, is much smaller but no less intriguing.

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

What’s Included

Day 3 We visit the gardens at Dunham Massey, which was taken over by the National Trust in 1976. Modern additions include the Rose Garden and the Winter Garden. Later we visit Tatton Park, whose gardens have developed over 200 years yet retain much of their Edwardian character. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We depart for a visit

to Arley Hall, whose pair of herbaceous borders is one of the great garden sights of England. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

4, 11 & 18 September 2020

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$180

Italian Gardens, Trentham Estate

22


The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and Gardens of Derbyshire Hardwick Hall

S

Itinerary

et against the classic landscape shaped by Capability Brown and Joseph Paxton, the Chatsworth Flower Show aims to present the best in British design and innovation. Various themes are explored and interpreted by garden designers in a recreation of Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory. As with all RHS shows, the country’s best nurseries will be in attendance with stunning displays.

Day 1 We depart from our

By contrast, the vacation will also include visits to some of the region’s classic gardens including Felley Priory, with its beautiful herbaceous borders, old fashioned roses and white garden; Hardwick Hall known for its woodland, an orchard and romantic rambling roses; and Haddon Hall, which although an ancient residence, has had areas of the garden redesigned in the past few years. We will also visit the splendid RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

pick-up points and travel to Felley Priory. The tranquil grounds house many rare and usual plants, and the herbaceous borders are a true sight to behold. We continue to Hardwick Hall, which dominates the surrounding area. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Our day starts

Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Hotel Mercure Sheffield Kenwood Hall & Spa

at RHS Harlow Carr. Within this handsome and well-wooded site, there are sections devoted to particular groups of plants. After refreshments at Betty’s Tearoom, we have some free time in Harrogate, whose attractions include the Mercer Art Gallery and the Royal Pump Room (entrances not included).

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

What’s Included

Day 3 We enjoy a full day

at the RHS Chatsworth Show. Set against the classic landscape shaped by Capability Brown and Joseph Paxton, the show aims to present the best British design and innovation. There will be a wide range of show gardens, including a new category ‘Free Form’, allowing designers to create something previously unseen. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We journey to

Haddon Hall, an intensely romantic and hugely historic house, whose gardens still have much of their 17th century character. Following our visit we return to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures 11 June 2020

Price 4 days from

$1045

Single room supplement

$135

per person RHS Harlow Carr Garden

23 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Gardens of Cheshire and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park Arley Hall

T

he Royal Horticultural Society will once again bring a spectacular celebration of flowers and gardening to the north-west of England with the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Set against the splendor of Tatton Park’s 1,000-acre deer park, the show will be full of attractions, imaginative and colorful displays, and exciting show gardens. This classic English flower show has everything you need – and didn’t know you needed – for your garden to flourish. The herbaceous borders at Arley Hall are one of the great garden sights in England, while Mount Pleasant is a traditional mixed garden complemented by impressive views. Ness Botanic Gardens has a host of features including herbaceous borders, climbing plants and lush water gardens, and finally there is Stonyford Cottage, an informal natural garden and specialist plant nursery.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Queens Hotel, Chester

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our

pick-up points and head for Cheshire where we visit Ness Botanic Gardens, which feature herbaceous borders, terraces with climbing plants, native plants, and water gardens. Later, we transfer to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We depart for the

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. The show is full of attractions, from spectacular floral marquees ablaze with colorful displays from over 80 nurseries to a series of back-to-back gardens, proving that even the smallest space can become a treasured retreat. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We start with a visit

to the gardens of Arley Hall. A pair of herbaceous borders was laid out here in 1846 and they survive to this day, beautifully maintained. In the afternoon we visit Mount Pleasant, 10 acres of landscaped garden and woodland with impressive views over the Cheshire countryside. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We check out of

our hotel and head home, stopping for lunch at Stonyford Cottage. This informal natural space has been developed around a pool with bridges leading over to an island, which evokes Monet’s iconic gardens at Giverny. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

One lunch All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures 22 July 2020

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$205

Ness Botanic Gardens

24


No single supplement

Gardens of Northumberland Alnwick Garden Tree House

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he largely rural county of Northumberland is home to a range of individual and imaginative gardens, with each one giving an unusual insight into the pleasure of gardening in this most beautiful and tranquil corner of England. Mindrum, a large and generous garden, was created by a natural artist with skill and verve, who then set about creating a new garden at Kirky Cottage, filled with her favorite plants. In Whalton, one of Northumberland’s prettiest villages, we find Manor House, a charming English country house garden that features a contribution by Jekyll and Lutyens. Newbiggin House offers us delightful old fashioned herbaceous borders, while in contrast the Alnwick Garden gives us a garden for the 21st century, full of innovative features. Finally, there is Crook Hall, a little oasis of tranquility in the city of Durham.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Marriott Royal County Hotel, Durham One lunch

Itinerary Day 1 We meet at London’s Kings Cross and travel to Durham, transferring upon arrival to Crook Hall, a Grade I listed medieval Manor House with a banqueting hall that dates back to at least the 13th century. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we travel

through the wild and rugged landscape of north Northumberland to Mindrum. The garden was created with great skill and verve by the owner and is now looked after by her son. We transfer to her new garden, created a few years ago at Kirky Cottage, where lunch is included. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 Today, we visit

Alnwick Garden, one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. Our second visit today is to the garden at the Manor House. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Before heading

home, we travel to the Northumberland/Durham border to Newbiggin House, a five-acre landscaped garden at 1,000ft started in 1996, which has matured beautifully. We then catch a train from Durham back to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Return standard class rail travel from London Kings Cross to Durham and comfortable coaching in Northumberland All visits as outlined in the itinerary Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

14 June & 26 July 2020

Price 4 days from

$1195

per person

No single room supplement

Water feature in Alnwick Garden

25 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Private Gardens of East Anglia Beth Chatto Garden

T

he adjoining counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk feature on this tour of some of the finest gardens that East Anglia has to offer. We begin in Essex, with visits to RHS Garden Hyde Hall and the late Beth Chatto’s famous garden and nursery, which was transformed from overgrown wasteland into an informal garden harmonising with the surrounding countryside. We continue to Helmingham Hall where the house, parkland and gardens together create an exceptional work of art, and to Wyken Hall vineyards and gardens. We have the privilege of visiting Raveningham Hall, the garden of RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt, along with East Ruston Old Vicarage, an inspirational exotic garden that lies less than two miles from the North Sea. Our final day takes us to The Place for Plants at East Bergholt and Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast at the 3-star Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich (or similar) All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from

London and visit RHS Hyde Hall at Rettendon, south of Chelmsford. We continue to Beth Chatto Gardens, near Colchester, which was transformed from overgrown wasteland with poor gravel soil to a garden that has become justly famous. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning, we

travel to Wyken Hall and Vineyards where the beautiful formal gardens should be bursting with topiary, herbs, roses, and fruit trees. Next, we head to Helmingham Hall, which overlooks a deer park with a double avenue of oaks. To one side, a walled kitchen garden has been put to ornamental use. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We visit the gardens

of Raveningham Hall, protected by shelter belts of woodland, herbaceous and mixed borders, wildflower meadows, and rolling lawns. A highlight of our visit is the Time Garden – designed around Francis Bacon’s essays based on the passage of time. We continue with a visit to the breathtaking 20-acre East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden, which for many will be the highlight of our visit to Norfolk. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Discover the

incomparable Place for Plants at East Bergholt and then continue to our final visit – the gardens at Marks Hall – before we head back to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

18 May & 17 August 2020

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$135

Helmingham Hall gardens

26


Gardens of North Wales Portmeirion

S

et amongst glorious scenery that includes the mountains of Snowdonia, dramatic seascapes and ancient castles, North Wales is home to some outstanding gardens. One of the best is Plas Cadnant, which 20 years ago was an overgrown, abandoned wilderness of ivy and decrepit fruit trees. Its new owner has brought it back to life and, rather like Heligan in Cornwall, Plas Cadnant has emerged as a gem of a garden, full of interest. Further highlights include Plas Tan y Bwlch, a spectacular Victorian garden nestling in dramatic mountain scenery within the Snowdonia National Park; Bodnant Garden, with a range of beautiful plants from all over the world; and Portmeirion, the eccentric and rather surreal Italianate village that has been enhanced in recent years with improvements made to the gardens.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

Itinerary Day 1 We depart by coach

and head for Wales, where we visit the gardens of Powis Castle, influenced by French and Italian styles. We continue to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we travel to

the privately-owned garden of Maenan Hall, a beautiful property set among mature hardwoods on the slopes of the Conwy Valley, with dramatic views of Snowdonia. In the afternoon, we travel to Colwyn Bay to visit Bodnant Garden and then we tour Plas Cadnant, a hidden historic garden which is slowly being uncovered. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 Today we visit

Mynydd Heulog, an 18th century stone cottage set in a sloping garden with amazing views over the bay. We then visit Plas yn Rhiw, a delightful manor house with an ornamental garden. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We visit the gardens

at Plas Brondanw, followed by the famous village of Portmeirion – both created in a unique Italianate style by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. We continue to Plas Tan y Bwlch, a spectacular Victorian garden nestling in dramatic mountain scenery within the Snowdonia National Park before returning to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of Tony Russell as tour manager

Departures

5 June & 17 July 2020

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

per person

$295

Bodnant Gardens

27 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Private Gardens of Herefordshire Hampton Court Castle

R

ural Herefordshire boasts some of Britain’s finest gardens, offering a great variety of styles – from water gardens to plantsman’s gardens, and from a garden of sentiment and memories to a garden of history and refinement. Highlights include Sir Roy Strong’s ‘uniquely autobiographical’ garden of sentiments and memories, The Laskett, in the parish of Much Birch. Westonbury Mill Water Gardens are home to a wide range of water features and a number of delightful follies, hand-built by the owner, including a unique, water-powered Giant Cuckoo Clock! At Stockton Bury, a four-acre plantsman’s garden full of unusual plants, we are privileged to have a workshop, tour and talk with the gardener, and of course, no trip to Herefordshire would be complete without paying a visit to the award-winning gardens at Hampton Court Castle.

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our

pick-up points and stop en route at Pengethley Garden Center. We continue to Sir Roy Strong’s garden, The Laskett. Thereafter, we transfer to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We visit the private

garden of the Old Rectory at Thruxton, which is stocked with unusual perennials and roses. Later, we visit Westonbury Mill Water Garden, which is home to a bog garden and a ‘Monet’ bridge. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We begin by traveling

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Brooks Country House Hotel, Ross on Wye

to the gardens at Hampton Court Castle, a 15th century structure surrounded by

1,000 acres of parkland, pasture and woodland. We explore Stockton Bury Gardens at Kimbolton and enjoy lunch, a garden tour, workshop and talk with the head gardener. Many of the unusual plants here are for sale – the perfect souvenir. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 Our final day

culminates with a visit to Misarden Park, near Stroud. Originally designed in the 17th century, the gardens were redeveloped in the 20th century by Sir Edwin Lutyens in his famous Edwardian style. We return to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

One lunch All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

14 May, 2 August & 2 September 2020

Price 4 days from

$1045

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$225

Hampton Court Garden

28


Highgrove and Cotswolds Highgrove

O

ur tour of the Cotswolds features an exclusive visit to Highgrove House, the country home of HRH The Prince of Wales. This will be a rare opportunity to see these fascinating gardens which, of course, are cultivated using wholly organic methods. Some of the finest gardens in England are to be found nestled among the green and rolling hills of Gloucestershire. Our tour begins at the Arts and Crafts house of Rodmarton Manor, whose fine garden comprises a series of ‘outdoor rooms’. Hidcote Manor’s contrasting garden rooms and Kiftsgate’s splendid views are justly famous. We shall also visit the small, private garden of Misarden Park and Westonbirt, the National Arboretum. Please note, by the very nature of this vacation we are dependent on a successful application for admittance to Highgrove, which will be confirmed in February 2020.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Cotswold Waterpark Hotel, South Cerney

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our

designated pick-up points and head for the garden of Rodmarton Manor, which was originally designed as a series of outdoor rooms and are still the same today, with each part of the garden having a different character. We continue to our hotel in the Cotswolds. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning, we

visit the gardens of Hidcote Manor, one of the best known gardens in Britain. We then visit Kiftsgate Court, which is surrounded by a series of enclosed gardens, whose formality is blurred by generous planting. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 This morning, we

transfer to Highgrove, the country home of HRH the Prince of Wales (subject to successful application). This is a rare opportunity to see these fascinating gardens, which are cultivated using wholly organic methods. In the afternoon we enjoy a visit to Misarden Park, near Stroud. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 En route to our pick-

up points, we pay a visit to Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, which is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the UK. It comprises some 18,000 trees and shrubs, over an area of approximately 600 acres. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

17 April, 14 May, 12 June, 7 August, 4 September & 25 September 2020

Price 4 days from

$895

per person

Single room supplement June supplement $45pp

$265

Hidcote Manor

29 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


The Gardens of Kent & Sussex Sissinghurst Castle Garden

I

f there’s one tour that epitomises the joy of strolling around a perfect English country garden, it is this one – with one shining example after another to be savored and enjoyed. Visitors will be bowled over by the quality and pedigree of these gardens, which capture the essence of the English country garden. We start at Great Comp, filled with rare and beautiful shrubs, followed by Lullingstone Castle. Nymans Garden offers outstanding plants in a theatrical setting and is twinned with Sussex Prairie Garden, reminiscent of the work of the great Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf. We also visit Sissinghurst, surely the most-copied flower garden in the world, and Great Dixter. A stroll around the gardens of Wakehurst Place and a special tour at Perch Hill, a garden that belongs to a well-known TV presenter, round off a distinguished tour.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Donnington Manor Hotel, Sevenoaks One lunch

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our

pick-up points and head towards Kent for our first visit - Great Comp Garden, a fine garden with many rare shrubs, perennials and hardy plants. We continue to Lullingstone Castle, with its unique World of Plants. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today, we set off

for Sussex Prairie Garden at Henfield, an eight-acre garden boasting large borders in a naturalistic style and drifts of herbaceous perennials. We continue to Nymans Garden, an outstanding plant collection in an inspirational setting. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 This morning, we are privileged to have an ‘early

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

bird visit’ to the manicured gardens of Sissinghurst, before they open to the general public. We continue to another classic English Country Garden, namely Great Dixter. No gardener could come here without making discoveries and rekindling a zest for gardening. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Our first visit today

is to Wakehurst Place Gardens, set in 100 acres. Thereafter, we continue to Perch Hill, the garden of well-known TV presenter Sarah Raven. After lunch, we enjoy a special guided tour in the company of the Head Gardener, before returning to our original pick-up points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

28 May, 25 June & 20 August 2020

Price 4 days from

$1195

per person

Single room supplement August supplement $45pp

$295

www.brightwaterholidays.com

Great Dixter

30


In the Footsteps of Gertrude Jekyll Hestercombe

G

ertrude Jekyll was a plantswoman extraordinaire, painter and writer, however she is perhaps best remembered for her association with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Over the last hundred years, few would doubt the great influence Gertrude Jekyll had on garden design — during her lifetime, she created over 400 gardens. Our tour stretches across the south of England, from the Home Counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey – where she lived for most of her life — to the southern counties of England and into the scenic West Country. Perhaps the true highlight of this vacation will be the rare chance to visit Munstead Wood. This was where Gertrude Jekyll lived and was the scene of many of her highly influential garden experiments and ideas. The garden today is mainly woodland with many oaks, Scots pines, silver birches, and chestnuts.

What’s Included

Itinerary Day 1 We begin with a

visit to the garden of Vann, which incorporates Gertrude Jekyll’s 1911 water garden, and continue on to Loseley Park, a highlight of which is the Walled Garden. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we visit

Upton Grey Manor House, believed to be the most authentic Jekyll garden in existence. We continue with a visit to the excellent Godalming Museum. We then visit the nearby garden at Munstead Wood, which is where Jekyll lived until her death in 1932. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Four nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast: two nights at the 4-star Frensham Pond Hotel and two nights at the 3-star Shrubbery Hotel, Illminster All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout

Day 3 We head southwest, for our visit to the private garden of Bramdean, near Alresford in Hampshire, before continuing to the

gardens of East Lambrook, near South Petherton in Somerset, recognized throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We visit Nynehead

Court, whose formal gardens feature a wide variety of trees, a walled vegetable garden and a parterre. Then we proceed to Cothay Manor, a magical, romantic garden that surrounds a perfect example of a small medieval manor. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 Our final visit is

to Hestercombe, one of Jekyll and Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces, before we return to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Services of a professional tour manager

Departures 6 June 2020

Price 5 days from

$1465

Single room supplement

$300

per person Upton Grey

31 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Gardens of Somerset and Dorset Stourhead Garden

T

Itinerary

he neighboring counties of Dorset and Somerset epitomise the timeless and restrained beauty of rural England and are home to a fine selection of classic gardens in a variety of different styles. Both counties offer grand vistas, both natural and man-made, as well as small and intimate treasures, again, both natural and man-made.

Day 1 We depart from our

pick-up points and head for the famous landscape garden at Stourhead, with its temples, urns and grotto.

From our base in Taunton, our tour heads out each day to all four compass points, visiting historic National Trust properties such as Barrington Court, Tintinhull and the wonderful landscape of Stourhead, as well as outstanding gardens such as Kilver Court, Forde Abbey and East Lambrook, recognized throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. On our final day, we visit the enchanting Lyte’s Cary Manor.

Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we visit the

gardens at Kilver Court, which feature an unusual and highly impressive backdrop – a vast railway viaduct. Later we visit the Yeo Valley Organic Garden, a constantly evolving patchwork of ornamental and edible plants. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We travel to the

What’s Included Four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Holiday Inn, Taunton All visits as outlined in the itinerary

gardens at Minterne, an 18th century serpentine park with lakes, a stream and a fine woodland garden. We continue to Forde Abbey, whose towering fountain is a highlight for many in

Comfortable coach travel throughout

18 June & 20 August 2020

Price 5 days from

$1045

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We visit Tintinhull

Gardens, set around an attractive 17th-century manor house, and one of the most harmonious small gardens in Britain. In the afternoon we call in at East Lambrook Manor, recognized throughout the world as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We depart for the

gardens of Barrington Court, enchanting formal gardens inspired by the designs of Gertrude Jekyll. Our final visit is to Lytes Cary Manor, which is surrounded by an enchanting garden before returning to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

30 acres of award-winning gardens.

per person

$225

Forde Abbey

32


New for 2020

Cornwall and Tresco Lanhydrock Gardens

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Itinerary

ornwall’s gardens are renowned the world over for their color and variety, and there are some truly outstanding examples here. Choose between spring, when the rhododendrons burst into life, or high summer, when the hydrangeas run riot.

