We spend the remainder of the day at Hinton Ampner Garden or Houghton Lodge, (subject to the day of the week). Hinton Ampner is a fine example of a formal design combined with an informal planting scheme which produces charming walks and some 'surprise' vistas. Colourful through most of the season, highlights include a dell and sunken garden.
Houghton Lodge is aptly described by its owners as, 'a garden of the future in a garden of the past'. Fine topiary, a traditional walled kitchen garden and ancient fruit trees contrast with the Hydroponicum where you can learn how to garden at home without soil and how to control insect pests without chemicals. (Hydroponic kits are sold here). It's late afternoon now, so time to head off for our accommodation for tonight, across the county boundary in Sussex. If you've taken my advice you'll be staying somewhere rather special!
Day 3: Leonardslee Gardens is first up today. The 240 acre valley is famed for its display of azaleas and rhododendrons around 7 lakes, giving some beautiful views and reflections. Other highlights: the Rock Garden, Bonsai exhibition, Alpine House, wallaby and deer park and Victorian motor-car collection. Then we're off to Nymans Garden, one of the great gardens of Sussex. It houses rare and beautiful plants and trees from all over the world. There's a walled garden, hidden sunken garden, pinetum, laurel walk and some romantic ruins. By now we should all have an appetite, so its time for afternoon tea - in a lovely setting! Finally, we visit Sheffield Park Garden, truly a garden for all seasons. Sheffield's 120 tranquil acres contain 4 lakes linked by cascades and there are snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells in Spring; spectacular azaleas and rhododendrons in early summer; cool pathways through the trees in summer time make for a perfect stroll, and in autumn the trees and shrubs put on a wonderful show of colour.
Our return journey to London takes just one and a half hours from here.
Tour cost is £1520, which covers the cost of your A/C Minivan carrying up to 8 persons, with full driver-guide service, parking, fuel and all miles driven.
Complimentary drinks and occasional snacks are provided along the way. Total luggage handling throughout.
The cost includes my hotel/subsistence expenses but not your own. I can arrange guest house/inn/hotel accommodations from £70 per twin or double room, £90 a family room per night including breakfast, or you can go on-line and choose your own with my help.
Please note that meals and entry fees to the sites visited are not included.
HOW TO BOOK THIS TOUR
First check my online diary for availability
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Finally, when you are informed that I'm holding your dates for you book your tour by going here and choosing Option 2 from the dropdown menu