Day 1 We depart from our

We start at Lanhydrock, rich in flowering shrubs and trees, before visiting Bosvigo with its bold and imaginative planting, and then Trelissick, a modern garden which is constantly evolving. On our middle day, we offer the opportunity to fly to the Scilly Isles and spend a day at the sub-tropical paradise of Tresco’s Abbey Garden. Our final three garden visits are the wild and colorful garden of Trebah, the Italianate style of Lamorran and the private garden of Marsh Villa, a labor of love that has paid off handsomely.

pick-up points and make our way to Lanhydrock Gardens, which feature a formal courtyard garden and a woodland garden, rich in flowering shrubs and trees. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We travel to Bosvigo,

whose borders explode with dahlias, roses and nasturtiums. In the afternoon we visit Trelissick, a modern garden which was created within shelter belts planted 200 years ago. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 Today you have the

What’s Included Four nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast at the 4-star Alverton Hotel, Truro

option of relaxing in the hotel or joining our optional excursion to Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, where we visit the unique Abbey Gardens,

home to more than 3,000 species and magnificent vistas, colors and scents. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We depart for a

visit to Trebah, a wild and colorful Cornish garden with something for everyone. In the afternoon we visit the garden of Lamorran House, which was designed by the owner in an Italianate style, although there are also Japanese influences here. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We depart for a visit

to Marsh Villa, whose three-acre garden is the result of years of hard work by the enthusiastic owner, before we return to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

10 April & 12 June 2020

Price 5 days from

$1345

Single room supplement

$420

per person Tresco

33 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Tresco’s Abbey Gardens Abbey Gardens

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ruly a sub-tropical paradise, this tiny corner of England has remained unpolluted, unspoilt and unchanged for decades. Tresco lies just 28 miles from the Cornish coast yet basks in a balmy climate where spring comes early, autumn stays late and winter hardly exists at all. The wonderful Abbey Garden is home to more than 3,000 species and magnificent vistas, colors and scents. There is certainly no other garden like this in the world. Even in winter there are 300 plants in flower in the Abbey Garden and as each day lengthens, more and more exotic flowers appear. In the spring you will see flowers here that are weeks ahead of those on the mainland. Autumn, too, is a wonderful time to visit, when the beautiful golden, reds and ambers of the seasonal foliage put on a stunning display.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the New Inn, Tresco Return flight from Land’s End to St Mary’s (Exeter or Newquay flights available at a supplement)

Itinerary Day 1 Taking the strain

out of the long drive to Penzance, we have arranged train transportation from London Paddington. Upon arrival, we transfer to Land’s End in time for our flight to the Scillies. On St Mary’s, we take a short boat transfer to Tresco. We will enjoy a welcome talk this evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2-3 We enjoy a guided

walk around the magnificent Abbey Garden with the head gardener or a member of staff. We are then free to explore Tresco at leisure the ancient castles, beautiful beaches and headland walks, or we can simply relax

in the resident’s lounge. Visiting other islands can easily be arranged - Bryher, St Martins, St Agnes and St Mary’s are nearby, all of which easily connect with each other. Regular boat trips are available to see the sea birds and seals of the western rocks. Time spent here is sure to leave you feeling renewed and revitalized. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 A morning boat will

take us to St Mary’s for our flight to Land’s End. We will be transferred to Penzance for our afternoon train back to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Return train fare London Paddington/Penzance and boat transfers between St Mary’s and Tresco Entry to Tresco’s Abbey Gardens with guided walks (subject to minimum numbers)

Departures

27 March, 17 April, 18 May, 14 September & 5 October 2020 Apr/Sept supplement $150pp May supplement $195pp

Price 4 days from

$1495

Single room supplement from

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$315

Lulu, Abbey Gardens

34


Gardens of Devon RHS Garden Rosemoor

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he lush green pastures and dramatic moors of Devon provide the attractive backdrop to our tour of gardens, both large and small – some famous, others privately owned and those less well-known. We begin at the gardens of Hestercombe, a unique combination of three centuries of gardening. Of course we could not come to Devon without visiting RHS Garden Rosemoor, which is world-renowned for its roses. Nearby are the wonderful private gardens of Marwood Hill, with an impressive collection of plants. We travel down to Killerton, with its countless trees and sparkling rock garden, and further still to The Garden House, a romantic and richly-planted garden. The small private garden of Holbrook and the great Gothic Revival house and gardens of Knightshayes Court round off a richly endowed tour.

Itinerary Day 1 We depart for

Hestercombe, one of Jekyll and Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. Everywhere there are details of design and planting from which any gardener can learn. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We begin today with a visit to Killerton, where a masterly rock garden sparkles with hellebores, hostas and geraniums. We then travel deep into south Devon to visit The Garden House, where Lionel Fortescue built a romantic garden around decaying 16th century ruins. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Best Western Tiverton Hotel, Tiverton All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Day 3 We have a real treat

with a guided tour of the Royal Horticultural Society’s great treasure of Rosemoor,

in the heart of rural Devon. There are two gardens here, the first an intimate woodland garden dating from the 1960s, while the other is a more ambitious affair. Later we visit the large private garden of Marwood Hill, set around three lakes with marvelous views. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We travel to nearby

Holbrook Gardens, an evolving tapestry of planting with experimental naturalistic plantings creating differing habitats. Our final visit is to Knightshayes Court - one of the finest examples anywhere of the Gothic Revival country house, with an impressive Victorian kitchen garden. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

16 June & 18 August 2020

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

per person

$160

Hestercombe

35 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Downton Abbey and the Stately Homes of England

Highclere Castle

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he hit TV drama “Downton Abbey” transfers to the big screen in September 2019 and is certain to be hugely popular among fans of the ongoing saga, featuring the lives and loves of Lord Grantham, his family and their servants. The principal film location for “Downton Abbey” is Highclere Castle in Berkshire, which itself has become one of the most popular destinations in the country. We are delighted to have secured exclusive access to the castle, where we will see many of the state rooms and bedrooms that feature in the show, as well as the fascinating Egyptian Exhibition that tells the story of the Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter’s thrilling archaeological discoveries. Complementing this are visits to some of the outstanding stately homes and picturesque villages in the surrounding area, many of which have themselves featured as film and TV locations. These include Basildon Park (“Pride and Prejudice”), Lacock village (“Cranford”) and Blenheim Palace (“Spectre”). There are also further “Downton” connections at Bampton, used for many outdoor scenes, and Waddesdon Manor, an opulent Rothschild mansion that doubled as ‘Haxby Park’.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Oxford Witney Hotel, Witney

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Lacock village

Departures

12 July, 16 August & 5 September 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Price 4 days from

$1045

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

36

$295

per person


Itinerary Day 1 We depart by coach from London for the charming

village of Bampton in Oxfordshire, used for filming the outdoor scenes in Downton Abbey. Here we will find the old Grammar School building (exterior view only), which served as ‘Downton’ hospital, and St Mary’s Church, which also featured heavily in the series, including in the dramatic episode where Lady Edith was jilted at the altar. We continue to our comfortable accommodation in Witney. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Blenheim Palace

statuary and architectural fragments. Steep flights of steps link the terraces with pools, fountains, loggias, colonnades, urns, and figures. Later we visit the historic city of Bath, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring many of the finest architectural sights in Europe. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Today we depart for Blenheim Palace, one of the Basildon Park

Day 2 We depart for Basildon Park near Reading, an

18th century Palladian mansion, which was purchased by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the 1950s. With extraordinary vision, the Iliffes brought Basildon Park back to life, acquiring a collection of fine furnishings and carefully selected Old Masters. The house featured as ‘Netherfield Park’ in the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice”. In the afternoon we transfer to Highclere Castle, which will be instantly recognisable to all as the fictional Downton Abbey. Upon arrival, we tour the main state rooms and castle bedrooms, as featured in the TV series and film. Also included is a tour of the Egyptian Exhibition, which tells the story and contains antiquities from the tombs that were discovered in Egypt by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter.

great stately homes of England and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Stunning portraits, tapestries and an exquisite collection of furniture grace the palace interior, set against a magnificent backdrop of ornate ceilings and striking stone work. Blenheim has featured as a location in several films including the James Bond movie “Spectre” and “Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix”. We conclude at Waddesdon Manor, which featured as the exterior of the fictional ‘Haxby Park’ in the second series of “Downton Abbey”. The house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French château between 1874 and 1885 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild as a weekend residence for grand entertaining, and to display his outstanding collection of arts to the fashionable world. We then continue to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner. Lacock Abbey

Day 3 Today we depart

for the picturesque village of Lacock, with its lime-washed, half-timbered stone houses dating from the 13th century. The village has been the setting of many a television and film production, including “Pride and Prejudice”, “Cranford” and “Wolfman”. We will also visit Lacock Abbey, which sits at the heart of the village. It was founded in 1232 and converted into a country house around 1540. In the afternoon, we visit the gardens of lford Manor, near Bradford-on-Avon. This romantic award-winning Italian garden, designed by Harold Peto, contains a formal garden on old terraces embellished with his collection of classical

River Avon in Bath

37 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Gardens of Jersey Mont Orgueil

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ituated within touching distance of France, the island of Jersey is blessed with wonderfully mild and sunny weather, making it the perfect destination for an early summer vacation. It is also home to some splendid gardens which make the most of this favourable climate to produce stunning displays, not to mention the profusion of wildflowers that thrive in the lush green meadows. Creux Baillot Cottage Garden is set in a tranquil valley and packed full of unusual plants and elegant features. We will also have a look for some of the rare wild orchids to be found in the meadows around here, in particular Le Noir Pré, where species such as the rare Jersey wild orchid, the spotted orchid and the southern marsh orchid can usually be found. At the Domain des Vaux, fine trees and shrubs are set around a traditional Jersey farmhouse and at Les Aix we find nut and camellia trees, and borders with old English roses. We also visit the excellent Samarès Botanical Gardens and the Eric Young Orchid Foundation, and we have a day set aside to explore the many attractions of Jersey such as the War Tunnels and Mount Orgueil Castle.

Departures

What’s Included Four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Pomme d’Or Hotel, St Helier Return flights from London Gatwick to Jersey

Sea thrift

18 June & 1 September 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Price 5 days from

$1795

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

38

$330

per person


Itinerary Day 1 We fly from London Gatwick to Jersey. On arrival, we will be met by our coach and transfer to our comfortable accommodation. Our local guide will host a pre-dinner welcome meeting to introduce us to the island. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We visit three private gardens today, beginning at

Domain des Vaux. The gardens and woodland are set around a traditional Jersey farmhouse. There are magnificent specimens of magnolias and camellias as well as a kitchen garden and formal herb garden here. Les Aix is built around a traditional granite house, with an orchard, nut and camellia trees, a yew and bush maze, and borders with old English roses. At Creux Baillot we will meet the enthusiastic owner of this, one of the most established gardens on the island that contains many rare and unusual plants. A large bog garden contains water loving irises while other drier areas include species from Central America. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Samarès Rose Garden

Day 4 This morning we visit the privately-owned

Creux Baillot

Day 3 Today is free to explore the many attractions that

Jersey has to offer or perhaps take a day trip to Guernsey or St Malo in France (passport required). Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Samarès Botanical Garden, a development of gardens created in the 1920s by Sir James Knott. The gardens are extensive, tranquil and diverse in style and include a renowned herb garden and Japanese garden with all the plants clearly labelled. After some free time in Gorey we move on to the Eric Young Orchid Foundation, which has an outstanding collection of orchids and has won gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show. We round off the day at Ransoms Garden Center, where we enjoy a cream tea and have a chance to pick up some souvenirs. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, cream tea & dinner.

Samarès Botanical Garden

Day 5 Today we transfer to the airport in time to check in for our return flights to London Gatwick. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

St Brelade’s Bay

39 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Walmer Castle and the Cinque Ports Walmer Castle Gardens

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he historic pleasure gardens at Walmer Castle in Kent have been dramatically brought back to life thanks to a £2.3m restoration project funded by English Heritage, and they form the centerpiece of this new tour which also visits the ‘Cinque Ports’ of Hastings, Sandwich, Hythe, Dover, and Romney. We begin at the quintessential English garden of Pashley Manor on the Kent/Sussex border and continue to Hastings to see the ruins of William the Conqueror’s castle. We visit the Salutation Garden near Sandwich and explore this, one of the best preserved medieval towns in the UK, before moving on to Walmer. A trip on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway ticks off the third and fourth of our historic ports, and is shortly followed by the fifth as we tour Dover Castle, one of the most impressive of all English fortresses, which has witnessed centuries of history unfold before it. A visit to Smallhythe Place, actress Helen Terry’s 16th century cottage and rose garden, rounds of our journey through the Garden of England and the Cinque Ports.

Departures

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Clifton Hotel, Folkestone

Grounds of Walmer Castle

9 June & 15 September 2020 Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

40

per person

$135


Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our pick-up points and head

for Pashley Manor, an award-winning, quintessential English garden on the Kent/Sussex border, which offers a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees, along with fountains, springs and large ponds. We continue to Hastings, where we see the ruins of Hastings Castle, the remains of a stone fortress built after William the Conqueror’s coronation in 1066. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning we depart for the Salutation Gardens

in Sandwich. The original mansion and its gardens were designed in 1912 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, dividing the three-point-seven acres grounds into a series of rooms, each with its own unifying theme. We continue to the nearby town of Sandwich, which has one of the best preserved medieval centers in England. Later we visit Walmer Castle, which was originally built as a Tudor fortress but evolved into a stately home for the Lords Warden of the Cinque Ports, and became the residence of famous names from the Duke of Wellington to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Our main focus is on the gardens, which have been rejuvenated thanks to a £2.3m restoration project. Begun by William Pitt the Younger in 1802, over the years parts fell into decay. The last major addition was in 1997, when Penelope Hobhouse made a new garden to celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the then Lord Warden. Over the course of our guided tour we will see how dilapidated areas of the garden have been brought back to life and view the new features that have been added to make this a very modern garden experience. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 Today we begin at Dungeness, the starting point for

a ride on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. Trains are hauled by beautiful 15-inch gauge steam engines which are perfect replicas of their standard gauge cousins. Our route takes us through Romney, one of the original Cinque Ports until its harbor silted up and it was replaced by Rye. Our journey ends at Hythe, which retains its status as one of the Cinque Ports. We continue to the Pines Garden,

Dover Castle

near Dover, which has many fine features including a cascade and adjoining lake, a grass labyrinth and organic kitchen garden. In the afternoon we visit Dover Castle. The castle’s position commands the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent, which has given it immense strategic importance. King Henry II began the building of the present castle in the 1180s, and over the next 800 years its buildings and defenses were adapted to meet the changing demands of weapons and warfare. We shall enter the rooms of the Great Tower and discover the fascinating underground wartime tunnels along with a guided tour of the underground hospital. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Our last visit is to Smallhythe Place, near Tenterden. The half-timbered house, built in the early 16th century when Smallhythe was a thriving shipbuilding yard, was the home of the Victorian actress Ellen Terry from 1899 to 1928, and contains her fascinating theatrical collection. The cottage grounds include her rose garden, orchard, nuttery and the working Barn Theater. We return to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Smallhythe Place © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

41 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Queen Victoria and the Isle of Wight Osborne House and Gardens

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scending to the throne at just 18, Queen Victoria reigned over an empire – the likes of which will never be seen again. This new tour takes us to locations that played an important part in her life as well as offering the opportunity to visit some of the outstanding attractions on the Isle of Wight. The centerpiece must be Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s favorite home, with its beautiful gardens and extravagant Wendy house where the royal children played so happily. Elsewhere on the island we visit Carisbrooke Castle, Godshill and Shanklin Old Village with their picturesque thatched cottages, and the Rosemary Vineyard, one of the biggest producers of English wine. On the mainland, visits include Windsor Castle and Frogmore House (subject to successful application).

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast at the 3-star Best Western New Holmwood Hotel, Cowes

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from

our pick-up points and travel the short distance to Windsor Castle, the scene of countless royal occasions, most recently the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We continue by ferry to the Isle of Wight. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We travel to Osborne House & Gardens, which was Queen Victoria’s favorite home. We enjoy a guided tour of the gardens, and after lunch continue with a tour of the house. Later we visit the Swiss Cottage, in which Victoria’s nine children loved to play. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 We begin at

romantic Carisbrooke Castle and continue to the Rosemary Vineyard for a tour and tasting. We move on to Godshill, which boasts some of the oldest architecture on the Isle of Wight, and Shanklin, where we visit the world famous gorge. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Returning by ferry to

the mainland we continue to Windsor to explore Savill Garden, one of Britain’s greatest ornamental gardens. Our final visit takes us to Frogmore House before we return to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

One lunch All visits as outlined in the itinerary All coaching and ferry transfers Services of a professional tour manager

Departures 17 August 2020

Price 4 days from

$1045

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$265

Windsor Castle

42


New for 2020

Heritage of the Isle of Man Castle Rushen

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ituated between the coastlines of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, in the middle of the Irish Sea, the self-governing crown dependency of the Isle of Man is blessed with an extensive coastline, stunning natural landscapes and unspoilt beaches. We have brought together the outstanding attractions, including castles, villages, museums, and grand houses to create a comprehensive tour of this fascinating little island nation. Visits include Castle Rushen, former seat of the Kings and Lords of Mann; the Old House of Keys, which was once the center of 19th century political life on the Island; the Grove Museum of Victorian Life and the house and grounds of Milntown; The House of Manannan, which uses state of the art display techniques to take visitors on an exciting journey through the Isle of Man’s colorful history; and, of course, the iconic Laxey Wheel.

Itinerary Day 1 We fly from London to the Isle of Man and transfer to our hotel in Douglas. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We visit Castle

Rushen, an impressive fortress; the Old House of Keys, which was once the center of 19th century political life on the island; the Old Grammar School, which dates back to around 1200 AD; and the picturesque village of Cregneash, one of the last strongholds of the traditional customs. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

What’s Included

Day 3 We enjoy a trip on

Four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Ascot Hotel, Douglas Return flights between London and the Isle of Man All visits as outlined in the itinerary

the Manx Electric Railway and visit the Grove Museum of Victorian Life. In the afternoon we transfer to nearby Milntown, a former

family home that was left in trust to the public by the last owner. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Our tour of the island continues as we visit Peel Castle, which was the fort of Magnus Barefoot; The House of Manannan, which uses state of the art display techniques; and Tynwald Hill, which plays host to the island’s parliament once a year. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 Our final visit is to the

iconic Laxey Wheel, built in 1854 to pump water to the Great Laxey Mines complex. We then return to Douglas for some free time before we transfer to the airport. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

Price

August supplement $45pp

5 days from

2 May & 5 August 2020

$1345

Single room supplement

$265

per person Laxey Wheel

43 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Steam in the Lake District Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

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he haunting, evocative sound of steam whistles still echo round the hills and dales of the English Lake District. The little trains of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway provide perhaps the most scenic experience as they chug up into the hills, with more than a hint of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ in the characterful engines and their colorful carriages. Lake Windermere provides a whole day of steam-related activity with a visit to the steamboat museum, followed by a cruise aboard one of the lake ‘steamers’ and a ride on the standard gauge Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, which offers an authentic taste of British Railways in the days of steam. Another boat trip awaits at Coniston as we board the elegant steam-powered yacht ‘Gondola’, which ferries us effortlessly across the water to historic Brantwood House. We also call in at Carnforth Station, used as the location for the classic film “Brief Encounter”, and visit the fascinating Anderton Boat Lift, a marvel of Victorian engineering, where we enjoy another relaxing boat trip that takes us back to the golden age of travel.

Departures

15 May, 19 June & 11 September 2020

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Crooklands Hotel, Kendal

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Price 4 days from

$895

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

44

per person

$135


Itinerary Day 1 Depart by coach from our pick-up points and head

for our first visit – the Carnforth Station Heritage Center, where the original LMS station has been restored to its 1940s glory. The station was used as the location for David Lean’s 1945 film “Brief Encounter” and there is an exhibition on the film, a small museum and a tea room which has been faithfully restored to resemble the film set where Laura and Alec first meet. Inc. Meals: Dinner only. Brantwood, John Ruskin’s home

Bowness, Lake Windermere

Day 2 We transfer to the Windermere Jetty, a spectacular

new museum that showcases the sights, smells and sounds of life on the lake. Steam launches, sailing yachts, motor boats, and record-breaking speed boats are exhibited in the boathouse, on the water, and in exhibition galleries, while at the live conservation workshop we can see the collection of historic boats as they are painstakingly restored. In the afternoon we board one of the characterful lake ‘steamers’ for a cruise from Bowness to Lakeside, enjoying the views from this, the largest lake in England. On arrival at the Lakeside terminus we board a train of BR Mark I coaches in 1950s livery for a trip on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, a short section of preserved railway line, operated by steam engines whenever possible, which provides some gentle nostalgia.

route takes us through woodland and up into the hills, passing through a sequence of little stations to the terminus at Dalegarth where the locomotive is turned. If there’s a hint of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ about this delightful railway it’s no coincidence – author Rev W Awdry wrote a couple of stories in the series based on his experiences here. This afternoon we take to the water once again, this time on Coniston. We board the elegant Victorian steam launch “Gondola”, an excellent way to enjoy the breath-taking scenery on our way to the house & gardens at Brantwood. Home of the late John Ruskin, Brantwood House was largely conceived as a “living laboratory” for social and environmental issues. The “Hortus Inclusus” – a medieval-style garden, which contains an extensive collection of British native herbs.  Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Today we begin our homeward journey, with time for one more visit en route. The magnificent Anderton Boat Lift is a 19th century equivalent of the Falkirk Wheel in that it provides a vertical link between two waterways. Our visit includes a boat trip along the Weaver Navigation as well as an ascent (or descent, depending on the time of the trip) on the lift itself. We then continue to our original departure points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 After breakfast this

morning we travel round the Cumbrian coast to Ravenglass, the starting point for our journey on a narrow-gauge railway that was originally built in 1875 to transport iron ore from mines around Boot down to the main line. Closure was threatened, but locals and railway enthusiasts formed the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society to save the line and it continues to run using 1/3 scale models of mainline steam and diesel locomotives. The scenic

Anderton Boat Lift

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New for 2020

Summer Gardens of the Peak District The Peak District

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he Peak District, with its impressive limestone-scarred hills and its deep, wooded dales has a special atmosphere of its own. We will enjoy an ever-changing backdrop as we tour a sequence of gardens both large and small, at a time of year when the trees and plants are at the peak of their growing season. We start at Biddulph Grange, a Victorian gem which takes the visitor on a botanical world tour. A lovely drive through the heart of the Peak District takes us to Haddon Hall, whose ancient walls are covered with climbing roses, before we visit nearby Chatsworth House with its classical parkland and opulent interiors. After a visit to a delightfully old-fashioned cottage garden we drive up into the high peaks of the National Park and, on our final day, we conclude with a visit to the tranquil woodland garden of Hare Hall.

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Best Western Plus Pinewood on Wilmslow Hotel, Cheshire All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Itinerary Day 1 We depart by

coach for our first visit – to the gardens of Biddulph Grange, a rare and exciting survival of a Victorian garden with tunnels and pathways leading the visitor on a miniature tour of the world. We continue to our hotel in Cheshire. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we travel to

Haddon Hall, an intensely romantic and hugely historic house set in hilly wooded countryside. The gardens still have some of their 17th century character, particularly on the upper level where there is a fine knot garden. Later we visit nearby Chatsworth House, one of the finest stately homes in England, set in gardens and parkland

designed by Joseph Repton and ‘Capability’ Brown. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We start the day

at the private garden of Gamesley Fold, a charming, old-fashioned cottage garden. From here we set out on a scenic tour of the Peak District National Park, featuring natural rock formations and high peaks, panoramic views and picturesque villages. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 A short transfer

takes us to our final visit, Hare Hall, surrounded by parkland with a delightful walled garden at its heart. Thereafter we return to our original pick-up points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

12 June & 14 August 2020

Price 4 days from

$745

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

$180

Haddon Hall

46


New for 2020

Gardens and Wildfowers of the Burren Cliffs of Moher

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he Burren, from the Irish bhoireann - a stony place - lies in the northwestern corner of Co Clare. Over 300 square kilometers in extent, it is the largest area of karstic limestone in western Europe. At first glance it presents a bleak appearance, but closer examination reveals the beautiful diversity of flora for which the whole region has become justly famous. The colorful exuberance and profusion of the wild flowers is simply captivating and, subject to the prevailing conditions, we can expect to see many interesting different species as we explore it in the company of a local expert guide. We will also visit the Cliffs of Moher, perhaps Ireland’s most dramatically impressive natural attraction, and a selection of private gardens full of color and interest.

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from

London on a flight to Shannon Airport where on arrival we transfer to Foynes, where the award-winning Boyce’s Garden overlooks the Shannon. Nearby Knockpatrick is packed full of interest including many unusual varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons. Following our visit we cross the Shannon by ferry and continue to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We drive the short

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Old Ground Hotel, Ennis Return flights from London Gatwick to Shannon All visits as outlined in the itinerary

distance to the Cliffs of Moher, perhaps Ireland’s most dramatically impressive natural attraction. Next we drive into the beautiful valley of the River Caher, and visit a wonderfully varied

plantsman’s limestone garden. On our way back to the hotel we will briefly visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen, which is an impressive megalithic tomb. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We continue our

exploration of the Burren with a local expert guide. We can expect to see a good selection of plants typical of the area, with ‘textbook’ examples of flower-rich grasslands and associated limestone features. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 After breakfast we

transfer back to Shannon Airport in time for our return flights back to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

All coaching and ferry transfers Services of horticulturalist Trevor Edwards as tour manager

Departures 2 June 2020

Price 4 days from

$1495

Single room supplement

$180

per person The Burren

47 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


The Irish Rover Blarney Castle

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ust like the Van Morrison song, this Irish Rover is wrapped in glory – the glory of some of Ireland’s finest gardens. A feast of horticultural excellence awaits, with memorable and beguiling gardens, enthusiastic and skilful owners, and a backdrop of lush green hills, fertile fields and glittering seascapes. We begin in Northern Ireland at the dazzling and idiosyncratic garden of Mount Stewart, truly one of the great gardens of the world. We also visit romantic Rowallane and atmospheric Castle Ward. From here, we move onto Dublin, where we meet Helen Dillon – the doyenne of Irish gardeners – at her new private garden, to which we have privileged access. We also meet June Blake, a passionate plantswoman, who grows a unique mix of bamboos and ornamental grasses; her brother Jimi Blake at Hunting Brook, with its fusion of prairie and tropical planting; and Carmel Duignan at her Italianate villa. En route to the cultured city of Cork we call in at Mount Usher, a wild and informal garden with some rare and exceptional trees. There’s also the chance to tour the Blarney Castle & Gardens, home to the famous stone that bestows eloquence on all who kiss it...

Five dinners

Departures

14 May & 13 August 2020

What’s Included Seven nights’ bed & breakfast: two nights at the Dunadry Hotel, Co Antrim; three nights at the Hilton Hotel, Dublin; and two nights in Cork

Italian Garden, Ilnacullin

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of horticulturalist Trevor Edwards as tour manager

Price 8 days from

$2245

Single room supplement

Return flights from London Gatwick to Belfast, returning from Cork

per person

$735

May supplement $75pp

www.brightwaterholidays.com

48


Itinerary Day 1 We depart from London Gatwick on a flight to Belfast and upon arrival we visit Mount Stewart, the dazzling and idiosyncratic gardens that bask in the micro-climate of low rainfall and humid coastal air that exists here. After our visit we travel to our comfortable hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we tour Rowallane Garden, where a tunnel

of conifers gives way to a glorious flower-filled spectacle. In the walled garden, mixed borders are packed with rare and venerable plants, and a naturalistic rock garden alive with azaleas and daphnes is also a delight. Later, we move on to the southern tip of Strangford Lough, where Castle Ward sits in a wooded valley boasting amazing views and Victorian gardens dotted with exotic blooms. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner. Mount Usher Gardens

the famous Powerscourt Gardens, with a charming walled garden, striking terraces, fine statuary and varied trees linked by carefully designed walks, all set in the magnificent surroundings of the Wicklow mountains. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 Heading south, we stop en route at Mount Usher, a lovely informal garden that dates back to 1850. We travel through the counties of Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford, and arrive at our hotel in Cork. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 Today we travel to Bantry Bay and take the ferry to

Ilnacullin, a breathtaking intermingling of formal and wild in a spectacularly photogenic setting. In the afternoon, we visit Blarney Castle and Gardens. As well as being home to the famous stone, it is surrounded by 60 acres of parkland, gardens, arboreta, avenues, and waterways.

Castle Ward

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 This morning, we check out of our hotel and travel

Day 8 After breakfast, we travel to Cork Airport in time to

south into the Republic of Ireland, calling in at Malahide Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating fortresses, on the way. The interior is lavishly furnished and the adjoining ornamental gardens cover 22 acres. Lord Milo Talbot created this oasis, best described as a small botanic garden, with more than 5,000 species of plant represented. We later transfer to our hotel in Dublin.

check in for our return flight back to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 The private garden of Carmel Duignan – a writer and former TV producer – is our first visit today. The blend of old and new, color, shape and texture is mesmerizing. Next, we have an exclusive invitation to the private garden of Dublin gardener Helen Dillon, which has featured on Gardeners’ World. Before we return to our hotel, we visit the Italianate villa of Corke Lodge, built in the 1820s. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 5 Hunting Brook is our first visit today. It has

contemporary borders and tropical planting, and is home to Ireland’s largest collection of ornamental grasses. From here we visit June Blake’s Garden and Nursery, and then Malahide Castle

49 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Gardens of Distinction Blenheim Palace

S

ome very distinguished gardens feature in this tour of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, not to mention some very stately homes, including Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon Manor. It is on the Waddesdon Estate that we enjoy the exclusive highlight of our vacation, a guided tour of the private Rothschild walled garden at Eythrope, a working garden that provides produce for the Waddesdon estate. After our private tour we will transfer to Waddesdon Manor itself for lunch. Thereafter, we will have the afternoon to tour the house, a lavishly decorated fantasy pastiche of a Loire Château, and explore the gardens, with their elaborate bedding schemes and Rococo aviary. Elsewhere, we visit other gardens associated with distinguished politicians, such as the late Lord Carrington’s garden at The Manor House and Blenheim Palace, the seat of the Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The Savill Garden in Windsor, which has connections with the Royal Family, completes an aristocratic garden tour. Waddesdon Manor Gatehouse

Departures

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 4-star Oxford Witney Hotel, Witney One lunch

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

4 May, 9 June & 18 August 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Price 4 days from

$1045

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

50

$295

per person


Itinerary Day 1 We depart from London for our first visit, the Savill

Garden in Windsor, one of Britain’s greatest ornamental gardens, which never fails to charm visitors. Developed under the patronage of Kings and Queens, The Savill Garden was created in the 1930s by Sir Eric Savill and has evolved by incorporating many new plants over the years. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning we visit the walled garden at Eythrope,

part of the Waddesdon Estate. The garden is only ever open by special appointment and we will be privileged to enjoy a private guided tour of this productive garden, which supplies vegetables, fruit, herbs, and cut flowers for the Rothschild family as well as Waddesdon’s restaurants, hotel and artisan food market. Eythrope is legendary in the garden world for its excellence and as a haven for traditional techniques that might otherwise be lost. Following our tour we transfer to nearby Waddesdon Manor, where we will have lunch in the restaurant. Thereafter we will be free to tour the house with its opulently decorated rooms and the extensive gardens. To the south of the house are terraced gardens, which have been restored to their original Edwardian splendor with elaborate bedding schemes, featuring tens of thousands of bedding plants.

Savill Garden

from some of the leading horticultural leaders of the time including Lanning Roper, Sir Harold Hillier, Roy Lancaster, and Keith Rushforth. The result is an excellent garden and impressive arboretum that stands shoulder to shoulder with the finest in the country.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 After breakfast we depart for Blenheim Palace, one

Day 4 Today we visit the gardens at The Manor House,

of the great stately homes of England and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The park was landscaped by Capability Brown and the magnificent vista leading north across Vanbrugh’s bridge to the immense Column of Victory is said to be one of the finest views in England. Later we cross from Oxfordshire into Northamptonshire for a visit to Thenford Gardens and Arboretum. Michael and Anne Heseltine purchased Thenford House and its surrounding garden in 1976 and over the next 25 years their priority consisted in the restoration of 40 acres of woodland. To help with the replanting program, the Heseltines sought advice

which was built in the mid-17th century and was purchased at the end of the 18th century by the first Lord Carrington. Beyond the lawn is a wrought iron gate leading into a traditional walled garden, divided into four sections by two paths. Other highlights include a garden created in memory of Lady Carrington composed of her favorite flowers and shrubs; a small parterre presided over by a statue of St Peter that used to hang outside the office of Lord Carrington in Westminster and a sculpture garden. Following our visit we will return to our original pick-up points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Grand Bridge, Blenheim Palace

51 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Iceland Northern Lights The northern lights

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eeing the northern lights* is a bucket-list item for many of us, but the aurora borealis aside, Iceland offers a host of attractions, quite unlike anywhere else in the world. From geothermal dips to moonlit trips, this tour is a who’s who of oncein-a-lifetime experiences. It may be the focus of our tour, but the aurora borealis is only one of the many natural wonders present in Iceland. It’s unlikely you’ll find another country with such extensive otherworldly appeal: lunar-like and lava-formed landscapes, thunderous waterfalls, moody geysers and glistening glaciers — and those are just the geological bits! On our tour of Reykjavík, the world’s most northerly capital, it becomes clear that even Iceland’s man-made efforts have that same air to them — the cavernous and craggy Lutheran church of Hallgrímskirkja, seemingly more suited to a spot in Middle Earth than the North Atlantic; and the parliamentary buildings of Alþingi, thought to be the oldest parliament in the world. Bucket list at the ready... Gullfoss waterfall

What’s Included Four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast: two nights at the Stracta Hotel, Hella and two nights at the Grand Hotel Reykjavík

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

15 November 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

One lunch

Price 5 days from

$2755

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

52

$450

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Keflavik, we head towards the

Raufarholsellir Lava Tunnel. Here we enjoy a unique experience exploring the inner workings of a volcanic eruption before visiting the Urriðafoss Waterfall and Eyrarbakki Village. We then continue to Hella and our accommodation at the Stracta Hotel. Hella is situated in the south and is a particularly good area to see the northern lights, as there is little artificial light. You don’t have to go far this evening other than stepping outside of the hotel to see the northern lights if they are visible. Reykjavík

Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Reykjavík (The Northern Lights Center). This evening we drive via the UNESCO site of Þingvellir National Park, towards Laugarvatn Fontana, where we can bathe in the geothermal bath (towels are provided). Dinner will be served in a local restaurant before we go in search of the northern lights*.

Day 2 Following breakfast this morning we take a full-day

tour of south Iceland, which includes Skogafoss waterfall and a visit to Skogar Folk Museum, where we get a taste of how Icelanders lived in past centuries. We also enjoy a wonderfully unique experience where we walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall. On our journey we see some stunning views of glaciers and the famous black sand coastlines.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 Following breakfast we head towards the Reykjanes

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Peninsula, which lies on one of the world’s major plate boundaries, the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Here we have the opportunity to walk across the bridge between the continents, a small footbridge over a major fissure that provides clear evidence of a diverging plate margin between Europe and North America. We continue past Reykjanes Lighthouse towards the Gunnuhver Hot Springs, a highly active geothermal area of mud pools and steam vents and home to the biggest mud pool in Iceland. Nearby is the beautiful fishing town of Grindavik, where we will stop for lunch (not included). In the afternoon we will continue our journey back to Reykjavík, with stops at the Seltun geothermal area and Kleifarvatn Lake, the largest lake in the peninsula. We then return to the airport and catch our individual flights home or continue with independent travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only. *The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and therefore unpredictable. The order of the itinerary may be changed to accommodate the best viewing conditions but no guarantees of seeing the phenomenon can be given.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Day 3 This morning after breakfast we check out of the

hotel. We embark on a full-day tour, which includes the remote Skalholt church and Þingvellir National Park, where the tectonic plates of Europe and North America meet. This creates the stunning landscape we admire today, including the Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal Area, where we can see Strokkur erupt. Lunch is included today. We continue to Reykjavík where we check in to our hotel, the Grand Hotel Reykjavík. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 Following breakfast this morning we head into

the city center for a tour of Reykjavík. We begin at the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the capital’s landmark with its magnificent 73m high steeple. We move on to the Icelandic parliament ‘AlÞingi’ which was founded in AD 930 and is considered the oldest parliament in the world. Following lunch (not included) we visit the stunning Perlan with its 360 degrees viewing platform overlooking the city. We shall also have an introduction to the northern lights at the Aurora

Thingvellir National Park

53 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


The Faroe Islands Waterfall by the village of Gásadalur

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ust an hour’s flight away from Edinburgh, the Faroes tower out of the Atlantic half way between Shetland and Iceland. In these romantic and dramatic islands, home to just 50,000 people, the weather is as unpredictable and changeable as the scenery. The landscape is green but rugged with steeply sloping hills, long sea-lochs and some of the highest cliffs in Europe. The islands are a paradise for nature lovers, with numerous opportunities for bird-watching and botanizing. Our tour will give ample opportunity to see the best of these colorful islands, including an authentic and intimate dining experience. We are welcomed into the home of a local farming family, where we enjoy delicious homemade food and hear fascinating stories about life on a Faroese farm.

What’s Included Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star Hotel Føroyar, Tórshavn

Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Vágar, we enjoy a short sightseeing tour that includes sights such as the famous waterfall Múlafossur as well as the villages of Bøur and Gásadalur. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Enjoy a guided

walking tour of Tórshavn, a unique town from the Middle Ages. After lunch, we visit the National Museum before driving to Kirkjubøur to see St Magnus Cathedral and St Olavs Church. Next, we enjoy tea and cake at the 900-year-old Roykstovan, the oldest inhabited wooden house in Europe.

Four dinners and two lunches

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Day 3 Today is free

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager and local guides

Departures

2 July, 9 July & 10 September 2020

Price 5 days from

$2955

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

to explore Tórshavn. Alternatively, choose from

two optional excursions - a full-day tour to the Northern Islands or a half-day tour to Nolosy. This evening we have dinner in Velbastað with local farmers for a true Faroese experience. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Today we enjoy a

boat trip to the Vestmanna Cliffs. We continue to the northern part of Eysturoy, traveling through the village of Gjógv and Gøta to see the new church. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 We check out of our

hotel and visit the museum in Kálvalið and the church in Sandavágur. From here, we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or for independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

per person

$540

Tórshavn

54


Dutch Bulbfields Keukenhof Gardens

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njoy a symphony of color with the MS Beethoven and the beautiful bulbfields of Holland. For vibrancy, color and serious charm nothing quite compares to the sight of not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of flowering bulbs, carpeting the fields in a radiant vision of patterns and patchwork. Here gardening is not merely a pastime – it’s an art, a spectacular series of natural masterpieces. The star of the show must be Keukenhof, one of the biggest and best flower gardens in the world, with seven million bulbs and 800 varieties of tulip creating a kaleidoscope of color. We travel north of Amsterdam to see the windmills at Zaanse Schans and tour the museums here, which can help to give us a fascinating insight into the traditional Dutch way of life.

Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in

Amsterdam, we join our ship. Prior to dinner there will be a welcome cocktail reception with the crew. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We begin with a visit

to the Museum Van Loon, a magnificent canal-side private residence. This afternoon, we travel north to Zaanse Schans to see bulbfields and windmills and tour the various museums. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 This morning we have

What’s Included Four nights’ full board (including three lunches and wine or beer) on board the MS Beethoven in a main deck cabin. (Upgrades to middle and upper deck cabins available at a supplement)

a leisurely cruise to Utrecht. After lunch on board, we visit Keukenhof, one of the most famous gardens in the world.

Over seven million bulbs are planted annually, including tulips and daffodils. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 We have a leisurely

day on board our ship, as we cruise from Rotterdam to Antwerp. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 We disembark and

tour the historic center of Antwerp, with visits to the Rubens House and the 200-year-old Botanic Garden. Later, we disperse for our individual journeys back home or for independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

All visits as outlined in itinerary Services of a professional tour manager

Departures 21 April 2020

Price 5 days from

$1570

Single cabin supplement

$450

per person

MS Beethoven

55 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Gardens of the French Riviera: Menton Lemon Festival & International Rose Festival Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild’s gardens

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enton’s zesty Lemon Festival brings a vibrant burst of color to our tour of the French Riviera. Exotic gardens, cacti collections and azure seas complete our sparkling itinerary. With elegant gardens, dazzling azure skies and a stunning coastline, it isn’t surprising that a generation of artists was inspired by the French Riviera. Over a century on, it still has that same glamorous allure that was captured on canvas. Join us as we explore some of the finest gardens created for the rich and famous, notably the Rothschilds. At the Clos de Peyronnet we have an exclusive tour with the owner, whose passion for exotic plants is reflected in the color and variety of this fascinating garden. At St Jean Cap Ferrat we visit the exquisite gardens of the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, while a short hop over the border to Italy finds us at the incomparable Hanbury Gardens – arguably the greatest of all the Riviera gardens. We also visit the gardens of Villa Thuret at Cap d’Antibes, Serre de la Madone in Menton, the exotic cactus gardens of Monte Carlo and the tranquil private gardens of La Mouissone.

Departures

20 February 2020

What’s Included Five nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star Hotel Le Grimaldi in Nice

La Mortola

6 days from

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Three dinners and four lunches

$1945

Single room supplement

$445

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

7 May 2020 6 days from

$2245

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

56

$640

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Nice, we will enjoy lunch in a local

restaurant before visiting the historic garden of Serre de la Madone, created by American Lawrence Johnston, who traveled the world over a 30-year period seeking plants to acclimatize here among the ancient olives. A welcome drink and dinner at a local restaurant are included this evening. Inc. Meals: Lunch & dinner.

Day 2 Our first full day begins with a visit to the Fondation

Ephrussi de Rothschild at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. After lunch, we continue to Jardin Exotique d’Èze, located on the site of a medieval fortress high above the Gulf of St Tropez and home to caves and cascades, Mediterranean blooms and a host of succulents and xerophytes. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Menton Lemon Festival

Day 5 This morning we drive to Cap d’Antibes for a visit to

the Villa Thuret, where 3,000 plant species are grown over four acres of exotic jungle. We continue to the tranquil eight-acre olive grove and garden of La Mouissone to the east of Grasse, only recently opened to the public, where we enjoy a leisurely lunch. Later in the afternoon we continue to the attractive village of St Paul de Vence, which has served as a haven for writers and artists for years. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 We finish on a high at the Exotic Gardens of Monte

Carlo, a fascinating garden which specializes almost exclusively in succulent plants, making it a prickly paradise for cactus lovers. Thereafter, we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or for onward independent travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

View of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Day 3 Our day begins with a visit to the private garden of

Clos du Peyronnet, where we will enjoy a personal guided tour of this beautiful Arts & Crafts garden by the owner himself. We then move not only from the private sphere to the public, but from France to Italy, as we cross the border to the gardens of La Mortola, (also known as the Hanbury Gardens), where we have lunch. This is a truly global botanical garden, operated by the University of Genoa, presenting an eclectic, exotic selection of plants along with stunning views of the French Riviera.

In May we offer a similar tour to Nice, with a morning at the International Rose Festival in Grasse taking the place of the Lemon Festival. All the other garden visits are included though in a different order – please ask for a full itinerary or see our website for full details.

St Paul de Vence

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 When life gives

you lemons... enjoy it to its fullest! Today we spend a full day at the Lemon Festival in Menton, with enormous displays and jaw-dropping Rose Festival floats made with tonnes of brightly-hued citrus fruits. This joyous event will be taking place for the 87th time in February 2020. Our entry to the festival includes a grandstand seat for a perfect view of the afternoon parade. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

57 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


New for 2020

Arts and Gardens of the French Riviera Menton

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ith its seas of cobalt and turquoise, and its skies of azure and cerulean blue it is little wonder that the French Riviera has been the inspiration for countless works of art and a magnet for artists. Set in the lengthening shadows of a sun-soaked September, this new tour combines a spell-binding collection of art and architecture with a few of our favorite gardens, and promises to be a treat for the senses and a tonic for the soul. In Nice, we visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Masséna Museum, the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art and the museums featuring the work of two great French artists, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. In nearby Menton we visit the Villa E-1027, a remarkable modernist villa designed by Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray and the luxuriant and exotic gardens of Serre de la Madone and Clos du Peyronnet. We then drive up into the hills for visits to the villages of St Paul de Vence, where Chagall is buried; Grasse, whose cathedral is home to three paintings by Rubens, and the tranquil gardens of La Mouissone. Visits to two Picasso museums complete an illuminating tour.

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Departures

8 September 2020

What’s Included Five nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star Hotel Le Grimaldi in Nice

Musée des Beaux-Arts

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of horticulturalist Trevor Edwards as tour manager

Price 6 days from

$1980

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

58

$640

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Nice, we proceed to our first visit at

the Musée des Beaux-Arts. This fabulous museum houses a collection spanning four centuries, which includes works by the likes of Monet and Sisley. No meals included.

Day 2 Continuing in Nice today, we tour the museums

featuring the work of two great French artists, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall, both set in serene gardens in the Cimiez neighborhood, before calling in at the exquisite gardens of the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, surrounded by marvelous sea views. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Cathédrale de Notre-Dame-du-Puy

Day 5 The town of Vallauris is our destination today,

for a visit to the Picasso Museum, which is housed in an impressive medieval château. Picasso lived in Vallauris from 1948 until his death in 1955 and the building where he once rented a room later became a museum of ceramics as well as home to Picasso’s ‘War and Peace’ and works by Alberto Magnelli, a contemporary of Picasso. We continue to Antibes, which is also home to a Picasso Museum with a collection of around 245 works. Returning to Nice we visit the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, which focuses on art of the post-war era. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 Our final visit

Matisse Museum

Day 3 Today we transfer to Menton, where we visit the

Villa E-1027, a remarkable modernist villa designed by Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray in the twenties. We continue to the luxuriant and exotic garden of Serre de la Madone, created by American Lawrence Johnston, who was also responsible for Hidcote Manor in England. We round off today at the private garden of Clos du Peyronnet. Our access to this private garden, not to mention a personal guided tour by the owner, is a real highlight of our tour. The garden has an enviable position on the slopes above the bay of Garavan, close to the Italian border. Exotic flowers and foliage press in from all sides, giving the impression of a jungle only just kept at bay. On the eastern side of the garden is the specialist collection of rare bulbs with over 200 species.

takes us to the nearby Masséna Museum, which is surrounded by stately gardens and sits next to the famous Hotel Negresco. The eclectic collection includes personal memorabilia from the Napoleonic era, such as Josephine’s cape and tiara and Napoleon’s death mask. We then transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or for independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Picasso Museum, Antibes

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 4 After breakfast today we depart for the village

of St Paul de Vence, which has been a haven to writers and artists over the years, including Marc Chagall who is buried in the village cemetery. Within the narrow cobbled streets there are countless art galleries and studios, and the viewpoint at the south end of the village offers a memorable panorama. We continue to Grasse, synonymous with the perfume industry, and visit the Cathédrale de Notre-Damedu-Puy, where there are three paintings by Rubens. We conclude today at the tranquil garden of La Mouissone, set on a hillside below le Bois de la Marbrière, with superb views of the coast. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

St Paul de Vence

59 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


The Genius of Monet Monet’s Garden

J

ust as the gardens at Giverny inspired Monet, who spent half his life nurturing and enjoying them, they continue to enthral countless visitors more than 90 years after this legendary artist’s death. Giverny’s lovingly restored gardens offer a vivid impression of Monet’s favorite subjects. Japanese bridges are festooned with wisteria and draped fronds of willow frame his iconic water lilies. A visit here is a surreal experience — art brought to life right before your eyes, beckoning you in to take a closer look. With so much here to remind us of his breathtaking works, it is only right that we also visit Paris’ Orangerie Museum during our tour. The centerpiece here is Monet’s series of murals, Les Nymphéas — a moving testament to the genius of a painter at the height of his powers. Art and garden lovers rejoice!

What’s Included Three nights’ dinner (with wine), bed & breakfast at the Château de Montvillargenne, Chantilly Return standard class rail travel between London and Paris with Eurostar All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

Price

May supplement $60pp

4 days from

22 May & 24 July 2020

$1285

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

per person

Itinerary Day 1 We depart from

London by Eurostar and upon arrival in Paris are met by our comfortable coach. We travel to the charming town of Chantilly, in the heart of the Chantilly Forest where our hotel is set in its own wooded grounds. Later, join our party for a welcome glass of kir before dinner. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning, we

transfer to nearby Senlis, a market town typical of Picardy, where we can explore the shops or enjoy some pâtisserie. We continue to Château de Chantilly, one of the jewels in the crown of France’s cultural heritage, a magnificent edifice surrounded by water. Our visit includes the sumptuously decorated Grands Appartements, dating from the 17th-19th centuries, along with time to stroll around the extensive formal gardens, designed in part by André le Nôtre.

Day 3 The world-famous

house and gardens of Claude Monet await today. Following our visit, we enjoy free time in Giverny and can visit the church where Monet is buried. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We travel to Paris

to visit the Musée de l’Orangerie des Tuileries. The highlight of its collection is Monet’s twometer high murals entitled Les Nymphéas. Thereafter, there is time to sightsee at leisure before we catch our Eurostar train back to London. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

$315

Sunflowers, by Claude Monet

60


Palladian Villas of Veneto Vicenza

V

eneto is one of Italy’s wealthiest regions, reflected in the extravagance of its grand villas and their stunning gardens. Many of the villas we visit were designed by Andrea Palladio, one of the most influential individuals in the history of western architecture. Join us as we discover no fewer than five glorious villas on our tour. The first on our list is one of the most recognisable buildings of the Renaissance - the palladian masterpiece, Villa Rotonda. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was designed for elegant entertainment and is definitely one for art lovers as it is lavishly decorated with stucco and frescoes. A short walk along a leafy lane takes us to an outstanding architectural and artistic site, the Villa Valmarana. With members of the aristocratic Valmarana family giving us personal tours and hosting dinner, this is a unique experience.

Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in

Baroque gardens, followed by a visit to Le Paradis des Papillons, a wonderful garden which is a haven for butterflies and birds.

Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 2 We are joined by a

Day 4 After breakfast, we

Venice, we visit the grand gardens of the Villa Pisani before we transfer to our comfortable hotel.

local guide for a walking tour of Vicenza’s historic city center. We continue to Villa Rotonda, where we are given a personal guided tour by the aristocratic owner. From here, we visit the Villa Valmarana and enjoy a personally guided tour followed by dinner in a room adorned with Tiepolo’s frescoes. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

What’s Included Four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast in the 4-star Hotel Terme Orvieto, Abano Terme (or similar) All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Day 3 We start at the Villa Barbarigo, surrounded by an exceptional example of

explore the Villa Barbaro, with its secret garden behind the villa. In the evening we visit the lustrous Villa Godi Malinverni, where we have a gala dinner, hosted by the aristocratic owners. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We head for Padua

and visit the Orto Botanico (Botanic Garden) followed by the Scrovegni Chapel, with its exquisite frescoes by Giotto, before returning to the airport for our individual flights home. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Departures

15 September 2020

Price 5 days from

$1855

Single room supplement

$295

per person Villa Rotonda

61 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Rome, Ninfa and Castel Gandolfo Ninfa

O

pen by special arrangement, we are delighted to offer this rare opportunity to visit the ancient and beautiful gardens of Ninfa. Equally rare is the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the popes as we visit the gardens of Castel Gandolfo. The romantic flower-covered ruins at Ninfa, just to the south of Rome, are as close to gardening perfection as you can get. Scented roses, hydrangeas and jasmines curtain what remains of the walls of medieval buildings, and paths meander beside a crystal-clear river. The location of our hotel in the center of Rome allows free time to explore the Eternal City and we shall also visit Viterbo, a medieval walled town which in its heyday rivalled Rome itself.

Giardini di Ninfa

What’s Included Three nights’ bed and breakfast at a 4-star hotel in Rome Dinner and welcome drink on the first evening

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout

12 May, 9 June & 1 September 2020

Services of a professional tour manager

Price 4 days from

$1720

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

62

$585

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Rome, we have a short city tour. Rome

has a justified claim as one of the world’s greatest cities, combining the magnificence of the Renaissance with the vibrancy and excitement of a thriving city. The sights are many and varied, including the Coliseum, St Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Spanish steps and the Trevi Fountain. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Villa Lante

plants were collected and planting has continued ever since, giving Ninfa an entrancing beauty where flowers from all over the world thrive in glorious companionship. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 4 This morning following breakfast we will visit the Viterbo

Day 2 Following breakfast we depart for Viterbo, a medieval town that during the nineteenth century was something of a rival to Rome. As we will see on our guided tour, a number of grand palaces and a host of old churches are enclosed by an intact set of medieval walls. A short distance away, we visit the splendid gardens of Villa Lante, described as “one of Italy’s greatest Renaissance gardens”. The dominant theme is water, and in front of the palazzine is a central water parterre which is a classic example of late-Renaissance or mannerist style. The garden ascends in a series of four terraces, which feature the Fountain of Dolphins, the Fountain of the River Gods and finally the circular Candle Fountain that dominates the lower terrace.

last of our gardens – Villa d’Este in Tivoli, the 16th century gardens which are renowned for their use of water. The garden is romantically overgrown with tall pines, evergreen oaks and cedars. From the upper terrace the valley seems to be full of sparkling spray and the senses are confused by the continual sound of cascading water. You can amble along the Path of One Hundred Fountains, aptly named, to the remains of the miniature Rometta, constructed in 1568, to represent Rome and its seven hills washed at the foot by the River Tiber. In the afternoon, we will transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or for independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 3 Following breakfast this morning it is hoped that we

will visit the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, the traditional papal residence just outside Rome. The property has been in papal hands since 1596, though it wasn’t until the 17th century that popes began spending their summers in the healthy air of the Alban Hills. Holm oaks twist out of ancient masonry and leading on to the Giardino del Belvedere, formed by a series of rigidly geometric parterres, edged by towering cypresses, umbrella pines and gnarled cedars. In the afternoon we visit Ninfa. The gardens here are laid out in the ruins of the village of Ninfa, named after a mythical nymph whose tears shed for a lost lover are said to have become the cool stream, which runs through the center of the garden. The garden is deemed by many to be the most beautiful garden in Europe - if not the world. Burnt in 1382 and beset by malaria, the village of Ninfa was abandoned and lay deserted for hundreds of years. In 1922 the Duchess of Sermoneta and her son Prince Caetani began to lay out a romantic garden among the village ruins. At least 10,000

Villa d’Este

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Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes

Borromeo Palace on Isola Bella

T

he fabulous scenery and warming climate of the northern Italian lakes have attracted eager aristocrats and the wealthy for years. The beguiling beauty of this Mediterranean landscape of color shows no signs of waning with its scarlet camellias, pink oleanders and cerulean waters. Elegant villas and lush gardens complement the natural landscape of the northern Italian Lakes. We begin with a treat – visiting the private garden of the President of the Italian Camellia Society, home to a collection of over 500 plants. Nowhere captures the extravagant spirit of the lake-land gardens better than the three Borromean islands we visit: Bella, Pescatori and Madre. They feature sumptuous terraced gardens, flowered terraces, shaded woodland walks, and elegant statuary. Other highlights during our stay on Lake Maggiore include a fascinating specialist plant nursery, Villa Taranto, and the gardens of Villa Pallavicino, where animals from the villa’s own zoo roam the grounds. On our way to Lake Como, we pause for a private tour of the Villa Cicogna Mozzoni with its owner. Azaleas and rhododendrons put on a dazzling display at Villa Carlotta and then, the impeccably maintained and manicured garden of Villa Balbianello completes our tour.

Bellagio

Departures

11 May, 24 June & 21 September 2020

What’s Included Seven nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast: four nights at the 4-star Grand Majestic Hotel on Lake Maggiore and three nights at the 4-star Hotel Barchetta Excelsior on Lake Como

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of Kate Williamson as tour manager

Two lunches

www.brightwaterholidays.com

64

Price 8 days from

$2620

Single room supplement

$735

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Milan, we transfer to our hotel

where lunch will be served. Built in 1870, on the elegant west Piedmont shores of Lake Maggiore, the hotel is a fascinating example of Belle Époque architecture. Pallanza’s lakefront is one of the finest on Lake Maggiore – a walk along its promenade with the lake and the Borromean Islands on one side and colorful façades, porticoes, flowered balconies, terraces, and cafés on the other is a most agreeable experience. Enjoy a welcome drink before our evening meal. Inc. Meals: Lunch & dinner.

Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo

Day 6 Today is free to explore at leisure. Why not hop

on board one of the many ferries or hydrofoils that go to Bellagio, where you could visit the Villa Melzi d’Eril (entrance fee not included). Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 We spend an enchanting day on Lake Como and later,

in Tremezzo, we have time to enjoy the elegant 18th century Villa Carlotta. This afternoon we catch the ferry to the Villa Balbianello, which sits in a sylvan setting of pine, soaring cypress and oak, with pollarded plane trees, manicured lawns and flowerbeds.

Villa Balbianello

Day 2 We start at a leisurely pace with a visit to the gardens

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and transfer

of Villa Taranto, which flourish with rare botanical examples. In the afternoon we visit a wholesale nursery, Compagnia Del Lago, which offers an outstanding selection of plants that are available to mail order.

to Milan for our individual flights home or for independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 Discover the Borromean Islands today, starting with

a cruise from Stresa to Isola Bella to see the baroque palace built from the island’s rock and whose gardens were inspired by the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’. We continue to Isola Pescatori with its narrow cobbled streets and quaint harbor. Our final visit is to Isola Madre, where citrus fruits, crape myrtle, hibiscus, and agaves all flourish. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We tour the private Garden of the President of

the Italian Camellia Society, which since the 1950s has housed a remarkable collection of camellias and enjoy lunch here. Later we take a stroll in the idyllic grounds of the 18th century Villa Pallavicino, where zoo animals wander freely. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 Today we visit Villa Cicogna Mozzoni where we

will be privileged to have a guided tour with the owner. We continue to the town of Como and our lakeside hotel, which is only accessible on foot or by horse-drawn carts. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner. Isola Madre

65 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Gardens and Villas of Sicily

Isola Bella, Taormina

S

icily has become one of Europe’s best-loved destinations in recent years and it is truly an island of the senses. As soon as you step on to its warm and fertile shores you’ll understand why. Our eight-day tour takes in the best that the island has to offer, from the popular beach-side city of Taormina to the rugged landscapes of the Madonie Mountains. We begin on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano, as we visit an elegant garden which thrives on the fertile soil here and then ascend the mountain itself, observing the change from lush groves to stark, desert landscapes. In Taormina we visit a private garden, which boasts spectacular views across the bay before exploring the Greco-Roman remains of the city itself. Heading south we gain an exclusive insight into Sicilian gardening with the head gardener at Villasmundo and visit the private garden of a Sicilian aristocrat. A treat for the senses awaits at Gli Aroma Sicily as we discover an extensive selection of herbs and spices and we also enjoy lunch at a monastery high in the mountains. We conclude in Palermo, a melting-pot of architectural styles with both Norman and Arabic influences.

Three lunches

Departures

24 March & 21 April 2020

What’s Included Seven nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast: three nights in Giardini Naxos; two nights in Ragusa; two nights in Palermo

Palermo

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of horticulturalist Trevor Edwards in March and Colin Crosbie in April as tour manager and a local guide

Price 8 days from

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

$2395

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

66

$445

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Catania, we transfer to our hotel in

Giardini Naxos, where we settle in with a welcome drink. This is followed by an evening meal. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Following breakfast we visit Villa Trinità, an elegant

garden born from lava, which thrives on the slopes of Etna. Its design features both native and exotic species – picture gangly cacti peering above vibrant citrus trees. After lunch here we travel to the volcano proper in an afternoon excursion to Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. The landscape as we ascend is full of surprises: fertile groves, vineyards and chestnut woods suddenly give way to a desert-like zone of lava, juniper bushes and astralagus shrubs. We admire the marvelous scenes from the summit, along with the surreal Silvestri craters.

Monreale Cathedral, Palermo

varieties both native to Sicily and imported to the island by the garden’s passionate owners. Lunch here makes for today’s biggest highlight — a homemade feast prepared with an abundance of fresh herbs and devotion. This afternoon is free for us to enjoy Ragusa.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 Today we travel between the remote villages of

northern Sicily, pausing for an authentic lunch at a former Benedictine monastery. Later we visit Monreale, where we see its amazing cathedral and abbey, complete with 70,000 square feet of mosaics in gold leaf and colorful glass. This astounding display echoes the opulence of the Alhambra and is a sight not to be missed. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 7 We visit the local Botanical Gardens in Palermo this

morning. The public garden of Villa Giulia sits next door, its beautiful trees and flowers a lasting testament to the 18th century viceroy’s wife after whom it was named. We end our trip on a high, with a full guided tour of Palermo that features the impressive Norman Palace, an architectural gem encapsulating both Norman and Arabic influences. We enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

Greek Theater, Taormina

Day 3 Today we explore Taormina and its many highlights.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

We begin with a trip to the private garden of Casa Cuseni, which boasts spectacular views across the city and the sea. Created by Robert Kitson, a British painter of the early 20th century, its house and exuberant plantings demonstrate clear links with the Arts and Crafts movement. This afternoon we have a guided walking tour of old Taormina, featuring Greco-Roman ruins, winding streets and a host of medieval architecture. It’s easy to see why the town is Sicily’s most popular tourist destination.

Day 8 We transfer to Palermo for our individual flights home or continue on for further independent travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We check out of our hotel this morning, and pay a

visit to the Gardens of Princess Maria Carla Borghese, which were created out of barren ground almost 50 years ago. Evocative scents of jasmine and rose intermingle with the fragrance of a Roman-style stone pine avenue. We visit a nearby cactus nursery before heading south, stopping at the San Giuliano estate in Villasmundo, where the head gardener gives us an exclusive insight into Sicilian gardening. As part of our tour we observe the estate’s traditional Arabic irrigation channels, as well as the 15th century farmhouse’s distinctive “gardenette”. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We tour Gli Aromi Sicily this morning where we

discover an extensive collection of herbs and spices, with

Fontana del Genio, Villa Giulia

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Gardens and Architecture of Andalucia Plaza de España, Seville

A

ndalucia is unrivaled in Europe for its wealth of history, culture, Moorish architecture, and gardens, all set against the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We visit the gardens, which complement the adjoining palaces, and discover the wild mountain landscapes. Andalucia has a wonderful hinterland scattered with exotic palaces and gardens left behind by the Moors, the most famous of which are the Alhambra and the Generalife. It commands exceptional views towards the old city, the Albaicin and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. In Córdoba, we visit the Great Mosque and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, with its characteristic terraced pools. We discover Seville and all it has to offer, including the Old Jewish Quarter, Plaza de España and the Gardens of Murillo. We also get to enjoy a full day here to explore at our own pace. Opt to try the local tapas, attend a flamenco show, take a cruise along the Guadalquivir river, or simply relax – soaking up the culture and atmosphere. We conclude our tour in the dramatically situated town of Ronda, with visits to the Alameda del Tajo Gardens and the Palacio de Mondragon.

Three dinners, three lunches and welcome drink on the first evening

Departures

30 March, 11 May & 14 September 2020

What’s Included Seven nights’ bed and breakfast: three nights in Granada; three nights in Seville; one night in Ronda

Royal Palaces of the Alcázar

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager and local guides

Price 8 days from

$2005

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

68

$445

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Málaga, we transfer to our hotel. A welcome drink and dinner is served this evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning, following breakfast, we visit the

famous Alhambra Palace with its Generalife Gardens. The Alhambra has one of the most spectacular sites in the world. Alhambra means “red castle”, and the buildings are of a seductive pink stone, and were built in the 14th century. We will also visit the gardens of The Generalife, which was the summer palace of the Sultans of Granada in the 14th century. In the afternoon, after lunch in a local restaurant, your guide will accompany you as you wander through the medieval streets of the Albaicín, glimpsing several “Carmens”, the enclosed gardens typical of the Moorish era of Granada, many of which were maintained following the return of the Christian population.

Alhambra Palace, Granada

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 6 Today, we get to enjoy some free time in Seville. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 7 We head to Ronda,

a spectacular town rising dramatically amid a ring of dark, angular mountains set above the gorges of the River Tajo. We will see the Alameda del Tajo Gardens set on the edge of the spectacular gorge and offering fantastic views. Next we visit the Palacio de Mondragon, whose Moorish courtyards and gardens evoke memories of kings and governors who called Ronda home. After lunch, enjoy free time to explore the town before we continue to our hotel.

Palacio de Mondragon, Ronda

Day 3 We have a full-day excursion to the Alpujarra and

Sierra Nevada region, visiting some of the local villages and enjoying the mountain scenery.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 4 After breakfast we depart for Córdoba, where we

The Great Mosque, Córdoba

Day 8 This morning after

visit the Great Mosque. On entering, you are struck by the vast number of pillars supporting the arches with their distinctive red and white tiles. Later, we have some free time before continuing to our comfortable hotel in Seville.

breakfast, we will transfer to Málaga airport for our individual flights home or can continue on with independent travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We devote our entire day to Seville. We visit the

Maria-Luisa Park and the Plaza de España, one of the most impressive public squares in Spain. Later we continue to the Gardens of Murillo and Seville’s majestic cathedral. This afternoon, we see Seville’s Orange Tree Courtyard and the gardens of the Royal Palaces of Alcázar. The Alcázar is a magnificent palace which mixes Christian and Moorish styles. The patios, salons and ceilings in particular are sublimely ornate. The beautiful gardens span several eras and include an “English Garden” unlike any garden in this country, as the trees and plants are much larger! Inc. Meals: Breakfast only. Seville

69 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


Gardens of Mallorca

La Seu Cathedral and gardens

A

way from the busy beach resorts, the Balearic island of Mallorca offers a timeless, verdant landscape of wooded hills and orange groves, sweeping bays and rocky mountains. Dotted around the island are a host of historic gardens whose origins date back hundreds of years, as well as more modern creations, providing a rich range of horticultural delights to be enjoyed in the warm spring sunshine. These include the gardens at Raixa and Alfaiba, both with Moorish origins and later Christian influences; Son Marroig, a former residence of Archduke Luis Salvador with dramatic views; and the contemporary hilltop garden of Sa Torre Cega on the eastern tip of the island, designed by Russell Page. Elsewhere, we visit the monastery of Real Cartuja de Valldemosa, with its peerless location high in the mountains; tour the island’s principal city of Palma with its Gothic cathedral and Arab baths; observe the flora and fauna of the Albufera Nature Reserve; and take an exhilarating ride on the Tren de Soller, a heritage train that runs through spectacular mountain scenery.

Departures

What’s Included Five nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3-star Hotel Helios, Ca’n Pastilla

Carthusian Monastery of Valldemosa

22 March 2020 Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Four lunches

Price

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

6 days from

$1905

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

70

$490

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Palma, we transfer to our hotel where dinner will be served in the evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We start with a visit to the gardens of Raixa, once

part of a Moorish estate, but after the re-conquest of Mallorca it is now owned by the church. In the 18th century it gained its Italianate characteristics, bringing statuary from Italy and exotic plants from the New World. The garden is divided into seven terraces with parterres, pergolas, fountains, and loggias. After lunch at a local restaurant in Port Soller, we drive through the olive groves of the spectacular west coast and visit the garden of Son Marroig, arranged in a series of attractive terraces and presenting dramatic views of the rocky coastline. From here we transfer to Soller and take the delightful narrow-gauge train back to Palma along a stunning route of mountains, tunnels and bridges.

San Marroig

Day 5 Today we depart for a visit to the hilltop garden of

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Sa Torre Cega at Cala Ratjada on the eastern tip of the island. It was designed about 30 years ago by Russell Page as a beautiful and harmonious setting for works of art by international sculptors. Conifers, olives and all kinds of flowering shrubs, along with aloe, cacti and dragon trees, combine to form a dramatic backdrop for works by sculptors such as Henry Moore, Antony Caro, Auguste Rodin and Barbara Hepworth. After lunch in Cala Ratjada, we transfer to the Albufera Nature Reserve, the island’s major reserve of maritime marshlands, and the Formentor Woods.

Gardens of Raixa

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 This morning we visit the Jardínes de Alfaibia, set in

the Tramuntana Mountains and dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Its irrigation channels and shaded ‘rooms’ are typical of the Moorish style, created in such a way as to merge seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. There are contrasts throughout the lush, terraced gardens, with clipped avenues of low hedging and elsewhere, a veritable jungle of palms, bamboos and bulrushes. Bougainvilleacovered pergolas, flowers cascading over stone terraces and vistas of olive trees also enchant. After lunch we visit the monastery of Real Cartuja de Valldemosa. The monastery sports a distinctive, ornate green bell tower and the gardens still have a monastic air, with long pathways through bushes of clipped yew.

Black-winged stilt

Day 6 After breakfast, we

check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport for our individual flights home. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 We tour Palma today where visits include the

cathedral, the second tallest Gothic cathedral in Europe, and the former royal residence Palacio de la Almudaina. We will also see the Hort del Rei, the 10th century Arab Baths and the Castell de Belver, a fortified Gothic castle. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner. Cala Ratjada

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New for 2020

Grenada - Gardens of the Spice Island St. George harbor

L

ying at the southern end of the Lesser Antilles, the little island of Grenada offers a typical slice of Caribbean life, flavored with spice and full of color. With a lush, mountainous interior and a coastline fringed with silky-smooth beaches, it is home to some wonderful privately-owned gardens, which we have threaded together like a richly-flavored kebab of delicious horticultural morsels. Given that Grenada has just won its 15th gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, it’s reasonable to assume people here know a thing or two about gardening, and we can expect some real treats as we visit a host of gardens, accompanied by our tour manager, Trevor Edwards. Highlights include breakfast with the owner at Smithy’s Garden, a gentle walk among the botanical wonders of an historic plantation, and a tour and tasting at a rum distillery. We are based at the Blue Horizon Garden Resort, set back 300 yards from Grand Anse Beach, which provides accommodation in self-contained one-bedroom units offering both comfort and privacy. The grounds are extensive and merit a guided tour in their own right, as well as a bird-watching tour.

Two dinners, one lunch, one afternoon tea, and welcome and farewell drinks

Departures

2 May & 3 October 2020

What’s Included Seven nights’ bed & breakfast at the Blue Horizon Garden Resort

Prize-winning display

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of horticulturalist Trevor Edwards as tour manager and local guides

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

Price 8 days from

$3370

Single room supplement

per person

$685

May supplement $75pp

www.brightwaterholidays.com

72


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Grenada, we transfer to our hotel where we are served welcome drinks and dinner. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We ease ourselves into the tour with a gentle day

at the hotel, beginning with an introductory tour of the 6¼-acre manicured gardens. In the afternoon we explore the hotel grounds once again, this time on the lookout for some of the 27 species of birds that frequent the gardens, led by another enthusiastic member of staff. Binoculars are provided by the hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Annandale Waterfall

continue via the Annandale Waterfall, where the rock walls are covered in soft ferns, and the Grand Etang Rainforest, where, if we are lucky, we may see the mona monkey, which was brought to Grenada from Africa during the Slave Trade era. We conclude today with a visit to the Balthazar Estate, where we will see giant heliconia, musa, ginger, and many more tropical plants, and where we can learn about the introduction of nutmeg to the island in 1843, a key moment in Grenadian history. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 After breakfast we depart for Sunny Side Garden,

Trevor Edwards and local guide

Day 3 We begin our exploration of the island with a visit

to the private garden of Gemrose Eden, where we are welcomed and given a tour by the owner, whose enthusiasm for her plants is infectious. This small garden is steep but well landscaped with reasonably good paths and steps. We continue to the private garden of Hyde Park, again led round by the owner. The garden was laid out by the landscape designer Chris Baksh to optimise the wonderful views. After our tour we will enjoy a cooling drink on the veranda and take in those views. In the afternoon we visit the historic Tower Garden, a 100-year-old private home in well-established gardens nestled in the hills of St. Paul’s in the south-east of the island. Afternoon tea is included here. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & afternoon tea.

a breathtakingly beautiful garden, five acres in size, with koi ponds, an orchard and an excellent variety of palms, orchids, hibiscus, and bromeliads, many of which feature in Grenada’s award-winning RHS Chelsea displays. The afternoon finds us at Palm Tree Gardens, a botanical garden with two acres of flowering trees and plants of many varieties, not to mention some resident tortoises and turtles. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 7 Today is free to lounge by the pool or explore

independently. Alternatively, join our optional excursion – a full-day cruise aboard a traditionally-built wooden sloop of the type that used to trade up and down the Caribbean chain. In the evening, we enjoy drinks and a farewell dinner at our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 After breakfast we have free time for some last minute shopping before we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 4 Following breakfast, a full-day island tour awaits,

beginning at Mount Edgecombe, where we will follow a fascinating botanical trail through the grounds. A drive along roads that wind through the verdant hills of the interior takes us to Belmont Estate, where a delicious buffet lunch is served. In the afternoon, we visit the River Antoine Rum Distillery for a tour that explains the process of turning raw cane sugar into the iconic Caribbean spirit, followed by a tasting of the finished product. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 5 Returning to the garden trail this morning, we

begin with a relaxed and delicious Grenadian breakfast at Smithy’s Garden with the owner. We will then tour the gently sloping garden, which is noted for its wild and natural feel, and be entertained by the resident birds. We

Shampoo ginger

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Gardens of Costa Rica Arenal Volcano

C

osta Rica, Spanish for ‘rich coast’, is especially well-named if you consider the extraordinary wealth of plant, bird and animal life found within this small Central American country. The term ‘biodiversity’ might have been coined with Costa Rica in mind, such is the range and number of different species that flourish within its pristine, tropical forests. Add some truly spectacular scenery and resplendently laid-back, happy people to the mix, and you have the makings of a life-affirming holiday experience. We visit a broad range of gardens both public and private, such as the Else Kientzler Botanical Gardens with its world class collection of plants. In such a beautiful setting, we spend plenty of time taking in the spectacular natural features of the country. Lake Arenal is Costa Rica’s largest body of fresh water, and was enlarged to three times its original size when a hydro-electric dam was built here. We also seek sub-tropical wildlife in the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Red-eyed tree frog

Departures

What’s Included 11 nights’ bed and breakfast: three nights at the Bougainvillea Hotel, Heredia (or similar); two nights at La Quinta, Sarapiqui (or similar), two nights in the Arenal area, two nights in Monteverde, two nights in Manuel Antonia

2 February 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of Julia Corden of the Explorers’ Garden as tour manager and a local guide

12 days from

$4945

Single room supplement

Eight dinners and ten lunches

www.brightwaterholidays.com

Price

74

per person

$1440


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in San José, we transfer to our hotel where dinner will be waiting for us. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 After breakfast, we visit the Else Kientzler Botanical Garden. This private garden houses over 2,000 plants from all around the globe. After lunch, we tour a private garden, which features hibiscus, helicons, succulents, and bromeliads, among other species of plant. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 We make our way to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and spend time at the world’s largest butterfly garden.

National Park of Manuel Antonio

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 7 After breakfast we take a boat trip on Lake Arenal,

Costa Rica’s largest body of fresh water. We then head south to Monteverde and our next hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 8 We tour a nearby orchid garden and after lunch, we visit a butterfly garden. This evening we have an opportunity to have dinner in the unique Tree House restaurant (not included). Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 9 We start our day with a tour of the Monteverde

Cloud Reserve, whose variable climate and large altitudinal gradient supports a complex and extensive eco-system. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 10 This morning we tour the Manuel Antonio National

Park. After lunch we tour the Rainforest Spices Plantation, where we have the chance to taste many different spices. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 11 This morning we head to San José, stopping at

the Orchid Garden in La Garita en route. Costa Rica has the richest orchid flora in central America, with over 1,400 identified species. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Suspended bridge over trees in Monteverde

Day 12 Today we transfer to the airport and take our

Day 4 We begin at the reserve of La Tirimbina, where we

individual flights back home or continue with independent travel plans.

visit an organic cacao plantation with the chance to make our very own chocolate! We then learn about pineapple farming at the Organic Paradise Tour.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 We head to the majestic Arenal Volcano, where we

visit a medicinal garden and discover how various plants are used to produce effective medicines. We then transfer to our hotel which overlooks the volcano. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 We depart on a full-day excursion to the Caño Negro

Wildlife Refuge. During the course of our boat trip we hope to see an astonishing variety of monkeys, sloths, alligators, and turtles as well as a diverse range of flora. Next, we travel back to the Arenal area where we visit some of the abundant hot springs. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

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Southern Costa Rica A resplendent quetzal

A

rugged and unexplored wilderness awaits on this off-the-beaten-track adventure. Costa Rica’s unique range of plant, bird and animal life never ceases to amaze, and as we head south we can expect to see an astonishing variety of species on this most colorful of tours. Introduced by popular demand, this new vacation complements our highly successful tour of the northern part of the country and explores the incredible southern regions, including Golfito, which is often referred to as Costa Rica’s ‘last frontier’. Here, the amenities may be slightly more basic, but visitors to this part of the country are invited to experience an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the more popular tourist destinations, where an authentic adventure can be enjoyed. Among the highlights are the Lankester Garden, which boasts a world-renowned variety of orchids, and a walk in the tropical cloud forest where hummingbirds dart from flower to flower. We spend a full day in the lush surroundings of the Wilson Botanical Garden, exploring its floral delights and ending on a high with an aerial tram tour through the tropical treetops.

Departures

What’s Included Eight nights’ bed and breakfast: two nights at the Bougainvillea Hotel, San José; two nights at Trogan Lodge; two nights at the Wilson Botanical Garden; two nights at Esquinas Lodge (or similar) Eight dinners and seven lunches

Piedras Blancas National Park

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

25 January 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of Julia Corden of the Explorers’ Garden as tour manager and a local guide

Price 9 days from

$3895

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

76

$600

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, we transfer to our hotel in time for dinner. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 After breakfast we visit Lankester Garden, which

boasts a world-renowned variety of orchids. Orchids can be tricky to spot in the wild as they grow high in the canopy on trunks and branches, flowering for only a day or two. With this in mind, we are lucky to see so many at eye-level in this garden. We stop for lunch and then journey south into the mountains, an area of National Parks and Reserves, before making our way to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Toucan

Day 7 We pay a visit to Casa Orquideas, one of the oldest and most interesting botanical gardens in the region. The garden is home to 100 species of orchids along with heliconias, bromeliads and a whole host of edible plants. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 8 This morning it is time to head back to San José. Our

Fiery-throated hummingbird

Day 3 An unusual and fascinating day lies ahead of us,

beginning with a tropical walking tour of the surrounding cloud forest. Look out for hummingbirds, fly catchers and finches that dart about the mighty oaks. After lunch, we enjoy a visit to the surrounding area of San Gerardo de Dota. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 We continue south, stopping en route for lunch. Our

destination is San Vito and the world class Wilson Botanical Garden, which was established in 1963. The garden covers a total of 12 hectares and is surrounded by 254 hectares of natural forest.

journey is broken up with a ride aboard the Aerial Tram, near Jaco. This unique tour allows us to explore every level of the tropical, transitional forest from the ground to the treetops. We then visit the beautiful Butterfly Garden and the fascinating Medicinal Plants Garden, taking a walk through the terrariums. In the afternoon we continue to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Orchid at the Lankester Garden

Day 9 Today we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or independent onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 We spend today among the elaborate surroundings of the Wilson Botanical Garden. The plants here include palms (over 700 species), marantas, bananas and bromeliads. Flowering species are being added and a new hummingbird garden has been built in a Japanese style. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 We check out of the hotel and head south towards

Golfito. A remote and secluded region, this is an unexplored wilderness and one that offers an authentic experience. Our base here is within the jungle of Piedras Blancas National Park, home to over 300 species of birds. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Cloud Forest, San Gerardo de Dota

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Seasonal Gardens of Japan

Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavillion

S

urround yourself with the splendors of the Far East with an itinerary of rare gardens, bamboo forests, ancient temples, golden Buddhas and, of course, the majestic Mount Fuji. The origins of these Japanese gardens lie in simple, gravel-covered forest clearings where the gods could manifest themselves. Experience the other worldliness of this mystical country on a garden tour unlike any other. Travel aboard the iconic bullet train, visit the historic town of Omihachiman, take a cruise beneath Mount Fuji’s snow-capped peaks on Lake Ashi, and embark upon an optional excursion to Hiroshima and its Peace Memorial Park. Many of the country’s most notable gardens are situated in and around Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, and we enjoy three full days exploring both public and private gardens in this area. We have included a variety of different natural styles in order to bring this tour to life, from landscape gardens and stroll gardens, to pond-and-island spaces. A recent and popular addition to this tour is dinner with a maiko, an apprentice geisha, in traditional costume. Tradition, stories and natural beauty await.

What’s Included 11 nights’ bed and breakfast; six nights at the ANA Hotel, Kyoto and five nights at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, Tokyo (or similar) Dinner and welcome drink on first evening, a dinner with a Maiko, three lunches and a farewell dinner

www.brightwaterholidays.com

The Bamboo Forest

Departures

26 March & 12 November 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a horticulturalist as tour manager (Colin Crosbie in March) and local guides

Price 12 days from

$6370

Single room supplement

78

per person

$2250


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Osaka, we transfer to Kyoto to visit the gardens of the Imperial Palace, which feature broad gravel paths and attractive weeping cherry trees before transferring to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 After breakfast we discover the dry landscape garden at Ginkaku-ji and the private garden of Hakusasonsou. We continue to Kyoto Botanical Garden, home to over 120,000 plants, and the Bamboo Forest Path, a strange forest of dense bamboo. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 3 We enjoy a full-day excursion to the Prefecture

of Shiga, beginning in Otsu where we visit the ancient temple of Ishiyamadera. We continue to the historic town of Omihachiman and the Hachimanbori Canal. In the old merchants’ area, we explore Nishikawake House, a former residence of a wealthy merchant family before we return to Kyoto.

Senso-ji Temple

Day 9 Hakone and Mount Fuji are our tour stops for today. We begin with a visit to Onshi Hakone Park, an area of forested mountains and deep ravines. After lunch, we take a cruise on Lake Ashi, the principal attraction of Hakone. Views from here are amazing and on the way back, we can take photos of Mount Fuji.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 4 Today we

Day 10 After breakfast, we see the garden of Kyu

explore Kyoto at leisure. Alternatively, join our optional excursion by train to both Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park.

Furukawa. A waterfall and large stone lanterns heighten the serene atmosphere in the garden. Later, we tour Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden and visit Shunkanen’s Bonsai Museum. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 11 Today we begin at Hamarikyu Garden, a place of

tranquility in the heart of Tokyo. We then take a cruise on the Sumida River, visit Senso-ji Temple, browse the stalls at Nakamise-dori and continue on to Rikugien Garden. We see the Imperial Palace East Gardens before sitting down to our farewell dinner.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 5 We start at the

Shiga Prefecture

Daisen-in Temple, before visiting two more dry landscape gardens, Zuiho-in and Ryogen-in. Next, we tour the stunning Kinkakuji Temple and end at Ryoan-ji Temple. This evening we have a special dinner with a maiko, and we learn all about the history of this practise and its customs.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 12 We transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or continue on with independent travel.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 6 We head to Nara and explore the Kasuga Grand

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Shrine, one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. Afterwards, we tour the Todai-ji Temple, home to the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha. Next, we enjoy Nara Park where thousands of tame deer run free. Later, we enjoy an evening visit at the Kodai-ji Temple. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 7 This morning we visit the Heian Shrine, a rare

example of a pond garden in the grounds of a Shinto shrine. We move onto the Nanzen-ji Temple Complex, a quintessential Zen temple, before traveling to Tokyo by bullet train. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 8 We take a coach to the seaside town of Kamakura

to visit the Great Buddha. After lunch, we continue to the simple and elegant Hase Kannon Temple. Our next stop is to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, one of the biggest attractions in Kamakura and dedicated to the God of War. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Fall colors

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New for 2020

New Zealand Milford Sound

F

or us in the United Kingdom, visiting New Zealand is rather like entering a parallel universe. On the surface, everything appears familiar, but look more closely and you notice subtle differences – an unusual plant, an outlandish insect or a brightly colored bird – which tell you that you are in fact a long way from home. There are parts of New Zealand that could be anywhere in the British Isles, from a Hampshire country garden to a Highland glen, an illusion which is strengthened by the abundance of familiar place names and by the plants that were imported by the early settlers to make them feel more at home. Yet where in Britain can you find bubbling mud pools and gushing geysers, majestic fjords and glittering glaciers, huge tree ferns and penguin colonies? In addition to viewing some of these natural wonders, we will be taking a closer look at the flora of the country, both in its natural habitat and in a cross-section of some of the many wonderful private and public gardens, with which New Zealand is blessed. Our October tour, led by Trevor Edwards, is timed to coincide with the spring Garden Festivals in Tarananki and Marlborough. In January 2021, these are replaced with visits to private gardens in New Plymouth and Christchurch, and this departure will be led by Mike Nelhams - please ask for separate itinerary.

What’s Included 15 nights’ bed and breakfast: one night Auckland; one night Rotorua; three nights New Plymouth; two nights Wellington; two nights Blenheim; one night Kaikoura; two nights Christchurch; three nights Queenstown

11 dinners and three lunches

Hamilton Gardens

Departures

29 October 2020 & 13 January 2021

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager

Price 16 days from

$8730

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

80

$2325

per person


Itinerary Day 1 On arrival in Auckland, we make our way to the hotel with a stop en route at Eden Garden. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Visit Ayrlies, one of the most celebrated gardens

in New Zealand. From Auckland we break our journey in Hamilton with a visit to the impressive Hamilton Gardens. We continue to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, the Sulfur City. This evening we visit Tamaki Maori Village for a cultural experience and hangi dinner. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Day 11 Depart for Christchurch and enjoy the sights of the ‘Garden City’, including a visit to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 12 This morning, travel out to Governors Bay, to visit Eden Garden

Day 3 This morning, we head south through the small towns of Piopio and Mokau to the fertile Taranaki region and visit Tikorangi, The Jury Garden. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4/5 Over the next two days, we take in some of the

gardens featured in this year’s Taranaki Garden Festival. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 Leaving New Plymouth after breakfast, we will travel to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. En route we visit the outstanding Paloma Gardens at Wanganui. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 Start this morning with an informative sightseeing tour of Wellington and then visit Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve, Zealandia and the Karori Sanctuary. On our return to the city, we visit the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Ohinetahi before traveling to Akaunui Historic House and Gardens. As we return to Christchurch, we stop on the way to visit Trott’s Gardens. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Day 13 A day for spectacular sights. We travel through Geraldine and Fairlie, over Burke’s Pass into the vast Mackenzie Basin to the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 14 This morning we visit Chantecler Garden and

Gibbston Valley Winery. This evening we take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station, where we dine at the Colonel’s Homestead. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 15 We enjoy one of the undoubted highlights of our tour as we depart for Milford Sound. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 16 Sadly, our tour of New Zealand comes to an end

today as we transfer to Queenstown Airport for our individual flights home or onward independent travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 8 This morning we board the Interislander Ferry and

cross Cook Strait to Picton in the South Island. Later, we visit the sumptuous tasting room and cellar at Wither Hills Vineyards for wine-tasting.   Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 9 Today we enjoy a full day at the Marlborough Garden festival including some private gardens. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 10 We enjoy another festival garden tour – this time a half-day urban tour featuring clever and thoughtfully designed smaller gardens. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

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Flora and Fauna of Madagascar Sunset on Baobab Avenue

M

adagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island, is like a gigantic ark sailing ever so slowly across the Indian Ocean, having broken free from the African continent some 160 million years ago. The national parks and private reserves that feature on this tour are among the finest in the world. On the botanical side we can expect to see a huge range of fascinating trees and plants, none more curious than the baobab, which look like giant tubers that have been pulled from the earth and thrust back in with the roots uppermost, hence the name ‘Upside Down Tree’. Among the other highlights are spiny bush plants including the unique cactus-like didiereaceae; strange triangulated palms, bloated pachypodiums and carnivorous pitcher plants; tree ferns, aloes and euphorbias. We will also see a host of orchids, including the famous comet orchid. Think of Madagascar and you think of lemurs – and for many, these endearing primates will top a star-studded cast list of wildlife. As well as the familiar ring-tailed lemur, we hope to see Sanford’s brown lemur, nocturnal mouse lemur and indri. Other creatures that may cross our path are geckos, chameleons and a wonderful selection of rare birds.

What’s Included 12 nights’ full board: four nights at the Hotel du Louvre, Antananarivo; two nights at the Allamanda Hotel; two nights at the Gîte de Berenty; one night at the Hotel La Croix du Sud, Fort Dauphin; three nights at the Vakona Lodge (all hotels subject to change). Please note that picnic lunches are provided on days when we are away from the lodge or hotel

www.brightwaterholidays.com

Ring-tailed lemur

Departures

4 November 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary All land transfers in appropriate vehicles for the road conditions Services of a professional tour manager and local guides

Price 13 days from

$6820

Single room supplement

82

$1170

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Antananarivo (usually known as Tana),

our local guide meets us at the airport and we transfer to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Catch a flight to Diego Suarez/Antsiranana. Upon

arrival, stroll along the Three Bays, see the lighthouse and the French military installations. We also visit the village of Ramena. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner. Traditional Madagascan fishing boat

Day 3 An excursion to Montagne d’Ambre National Park

Day 10 Trek through the forest reserve of Analamazaotra.

awaits, where rivers, lakes and waterfalls can be admired.

Tonight, enjoy a nocturnal visit to see the smallest frog and chameleon species of the rainforest, along with the smallest lemur species.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 4 Today, we visit Montagne des Français to see

dry-country flora and baobab trees. Near the top, on Pic des Orchidées, the comet orchid should be in flower. Later, fly back to Tana.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 11 After breakfast, we spend the day exploring the lush

rainforest of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Wildlife includes lemurs, rainforest birds and reptiles such as the giant, emerald green Parson’s chameleon.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 12 En route to

Antananarivo, we visit the local association which works to protect lemurs by encouraging reforestation, with the opportunity to help plant native trees. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 13 This morning we

visit the nursery of the late Alfred Razafindratsira, a major supplier of seeds. After lunch in Tana, shop for Sugarloaf in Antsiranana Bay souvenirs at the market and then return to the airport to catch our individual flights home or continue on with any independent travel plans.

Antananarivo

Day 5 Fly to Fort Dauphin and travel to Berenty Private

Reserve, a private gallery forest that protects ‘spiny desert’ habitat. Here, we can see the strange triangulated palm. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 Berenty Reserve, with its lemurs, fruit bats and

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

vast bird species, awaits again today. See pachypodiums, moringas and tamarind trees. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 7 After lunch, we travel back to Fort Dauphin, with

stops en route to see localised and rare flora. If luck is on our side, we will see endemic pitcher-plants. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 8 We fly to Tana and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 9 We depart for Andasibe today to visit the

Madagascar Exotic Park, with its butterflies and insects, and the Vakona Reserve on road No.2, traveling through the forests of Angavo. Inc. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner. Crowned lemur, Montagne d’Ambre

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South Africa’s Garden Route Babylonstoren Garden

M

aking a long-overdue return to our program, South Africa’s Garden Route winds its way for some 200km between richly forested mountains and a crinkle-cut coastline dotted with beautiful beaches and empty bays. Vividly colored wildflowers delight the eye at every turn and progress tends to be leisurely, as one stunning photo opportunity after another presents itself. Visits include the Wilderness National Park, the sea cliffs at Knysna and the famous suspension bridge at Tsitsikamma. Also returning from the wilderness to grace our tour are the Drakensberg Mountains, where we do some gentle botanizing and offer the chance to visit neighboring Lesotho. We also visit Pietermaritzburg, known as the City of Flowers, and delightful Durban, home to some splendid gardens. Of course, we could not visit South Africa without spending some time in the Cape, where we enjoy crisp white wines, discover rare botanical treasures at the gardens of Kirstenbosch and Stellenbosch, and potter among the proteas on Table Mountain. Knysna

Departures

What’s Included 13 nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis: three nights at the Premier Hotel, Cape Town; two nights at the Windsor Hotel, Hermanus; two nights at the Wilderness Hotel, Wilderness; one night at the Kelway Hotel, Port Elizabeth; three nights at the Drakensberg Gardens Hotel and two nights at the Garden Court Marine Parade, Durban (all hotels subject to change)

www.brightwaterholidays.com

Four dinners and one lunch

23 September 2020

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager and local guides

Price 14 days from

$4870

Single room supplement

84

$975

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Cape Town, we visit the Old Company Garden before transferring to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Explore the many trails on top of Table Mountain, which we ascend by cable car, before touring the great Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 3

We depart for a visit to Babylonstoren, one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. In the afternoon we visit Stellenbosch Botanical Garden, the oldest university garden in South Africa, featuring an enormous variety of plants from across the globe.

Table Mountain

Day 8 We continue along the Garden Route via Knysna,

where we will see the cliffs either side of a notoriously dangerous sea channel, and the harbor town of Plettenberg Bay to the Tsitsikamma National Park, home to a stomach-churning but spectacular suspension bridge.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 9 Transfer to Port Elizabeth for our morning flight to

Durban and onward journey to the Southern Drakensberg, where we stay for the next three nights. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 10 Following breakfast we will have a leisurely botanical walk within the immediate vicinity of the hotel, giving us an introduction to the native flora. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 11 Today is free to relax or there’s a chance to join our optional excursion to the nearby kingdom of Lesotho. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 12 We leave Drakensberg today and begin our journey back to Durban, which we will break with a visit to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Garden in Pietermaritzburg.

A protea in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Day 4 After breakfast we check out of the hotel and visit the Helderberg Nature Reserve, where we will have the chance to have a final look at some of South Africa’s diverse flora in the mountain fynbos. We then visit the Vergelegen Wine Estate. We continue to the our hotel in Hermanus, a lovely little town which forms the center of the Whale Route.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 13 Visit three gardens in Durban: the Japanese Gardens, Makaranga Garden Lodge and the Botanical Gardens. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 14 We transfer to Durban airport for our individual

Day 5 We offer the option of a boat trip to spot whales

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

flights home or onward travel.

and other marine life. After lunch we head inland to the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, which covers 1,800 hectares. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 After breakfast we check out of the hotel and set out on the Garden Route, driving over Shaw’s Pass to Caledon and on to Swellendam, Riverdale and finally Mossel Bay, where we visit the Dias Complex Museum. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 7 Today we set out for a full-day walking tour with a

local guide in the Wilderness National Park. The wildlife is varied, and includes the Knysna seahorse, pansy shell, pied kingfisher, Knysna lourie, grey heron and little egret. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only. Tsitsikamma National Park

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An Archaeologist’s View of Orkney & Shetland

Dunnottar Castle

T

he islands of Orkney and Shetland are littered with archaeological remains. People first came here over 5,000 years ago and many of their remains survive. Research is ongoing here and excavations by archaeologists continue to uncover new information. The islands are therefore of enormous interest to anyone who enjoys first-hand contact with ancient settlements and buildings, and the people who once lived here. During our time on Shetland we will visit the uninhabited island of Mousa with its 2,000-year-old full size broch; the prehistoric and Norse settlement of Jarlshof; St Ninian’s Isle with its 6th century church and the ruined castle of Scalloway. We then travel to Orkney where we visit the Italian Chapel; the Tomb of the Eagles, which offers a unique ‘hands-on’ experience - an opportunity to handle 5,000-year-old artifacts excavated from an extensive cliff-top site; Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe and Skara Brae & Skaill House. En route to Aberdeen, we will stop for a photo opportunity at Dunnottar Castle, a clifftop fortress dating back to the 3rd century.

What’s Included One nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast at the Busta House Hotel, Shetland and three nights’ bed & breakfast (plus two dinners) at the Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney All ferry crossings, including one nights’ accommodation in two-berth inside cabins on Serco Northlink Ferries MV Hrossey/Hjaltland on the outward sailing. (Outside cabins available at a small supplement)

www.brightwaterholidays.com

Mousa Broch

Departures

One breakfast and two dinners on board ship

27 April, 6 July & 31 August 2020

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout

Price

Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager

6 days from

$1795

Single room supplement July & August supplement $90pp

$565

86

per person


Itinerary Day 1 We depart from our designated departure points

and travel to Aberdeen, via the dramatic coastal ruins of Dunnottar Castle, and board the Serco Northlink ferry for our overnight sailing to Shetland. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Italian Chapel

Day 4 This morning we depart on a tour of southern Orkney,

Mousa Broch

Day 2 Arriving in Lerwick, we take a tour of the island,

passing through the communities of Gulberwick and Cunningsburgh. Weather permitting, we cross to Mousa to visit the 2,000-year-old Mousa Broch, an Iron Age tower still standing at its original 13m height. Returning to the mainland, we visit Hoswick Visitor Center, before heading to the outstanding Prehistoric and Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, where three millennia of history may be traced in the remains and buildings, from oval-shaped Bronze Age houses to Viking longhouses and medieval farmhouses. Finally, we visit the nearby cliffs at Sumburgh Head before transferring to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

crossing the Churchill Barriers, built after the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. We stop first at the Italian Chapel, built on the site of a prisoner of war camp. Several hundred Italians, captured during the North African campaign, were sent here to work on the Causeways and converted two huts into a chapel. The marvelous paintings in the interior were the work of Domenico Chiocchetti, one of the prisoners who has returned several times to restore and repaint parts of the building. We continue to the Isbister chambered tomb (otherwise known as the Tomb of the Eagles for the number of talons of sea eagles found there) and the Liddle Burnt Mound – two exceptional sites discovered by the same farmer some 50 years ago. We return to Kirkwall for free time this afternoon, where you may choose to visit the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 Today we enjoy an excursion to the heart of Neolithic

Orkney’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We visit Maeshowe, home to the largest collection of runic inscriptions to be found in one place in the world, the evocative Ness of Brodgar and the world-famous prehistoric stone settlement of Skara Brae. Later, we visit the iconic Standing Stones of Stenness and Neolithic village of Barnhouse. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 6 We check out of the hotel and transfer to St

Margaret’s Hope to catch the Pentland Ferries to Gills Bay. We will then return to our original pick-up points. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

St Ninian’s Beach

Day 3 We travel up to St Ninian’s Isle, with its church

dating from the 6th century, when Christianity first came to Shetland. We travel to Scalloway, Shetland’s former capital, where we visit the ruined castle of the infamous Earl Patrick Stewart before continuing through Tingwall Valley, site of the old Norse parliament. We return to Lerwick to explore the town before sailing to Orkney. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Jarlshof

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Archaeology of Denmark and Sweden

Frederiksborg Palace

J

oin us on a journey of discovery through southern Scandinavia, going on the trail of warriors, commoners and kings. These lands are home to a rich abundance of artifacts, from runestones to ruined ring castles. The Nordic lands of Denmark and Sweden are unmistakably Viking country — megaliths and mounds, tales of legendary kings and mysterious stones abound, enabling us to build up a vibrant image of this near-legendary civilization. But it’s not just about the Vikings here — drive over the spectacular Öresund Bridge, eponymous star of Scandi noir drama ‘The Bridge’; come face-to-face with the remarkable ‘bog bodies’ of the magnificently preserved Tollund Man and Elling Woman; and explore the personal collections of a brewing dynasty at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Our tour’s unique combination of capitals and castles, standing stones and warships, and some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes is truly the stuff that memories are made of. Rosenborg Castle

What’s Included Seven nights’ bed and breakfast in 3 and 4-star hotels: two nights Uppsala, one night Malmö, two nights Copenhagen and two nights Aarhus Three dinners and one light meal on board the train

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager

Price 8 days from

Standard class rail journey from Stockholm to Malmö

www.brightwaterholidays.com

6 July & 2 September 2020

$2620

per person

Single room supplement September supplement $45pp

$735

88


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Stockholm, we transfer by coach to

Uppsala and visit the archaeological site at Gamla Uppsala (a legendary royal burial site) before transferring to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Today we depart by coach for a visit to the

archaeological site at Anundshög near Västerås. We continue to Skokloster Castle near Sigtuna, considered to be one of the great castles of Baroque Europe. Built between 1654 and 1676, Skokloster is a monument to the Swedish Age of Greatness – a period of expansion and prosperity in the middle of the 17th century when Sweden expanded to become one of the major powers in Europe. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Ales Stenar

Day 7 This morning we visit the Viking Museum, located on

the spot where the Vikings founded Aarhus some 1,200 years ago. Thereafter, we depart for a visit to Fyrkat, thought to be the oldest of Denmark’s Viking ring castles before continuing to the Silkeborg Museum, home of the bog bodies. We return to our hotel in Aarhus for an evening at leisure. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 8 After breakfast

we depart for visit to the archaeological site at Jelling, which is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as an outstanding example of the Pagan nordic culture. Thereafter we continue to Copenhagen airport and catch our return flights home or continue on for independent travel.

Skokloster Castle

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Tollund Man

Day 3 This morning we depart for Stockholm where we

visit the Vasa Museum, home to a magnificent 17th century warship salvaged from Stockholm Harbor, and the Swedish History Museum before we take a late afternoon train to the city of Malmö in Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden. A light meal is served on board. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & light meal on train.

Day 4 This morning we take a tour of Österlen and we visit the megaliths known as Ales Stenar. This afternoon we cross the strait to Denmark via the Öresund Bridge to our hotel in Copenhagen. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We tour Copenhagen with visits to the former royal

residence of Rosenborg Slot; the National Museum of Denmark, which chronicles 14,000 years of Danish history; and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art museum built around the personal collection of the founding family of Carlsberg Breweries, including sublime pieces, both ancient and modern. We also enjoy a city tour. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 After breakfast we depart for a visit to Frederiksborg

Slot, Hillerød, the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia. We then head for Aarhus in Jutland, traveling by way of the impressive Great Belt Bridge, to our hotel for the evening where we have dinner. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Vasa Museum, Stockholm

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Romanian Archaeology Peles Castle

D

iscover over 2,000 years of history in our tour of Romania – this is a journey of Transylvanian tales, magnificent castles, medieval art and ancient civilizations.

We take you to the heart of Romania, starting in the glorious capital city of Bucharest. As we start to unravel Romania’s timeline we discover the medieval town of Sibiu, founded in the 12th century by Saxon settlers and the later town of Sighișoara, famed for its Swiss clock tower. Romania’s rich history has seen many civilizations pass through, none of which are more apparent than in Ulpia Traiana. Once the former capital of Roman Dacia, all that remains of this great city now are the ruins of what was once the political, administrative and religious center of Dacia Romana. We pass spectacular scenery such as the much understated Orăștie mountains and the Bucegi mountains, where the snow-capped peaks are dotted with alpine forests. Bram Stoker’s novel, “Dracula”, is synonymous with the region and on the border of Transylvania and Wallachia stands the magnificent Bran Castle which, with its imposing towers and turrets, is often thought of as Dracula’s lair. Emperor Traian

Departures

What’s Included Eight nights’ dinner (with wine), bed and breakfast in 3 and 4-star hotels: one night in Pitești, two nights in Sebes, one night in Sighișoara, one night in Brașov, two nights in Bucharest, one night in Constanța

28 April & 15 September 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager

Price 9 days from

$2545

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

90

$420

per person


Itinerary Day 1 On arrival in Bucharest, we will be met by our local guide and coach, and will transfer to our hotel in Pitești where we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Following breakfast this morning we depart for Sibiu,

a medieval town founded in the 12th century by Saxon settlers, which became the most important of Transylvania’s ‘seven cities’. It remains a charming old town with narrow lanes, medieval houses, churches, a merchants’ guild house and the Brukenthal Palace, which houses one of Romania’s largest and oldest museums. We continue to Sebeș, our stop for tonight. Originally a Dacian settlement later incorporated into the Roman Empire, Sebeș was also settled by the Saxons in the 12th century, and it flourished economically and politically during the Middle Ages. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Sarmizegetusa Regia

Day 6 After breakfast we depart this morning for Bran

Castle, which is often referred to as Dracula’s Castle. We continue to the winter ski resort of Sinaia at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains, where we will tour Peleș Castle, a 160-room palace built in German Renaissance style, before continuing to our hotel in Bucharest. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 In the morning we depart for Constanța on the Black Sea coast, crossing the River Danube. We continue with a visit to Histria, the largest excavation site in Romania. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 Today we cross the

Dobrudja region from east to west for a visit to Adamclisi to see the Tropaeum Traiani, the triumphal monument erected in celebration of Trajan’s victory over the Dacians the provincial counterpart to Trajan’s column in Rome and one of the very few such monuments which still survives. Later we return to Bucharest for a panoramic tour.

The famous ‘Dracula’ castle, Bran in Transylvania

Day 3 Today we head for Sarmizegetusa, where we visit

Ulpia Traiana, the former capital of Roman Dacia, built on the site of a camp of the Fifth Macedonian Legion and populated with veterans of the Dacian Wars. The town was destroyed by the Goths and remains atmospherically in ruins today. We then continue to visit the greatest Gothicstyle castle in Romania - Hunyadi’s Castle. This beautifully preserved structure features a sumptuous Knights’ Hall, an impressive drawbridge, high buttresses, inner courtyards, a chapel and some 50 rooms resplendent with medieval art.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Triumphal Arch

Day 9 Today we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 After breakfast today we travel along the newly

paved roads that will take us 1,200 meters up into the Orăștie mountains, where we will find Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital of pre-Roman Dacia. In the afternoon we continue to the ancient wine-making region of Alba Iulia and then on to Sighișoara, famed as the birthplace of Vlad Dracul, the infamous ‘impaler’ and inspiration for the fictional Count Dracula in Stoker’s novel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We continue to Brașov, fringed by the peaks of

the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Hunyadi’s Castle

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Bulgarian Archaeology

Rila Monastery

F

ollowing a golden age of archaeology, Bulgaria is now one of the culturally richest countries in Europe. Hidden in the hills and forests are some of the oldest Neolithic settlements, Thracian tombs and exuberantly painted medieval churches. For decades after the Second World War, Bulgaria lay firmly behind the Iron Curtain and had little contact with the outside world, but in classical times it prospered through trade with the Near East and was richly endowed with fine cities and monuments. Now, this fascinating and hospitable country is opening up once again and we are delighted to be able to visit a wide range of well-preserved archaeological sites, four of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are the famous Rila Monastery, set high in the mountains; Boyana Church with its outstanding frescoes; the Horseman rock relief at Madara; and the historic town of Nessebar, beautifully preserved with over 80 churches. Further highlights include the Kazanluk Thracian Tomb, Nicopolis ad Istrum, an ancient city site; the Neolithic dwelling houses at Stara Zagora; and Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria with a stunning location above the Yantra river.

Departures

What’s Included Eight nights’ bed and breakfast in 3 and 4-star hotels: two nights in Sofia, one night in Veliko Tarnovo, two nights in Varna, two nights in Kazanluk and one night in Plovdiv

Roman theater of Philippopolis

12 May & 20 October 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager and local guides

Price 9 days from

Seven dinners

$2095

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

92

$300

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Sofia, we transfer to our hotel. This

afternoon we visit the National Museum of History and Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back as far as the late 10th century and renowned for its 13th century frescoes, depicting 89 scenes. We return to Sofia for a panoramic tour before continuing to our hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Fresco in the Tomb of the Thracian King

Day 5 This morning, we journey to the historical town of

Nessebar and visit the local Archaeological Museum. We continue to Stara Zagora to explore the Neolithic Dwellings Museum, which is built around two of the best preserved Neolithic houses in Europe. Later, we continue to Kazanlak. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 6 Our first stop today is to the Regional Museum in

Kazanlak. We then visit two remarkable Thracian tombs — the Goliama Kosmatka and the Ostrusha. We visit two further tombs: the tomb with the Gryphons and the Thracian Necropolis Helvetia. This afternoon we visit the Kazanlak Thracian Tomb, the Roman Forum in Stara Zagora, the ancient town of Nova Zagora and the nearby village of Karanovo.

Madara Horseman

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 2 After breakfast we visit the Arena di Serdica ruins,

Day 7 We depart for Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city

and the unique Underground Museum, located under the St Sofia Church. Here are 56 tombs and four churches, one of which was built in the 4th century. Later, we leave the city and visit the remains of the Roman city of Nicopolis ad Istrum, founded by Emperor Trajan in memory of his victory over the Dacians, but later destroyed by Attila the Hun. Archaeologists have uncovered a network of streets, planned according to the orthogonal system; the forum, surrounded by an Ionic colonnade and many buildings; a two-nave room later turned into a basilica and other public buildings. We then proceed to Veliko Tarnovo and explore the hill fortress of Tsarevets, primary stronghold of the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 13th and 14th century.

where we visit the amphitheater, stadium, the exhibition of Roman mosaics and the Old Plovdiv Architectural Reserve, a well-preserved quarter with beautiful houses and churches. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 This morning we visit the famous Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was founded in the 10th century, and is still one of the country’s principal cultural and spiritual centers. Tonight, dinner is on your own, but alternatively you can join our optional dinner with folklore. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 Today we will see the Madara Horseman, another

Day 9 Today we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.

UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to C. 710 AD. We proceed to the small town of Devnya to visit the Mosaics Museum, built atop a large ruined fourth century Roman villa. This afternoon we continue to Varna and enjoy a panoramic tour of the town, which was a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. Finally, we arrive at our hotel for dinner this evening.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 We begin with a visit to Varna’s Archaeology

Museum, home to the oldest golden treasures in the world (dating back to 5,000 BC). We then travel to the Roman Baths in Odessos, amongst the best preserved remnants of the period in Bulgaria, before seeing the Aladja Rock Monastery, founded on the site of ancient hermit caves. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner. The Cathedral of the Assumption

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Albanian Archaeology

Amphitheater at Butrint

I

n archaeological terms, Albania offers some of the best sites in Europe with a host of Classical cities that were once on a par with those in Greece and Italy. A dramatic landscape of high mountains and rugged coastline adds to this unique experience. Having emerged from almost five troubling decades of Communism, it is slowly opening its doors to the world, and behind those doors lie a bevy of wonders, from ancient Greco-Roman theaters to medieval towns, 8th century castles and archaeological parks. We begin our journey in the colorful capital of Tirana, visiting the National Historical Museum, the triumphant Tirana Mosaic and Skanderbeg Square, still resonating with the reverberations of recent unrest. In such an evocative place, the temptation to fixate on the tumult of the 20th century is understandably great, but this is an archaeology tour after all! Moving away from the capital, the sites are plentiful and exquisite. These include Durrës on the Adriatic coast, one of the largest amphitheaters in the Balkans; Apollonia, the second largest Greek colony in Albania; the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Butrint, which dates from the 7th century BC, and the remote mountain city of Byllis.

Departures

5 May & 13 October 2020

What’s Included Seven nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast: two nights in Tirana, two nights in Saranda, one night in Gjirokastër and two nights in Berat

St Theodore’s Church, Berat

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager and local guides

Price 8 days from

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

$1795

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

94

$265

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Tirana, we transfer to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We enjoy a walking tour of Tirana, Albania’s bustling capital, featuring Skanderbeg Square, the Mosque of Et’hem Bej, the National Historical Museum, and the Mosaics of Tirana. In the afternoon, we visit the bazaar at the town of Kruje along with Skanderbeg Castle. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner. Temple ruins in ancient Apollonia

returning from the Trojan wars, led by the son of Achilles. Archaeologists have discovered a Hellenistic-era stadium, theater and fortifications. Later we continue to the gorgeous mountain town of Berat. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 This morning we explore the UNESCO-listed town

of Berat, otherwise known as the “town of a thousand windows” due to its many Ottoman houses. The lower city, situated by the riverside, was once the exclusive preserve of Muslim inhabitants while, by agreement, the Christians held the citadel. During our time here, we explore the Onufri Icon Gallery, tour Byzantine churches and mosques and visit the fabulous Çobo Winery. We return to the hotel for our final meal together.

View of Gjirokastër Castle

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 3 We drive along the coast to the Bay of Vlora, past

Day 8 Today we head to the archaeological site of Apollonia,

the villa of former dictator Enver Hoxha and the glorious orange plantations of Radhima to make a photo stop at the top of the pass in Llogara National Park. In the afternoon, we continue south to the Himara region. En route, we stop at Llamani beach as well as the Panormi castle of Ali Pasha. After visiting the Springs of Borshi, we make our way to our hotel in Saranda.

founded by the Corinthians in the 6th century BC. Today its excavations lie romantically among olive and oak trees. We visit the Odeon, Pitaneon, and the Temple of Diana, before continuing to Durrës, Albania’s chief port and the starting point of the Via Egnatia – a Roman road that once led all the way to ancient Constantinople – to visit the city’s second century amphitheater, which is the largest in the Balkans. We then transfer to Tirana Airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 4 Our entire day is spent at the UNESCO World

Heritage Site of Butrint, one of the most striking archaeological destinations in the Mediterranean, set on the shores of the Ionian within sight of Corfu. We tour its key locations, including the Temple of Asclepius, the baptisteries, the gymnasium, the aqueduct, and also the largest basilica in south Albania. We continue our explorations of this historically rich area and visit a Venetian castle.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 This morning we journey to the town of Gjirokastër,

a well-preserved Ottoman mountain stronghold. Here, we visit the 8th century Castle Museum, which was formerly a prison. In the afternoon, we pore over the collections at the Ethnographic Museum and then explore the Antigonea Archaeological Park. Our evening will be spent enjoying regional cuisine and also soaking up a little culture with a traditional folk music show. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 6 Albania continues to wow us with its ever-changing

landscapes as we journey to the little-known ruins of Byllis, which date back as far as the 4th century BC. According to legend, this remote city was founded by warriors

Gjirokastër

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New for 2020

Archaeology of the Peloponnese

Mystras

T

he Peloponnese is a place of timeless beauty. From the 3,000-year-old relics at Mycenae to the Classical ruins of Epidavros and the Byzantine churches of Monemvassia, the whole region reeks of history. In the hills above Argos, for example, it takes just the tiniest leap of imagination to look out over the sparkling waters and see the Mycenaen fleet sailing for Troy. The Greeks and the Spartans fought out the Peloponnesian war here, to be followed in turn by Romans, Goths and Slavs, and then Franks, Turks and Venetians. Nowadays, the atmosphere is one of peace and tranquility, but the connection with the past, with battles won and civilizations lost, is inescapable. Archaeological highlights of our tour include the Lion’s Gate at Mycenae, the most ancient piece of monumental sculpture in Europe; the 4th century BC Temple of Apollo Maleatis and the theater with its awe-inspiring acoustics at Epidavros; the church of Agia Sophia in the Fort City of Monemvassia; the amazingly well-preserved site at Messene and the eerie, dead city of Mystras, casting its silent gaze over the plain around Sparta.

What’s Included Seven nights’ bed and breakfast in comfortable hotel accommodation: three nights in Nafplion and four nights in Sparta Three dinners

Tiryns Acropolis

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

27 April & 5 October 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager and local guide

Price 8 days from

$1905

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

96

$475

per person


Itinerary Day 1 On arrival in Athens, we transfer to our comfortable

hotel in Nafplion, modern Greece’s first capital and now a charming little town and port. Neoclassical buildings, historic squares and Venetian balconies reflect a colorful past. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Depart for Mycenae, one of the most important

archaeological sites in Greece and the center of the Mycenaen culture. The acropolis was built in the 13th century BC on a solid Cyclopean wall and its entrance, the Gate of Lions, is the most ancient example of monumental sculpture in Europe. The region was excavated by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, the richest discovery being the Tomb of Agamemnon. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Theater of Epidavros

Day 6 We will explore the fascinating dead city of Mystras, which casts its silent gaze over modern Sparta. On the northern part there are palaces and homes of the nobility, and houses of publicans and churches to the south. At the end of the 13th century, further houses and churches were built around the outer part of the city wall. A unique atmosphere pervades this somewhat melancholic but beautiful site. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 7 This morning we depart for the UNESCO-listed

Nafplion

Day 3 Visit the Archaeological Museum of Nafplion,

housed in one of the best-preserved Venetian buildings in Greece. We continue to nearby Tiryns with its Cyclopean walls praised by Homer, where we will tour the citadel. Besides Mycenae, Tiryns is one of the two greatest ancient cities of the Mycenaean civilization with impressive archaeological remains. In the afternoon we continue to Epidavros, where we visit the famous theater in its forest setting.

archaeological site of ancient Messene, which was founded in 369 BC by the Theban general Epaminondas. It became the capital of the free Messenian state following a long period of occupation by the Spartans. Today it is impressively well-preserved, with examples of all the elements that make up the ancient Greek way of life (secular, religious, political/ administrative, residential and funerary). We will also visit the nearby museum which displays statues and artifacts from the site. In the afternoon we transfer to the coastal town of Kalamata, which features cobblestone streets and traditional cafĂŠs, and visit the Archaeological Museum of Messenia which displays the antiquities of Messenia from prehistoric times until the Byzantine era. After some free time in Kalamata we return to our hotel in Sparta. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 Today we return by coach to the airport at Athens for our individual flights home or onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 4 We leave Nafplion this morning and head south via

Argos, considered to be the oldest city in the world, with an imposing though neglected theater, and visit Tripoli, before heading to our comfortable hotel in Sparta. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 We depart this morning for the Fort City of

Monemvasia. As the name suggests (moni=sole, emvasia=entrance), there is only one way in and out of the city, which made it easy to fortify and defend. Nevertheless, it changed hands many times with Normans, Venetians and Turks all having occupied the site. Today, it is a wonderful time capsule where history unfolds before you, along the narrow cobbled lanes that wind among Byzantine churches and red-tiled houses. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only. Monemvasia

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Crete Archaeology

Palace of Knossos

C

rete was home to one of the earliest European civilizations, the Minoans, who roamed these hills some 4,000 years ago. Their legacy can be seen all over the island, in particular at the legendary Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan civilization and the oldest known civilization in Europe, with a level of technology and facilities that is quite staggering considering its antiquity. From this distant starting point we journey through time, from the HellenicRoman era to the periods of Turkish and Venetian domination, as illustrated by archaeological remains and buildings, which remain in use to this day. We also explore the countryside, which in the spring is carpeted with flowers, driving high into the mountains to visit labyrinthine caves and along the coast where we will see sparkling seascapes and picturesque fishing villages.

Spinalonga

What’s Included Seven nights’ bed and breakfast: three nights at the 3-star Atrion Hotel, Heraklion and four nights at the 4-star Bio Hotel in Rethymnon One dinner in the hotel and a farewell dinner (with wine) in a local taverna

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

28 April & 6 October 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager (Peter Yeoman in April)

Price 8 days from

$2055

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

98

$420

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Heraklion, we will transfer to our hotel where dinner will be served this evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 Following breakfast this morning we visit the

Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, which brings together archaeological finds from all over Crete, covering over 5,500 years of the island’s history. This afternoon we visit the Palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and center of the remarkable Minoan civilization. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Basilica of Agios Titos

Day 5 This morning we depart on a guided walk through the old town of Rethymnon. The town maintains an aristocratic air, with buildings dating from the 16th century and even back to the Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman eras. A walk through the charming old quarter shows Venetian and Turkish architecture in the harbor, arched doorways and stone staircases. In the narrow streets shopkeepers sell a large variety of Cretan goods such as leather, honey, herbs, cheese, yoghurt and olive oil. This afternoon we travel to the beautiful, flower-filled cultural city of Chania. Upon arrival, we enjoy a short walking tour of the old center, followed by free time to enjoy the atmosphere of the Venetian Harbor. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 Enjoy free time

Arkadi Monastery

Day 3 Today we travel to the beautiful village of Elounda,

where we will board a boat that take us to Spinalonga, the former leper colony island which has found recent fame as the setting of Victoria Hislop’s novel “The Island”. A walking tour introduces the Venetian fortress and many fine buildings. Returning to the main island this afternoon, we enjoy some free time in the town of Agios Nikolaos. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 4 After breakfast we check out of the hotel. Passing

through some of the most beautiful areas of Crete, full of vineyards and olive trees, we will travel via the Aghia Varvara Pass to Southern Crete. Our first stop is Gortys, an old Greek-Roman town with its famous law stones, Roman amphitheater and ruins of the Saint Titus Church. Then we visit Phaistos, one of the most important centers of Minoan civilization and the most wealthy city in southern Crete. In ancient times it was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the foundation and development of the Minoan palaces in the 15th century BC. We continue to Zaros, located on the south slope of Ida Mountain where we will have a stop at the lake, home to trout and turtles, before continuing to our accommodation in Rethymnon.

today. Alternatively join our optional excursion to the pottery village of Margaritas, surrounded by green rolling hills, and the Arkadi Monastery, set 500m above sea level. We also visit the Eleutherna Museum. Lunch in a local taverna is included in the excursion. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Marble statue, Gortyn

Day 7 We have a relaxed day today, visiting the Minoan

cemetery of Armeni and two of the many scenic Byzantine monuments found in the picturesque Amari Valley. We return to Rethymnon and this evening gather for a farewell dinner in a local taverna. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 8 We check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only. Amari Valley

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Malta’s Archaeological Heritage Cathedral of Saint John in Valletta

M

alta’s diminutive archipelago is by no means any indication of the vast riches it holds — from the Neolithic to the present day, they are many and varied, and all out there to be discovered on this very special tour... Arriving in Malta, with its golden limestone cliff coasts, lucid seas, beautiful laid-back towns and heart-stirring views, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve already seen all there is to see. But take a peek beneath the surface, and no doubt you’ll be astounded by the wealth of wonders to be found there. Venture inside the walled citadel of Mdina, explore the warren of narrow tomb-lined passages of St Paul’s Catacombs, and take to the waves for a boat trip around the spectacular cliffs and caverns of the famed Blue Grotto. Most startling of all are perhaps the mysterious sites left by civilizations with whom we are just starting to get acquainted such as the ancient Mnajdra Temples and the megaliths of Ħaġar Qim. A truly unforgettable archaeological expedition awaits. Mdina city gates

What’s Included Six nights’ dinner (with wine), bed and breakfast at the 4-star Dolmen Hotel, St. Paul’s Bay

Departures

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of a professional tour manager and local guides

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

10 March, 12 May & 10 November 2020

Price 7 days from

$1795

Single room supplement from

per person

$265

May supplement $225pp

www.brightwaterholidays.com

100


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in Malta, we continue to our hotel where we enjoy dinner this evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 This morning, following breakfast, we tour Malta’s

capital city of Valletta. The tour will take us through the bustling streets allowing us to view the Upper Barakka Gardens that command a breathtaking panorama of the Grand Harbor and then to St. John’s Cathedral, adorned in riches that include a world-famous Caravaggio. Also included is a visit to the Grand Master’s Palace, which contains an Armory with around 6,000 pieces and magnificent State Rooms, decorated with stunning Gobelin tapestries, frescoes and paintings. Later we will visit the Archaeological Museum, whose treasures include discoveries from the Hypogeum and the Tarxien Tombs (see Day 6). We have also included a visit to the show “Valletta Living History” which gives a vivid insight into the rich history of the city.

Traditional boats in Marsaxlokk

Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

picturesque Bay of Xlendi and the Inland Sea. Also included in our excursion is the Brochtorff Circle, a prehistoric burial site, and the Palazzo Bondi, a museum that showcases archaeological finds from the 11 phases of prehistoric Gozo. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 6 We tour the southern

Catacombs of St. Paul

Day 3 After breakfast, we explore Mosta Church, Europe’s

third-largest free-standing dome, and the splendid walled citadel of Mdina. Later, we continue to the Skorba Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built out of local limestone clearly showing the different phases of construction. This afternoon, we continue to Rabat, where we will visit the Museum of Roman Antiquities and St. Paul’s Catacomb, an extraordinary labyrinth of narrow passages lined by rock-cut tombs. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

part of Malta today, including the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the largest in Malta and venue for the 1989 Bush/ Gorbachev summit which symbolized the end of the Cold War. We continue to the Tarxien Temples, untouched for thousands of years until the splendidly named Sir Themistocles Zammit began excavations Valletta in 1915. Thereafter, we visit the world renowned Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, an ancient subterranean structure whose exact purpose is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. We return to the hotel for a farewell dinner and entertainment in traditional Maltese style. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 Today we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 4 Today we enjoy a full-day excursion to some of the

notable sites in the south and west of the island, such as the Ħaġar Qim and the Mnajdra Temples. We then take a boat trip around the spectacular caverns of the famed Blue Grotto and the impressive Dingli Cliffs, which drop 250m to the sea. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 5 Today is a free day to spend at leisure. Alternatively,

we have an optional excursion to Malta’s neighboring island of Gozo, where we visit the prehistoric Ggantija Temples and the capital city of Victoria. Later, we will admire the

Ħaġar Qim

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Pompeii and the Classic Wonders of Campania Ancient street in Pompeii

T

he region of Campania in southwest Italy is blessed with a dramatic coastline, a perfect Mediterranean climate and a host of ancient ruins. The most famous of these is Pompeii, a once thriving seaside town until AD 79 when Vesuvius erupted with cataclysmic force. Since its rediscovery in 1748, Pompeii has been a major tourist destination, offering as it does a unique insight into the lives and times of ordinary people from 2,000 years ago, with many of the streets and buildings uncovered and excavated to reveal an astonishingly well-preserved example of a Roman town. Equally revealing are the nearby remains at Stabiae and Herculaneum, where even some of the rooftops have been preserved. Other highlights include the fascinating site of Paestum, which shines a light on the world of the ancient Greeks and the Archaeological Museum in Naples, home to many of the most significant and illuminating finds from Pompeii and other sites. We also take a close-up look at Vesuvius itself, the volcano which brought unimaginable horror to the local inhabitants yet which in doing so has allowed us to share in their lives two millennia later.

What’s Included Five nights’ bed and breakfast at a 4-star hotel in Naples Welcome drink and dinner on the first evening

Ruins of Pompeii

Departures

12 March & 5 November 2020 All visits as outlined in the itinerary Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager and local guides

Price 6 days from

$1870

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

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$595

per person


Itinerary Day 1 Upon arrival in the vibrant coastal city of Naples, we transfer to our hotel. A welcome drink and dinner is served to us later this evening. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We begin with a fascinating visit to Paestum, known

in ancient times as Poseidonia. Before the arrival of the Romans, this was a thriving Greek city and part of Greater Greece from the sixth century BC. We stroll among the impressive and atmospheric temples, some of which are among the most well-preserved in the Greek world. This afternoon we continue to Paestum Museum, which houses the unique, painted archaeological monument, ‘Tomb of the Diver’, dating back to around 480 BC.

Victims in Pompeii

A more compact site with fewer visitors, Herculaneum is no less interesting – a richer town than its sister, it features a remarkable density of fine houses and more lavish use of marble cladding. This afternoon we return to Naples to visit the National Archaeological Museum, noted for its works from Greek, Roman and Renaissance times, including artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. These include glass beads, dice and other objects that poignantly reflect everyday life. We conclude today at the Flavian Amphitheater, one of the most impressive in the world, thought to have been built by the same architects who constructed the Colosseum in Rome, during the reign of the emperor Vespasian (AD 69-79).

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 5 After breakfast we travel to Stabiae, which was an

Paestum Museum

Day 3 We depart on a full-day visit to Pompeii, the bustling

Roman seaside town that perished in the Vesuvian eruption of AD 79. The town was buried under 23 feet of ash, which solidified with rain and time, preserving everything as if it was in a time capsule. Hidden for centuries, excavation work revealed an elegant resort with complete streets, beautiful villas, sculptures, an amphitheater, forum, bars, and even brothels. Now almost four-fifths of the original city has been unearthed and many of the treasures are housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

exclusive Roman resort for the very rich. Here we visit the Villa San Marco, one of the most opulent coastal villas, and the Villa Arianna, which presents wonderful views over the Bay of Naples and features grand rooms, chambers and gardens, all in splendid isolation. Later, we visit the great volcanic crater of Vesuvius to admire the different colored layers of lava and appreciate the magnificent panoramic views across the Bay of Naples from the summit. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 6 We transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Naples and Mount Vesuvius

Day 4 This morning we visit Herculaneum, which was

destroyed in the same eruption but unlike Pompeii, it was mainly affected by pyroclastic flows, thus preserving the wooden objects such as rooftops and building beams.

Herculaneum

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New for 2020

Portuguese Archaeology

Bom Jesus do Monte

W

ith the roar of the Atlantic Ocean and the tranquility of the Iberian hillsides as our constant companions, we will travel through time stopping off at Megalithic standing stones, Iron Age settlements, Roman ruins and medieval plazas. We will enjoy a host of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include the city of Évora, where its monuments and defensive walls stretch back over 20 centuries; Sintra, a magical town in which exotically colored palaces rise out from the dewy forests; and Guimarães, an immaculately preserved medieval town that was the birthplace of Portugal’s first king, Alfonso Henriques. We will also explore the vibrant maritime city of Lisbon, the ancient University town of Coimbra and then Porto, a mecca for connoisseurs of wine. Other highlights include the Almendres Stone Circle from the Megalithic Age, the Gothic masterpiece of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, the Roman settlement at Conimbriga, the Iron Age hilltown of Citânia de Briteiros, and Castelo de Pena, one of the seven wonders of Portugal. Batalha Monastery

What’s Included Eight nights’ bed and breakfast: four nights at the Marriott Hotel, Lisbon; one night at the Tryp Hotel, Coimbra and three nights at the Holiday Inn Porto Gaia (or similar)

Departures

All visits as outlined in the itinerary

21 April & 6 October 2020

Comfortable coach travel throughout Services of an archaeological expert as tour manager and local guides

Three dinners

Price 9 days from

$2545

Single room supplement

www.brightwaterholidays.com

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$720

per person


Itinerary Day 1 On arrival in Lisbon, we enjoy an introductory tour of the city before transferring to our comfortable hotel. Inc. Meals: Dinner only.

Day 2 We travel to Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,

where we visit the megaliths, including the Almendres Stone Circle, Menhir and the Anta Grande do Zambujeiro. We continue with photo stops at the Cathedral (Sé), the largest of Portugal’s medieval cathedrals and the Roman Temple, also known (incorrectly) as the Temple of Diana, and opposite it the Igreja de São João, a 15th century convent church which features a stunning collection of blue azulejos (tiles). Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Buçaco Forest

Day 6 Depart for the Buçaco Forest, Portugal’s most famous and revered woodland, which was a monastic domain throughout the Middle Ages. We continue this afternoon to Porto, where on arrival we will have an introductory tour of the city followed by wine-tasting in one of the famous Port Lodges. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Day 7 Following breakfast, the day is free to explore Porto at

leisure. Alternatively, join our optional excursion. Transfer by coach to the quay at Vila Nova de Gaia and depart on a boat trip that will take us along the Douro River as far as Regua, with lunch included on board. On arrival at Regua there will be some free time before we return by train to Porto and transfer by coach back to the hotel. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 8 We travel north of Porto for a visit to the religious

Almendres Stone Circle

Day 3 Depart for a visit to the Museu Calouste

Gulbenkian, which houses a world class collection of art. We continue with a visit the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belem, close to the River Tagus. This is a late Gothic Manueline monastery built in memory of Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India and financed, lavishly, through a tax on the spice trade.

sanctuary Bom Jesus Do Monte, built on a hilltop in common with many ancient sites of religious devotion in Portugal and other parts of Europe. We continue to the archaeological site at Citania de Briteiros, a dramatic and mysterious Iron Age hilltown dating back to around 200 BC. We conclude today at the UNESCO World Heritage town of Guimarães, which is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 9 Today we transfer to the airport for our individual

Day 4 We head out of Lisbon to the lush wooded heights of

Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

flights home or onward travel.

Sintra, where we visit the Palácio Nacional de Sintra. Part of the cultural landscape of Sintra, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is the best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal, having been inhabited more or less continuously from at least the early 15th century to the late 19th century. In the afternoon we visit the Castelo da Pena, the most complete and notable example of Portuguese architecture in the Romantic period, which stands on one of the rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra. Inc. Meals: Breakfast only.

Day 5 Depart for Coimbra, breaking our journey with two

visits en route, beginning with the Mosteiro de Batalha (the Monastery of the Battle) and the ruins of the ancient city Conimbriga, the largest Roman settlement in Portugal. Inc. Meals: Breakfast & dinner. Palácio Nacional de Sintra

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Dates for your diary I

f you’ve enjoyed browsing these pages and letting our exciting range of 2020 trips inspire your travel plans, you’ll be glad to see that we have put all of our departure dates into a handy calendar below. So, take a look at the month-by-month listing of vacations we have to offer and when you’re ready to book, simply get in touch with our friendly team or just venture online to book via our website!

May

January Southern Costa Rica

25 Jan

February Gardens of Costa Rica

2 Feb

Gardens of the French Riviera

20 Feb

WAFA and Palaces & Gardens of India’s Golden Triangle

22 Feb

March Malta’s Archaeological Heritage

10 Mar

Pompeii and the Classical Wonders of Campania

12 Mar

Gardens of Mallorca

22 Mar

Gardens and Villas of Sicily

24 Mar

Seasonal Gardens of Japan

26 Mar

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens

27 Mar

Gardens and Architecture of Andalucia

30 Mar

Heritage of the Isle of Man

2 May

Grenada - Gardens of the Spice Island

2 May

Gardens of Distinction

4 May

Albanian Archaeology

5 May

Gardens of French Riviera with Rose Festival

7 May

Gardens and Architecture of Andalucia

11 May

Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes

11 May

Malta’s Archaeological Heritage

12 May

Bulgarian Archaeology

12 May

Rome, Ninfa and Castel Gandolfo

12 May

Oberammergau and the Austrian Tyrol

13 May

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

14 May

Private Gardens of Herefordshire

14 May

Irish Rover

14 May

Steam in the Lake District

15 May

Private Gardens of East Anglia

18 May

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens

18 May

Chelsea Flower show and Classic English Gardens

21 May

The Genius of Monet

22 May

Gardens of Kent and Sussex

28 May

April June

Cornwall and Tresco

10 Apr

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

17 Apr

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens

17 Apr

Gardens and Wildfowers of the Burren

2 Jun

Dutch Bulbfields

21 Apr

Gardens of North Wales

5 Jun

Gardens and Villas of Sicily

21 Apr

In the Footsteps of Gertrude Jekyll

6 Jun

Portuguese Archaeology

21 Apr

Gardens of Distinction

9 Jun

An Archaeologist’s View of Orkney and Shetland

27 Apr

Rome, Ninfa and Castel Gandolfo

9 Jun

Walmer Castle and the Cinque Ports

9 Jun

Archaeology of the Peloponnese

27 Apr

Crete Archaeology

28 Apr

The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and Gardens of Derbyshire

11 Jun

Romanian Archaeology

28 Apr

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

12 Jun

Summer Gardens of Peak District

12 Jun

Cornwall and Tresco

12 Jun

Gardens of Northumberland

14 Jun

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106


September

June Gardens of Devon

16 Jun

Gardens of Jersey

1 Sep

Gardens of Jersey

18 Jun

Rome, Ninfa and Castel Gandolfo

1 Sep

Gardens of Somerset & Dorset

18 Jun

Private Gardens of Herefordshire

2 Sep

Steam in the Lake District

19 Jun

Archaeology of Denmark & Sweden

2 Sep

Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes

24 Jun

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

4 Sep

Gardens of Kent & Sussex

25 Jun

RHS Garden Bridgewater

4 Sep

Downton Abbey and the Stately Homes of England

5 Sep

Arts and Gardens of the French Riviera

8 Sep

The Faroe Islands

10 Sep

RHS Garden Bridgewater

11 Sep

Steam in the Lake District

11 Sep

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens

14 Sep

Gardens and Architecture of Andalucia

14 Sep

July The Faroe Islands

2 Jul

An Archaeologist’s View of Orkney and Shetland

6 Jul

Archaeology of Denmark & Sweden

6 Jul

The Faroe Islands

9 Jul

Downton Abbey and the Stately Homes of England

12 Jul

Walmer Castle and the Cinque Ports

15 Sep

Gardens of North Wales

17 Jul

Palladian Villas of Veneto

15 Sep

Gardens of Cheshire and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

22 Jul

Romanian Archaeology

15 Sep

RHS Garden Bridgewater

18 Sep

The Genius of Monet

24 Jul

Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes

21 Sep

Gardens of Northumberland

26 Jul

South Africa’s Garden Route

23 Sep

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

25 Sep

August

October

Private Gardens of Herefordshire

2 Aug

Heritage of the Isle of Man

5 Aug

Grenada - Gardens of the Spice Island

3 Oct

Highgrove and the Cotswolds

7 Aug

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens

5 Oct

Oberammergau and the Austrian Tyrol

10 Aug

Archaeology of the Peloponnese

5 Oct

Oberammergau and the Austrian Tyrol

12 Aug

Crete Archaeology

6 Oct

Irish Rover

13 Aug

Portuguese Archaeology

6 Oct

Summer Gardens of Peak District

14 Aug

Albanian Archaeology

13 Oct

Downton Abbey and the Stately Homes of England

16 Aug

Bulgarian Archaeology

20 Oct

New Zealand

29 Oct

Queen Victoria and the Isle of Wight

17 Aug

Private Gardens of East Anglia

17 Aug

Gardens of Devon

18 Aug

Gardens of Distinction

18 Aug

Flora and Fauna of Madagascar

4 Nov

Gardens of Kent and Sussex

20 Aug

Pompeii

5 Nov

Gardens of Somerset & Dorset

20 Aug

Malta’s Archaeological Heritage

10 Nov

An Archaeologist’s View of Orkney and Shetland

31 Aug

Seasonal Gardens of Japan

12 Nov

Iceland Northern Lights

15 Nov

November

To book your Brightwater vacation, call our travel experts today: 1-844-368-9610 For further details on any of our vacations, including full day-by-day itineraries, what’s included and full booking conditions, please just head to our website www.brightwaterholidays.com.

107 Call our travel experts on 1-844-368-9610


SPECIALIST Journeys A collection of some of the world’s finest niche tour operators, we truly put the special in Specialist Journeys. With trips both designed and led by experts, these aren’t just vacations - they are unique and memorable travel experiences.

Culture 2020/2021

Contact our team today or request a brochure www.specialistjourneys.com | 1-833-295-3841

www.brightwaterholidays.com | Brightwater Holidays Ltd, 271 Madison Ave. Ste. 904 New York, NY 10016

5009

Jul 19 BWH-123 PS

Tel: 1-844-368-9610 | Email: info@brightwaterholidays.com

Profile for Specialist Journeys

Brightwater Holidays 2020 Gardens and Archaeology - US  

Welcome to Brightwater Holidays’ Garden and Archaeology tours collection for 2020. We have assembled our usual eclectic mix of tried and tes...

Brightwater Holidays 2020 Gardens and Archaeology - US  

Welcome to Brightwater Holidays’ Garden and Archaeology tours collection for 2020. We have assembled our usual eclectic mix of tried and tes...

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