Exotic Gardens of the Cornish Riviera
An Exclusive Quality Garden Tour for the Koenigliche Gartenakademie led by Dr Isabelle Van Groeningen.
The Cornish peninsula is famous for sheltered gardens harbouring collections of magnolias, camellias, palms, tree ferns and many other exotic plant groups, particularly the south of the peninsula where valley gardens lead down to secluded creeks warmed by the Gulf Stream. Cornish gardens have for years held great appeal, attracting many visitors. This tour avoids the ‘honey pots’ and in so doing uncovers a vibrant new collection of gardens off the beaten track. Whilst in Cornwall we stay Olga Polizzi’s renowned Tresanton Hotel, a haven of beauty and peace where guests enjoy comfort, fresh local cuisine and traditional, unobtrusive service. All rooms have stunning views across the sea towards St Anthony’s lighthouse with the opportunity to stroll into light-filled St Mawes, one of the prettiest fishing villages in Cornwall. To break the journeys we also include a night each way at the 4 star Bovey Castle, high on Dartmoor National Park.
Day 1: Sunday 10th April
This tour has been designed to meet flight BA0981 departing Berlin Tegel at 07:00 and arriving at London Heathrow at 08:00. The coach will meet the group at Heathrow and then drive to Knightshayes Court where, after a simple lunch, we visit the beautiful woodland gardens and newly restored walled kitchen gardens. Arrive at Bovey Castle with time to settle in before an evening meal together.
Day 2: Monday 11th April
For our first visit in Cornwall we visit Trematon Castle, a perfect miniature Norman castle overlooking River Tamar. This is the private home of designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman. When Sir Francis Drake returned to Plymouth from his circumnavigation voyage in 1580, he slipped out to anchor behind St Nicholas Island until word came from Queen Elizabeth for the treasures he had gathered to be stored in Trematon Castle. In 2012, the Bannermans moved in and began to plant a garden which is intended to play to the Castle’s romantic and pre-Raphaelite glories, the astonishing wild flowers, woodland and orchard, have been intensified with bold borders full of scent, colour, lustre and panache. After lunch in a village inn, we drive together to the exquisite garden of Lamorran House. Owned by Robert and Maria-Antonietta Dudley-Cooke, this is one the most remarkable gardens in the country. This steeply sloping garden has been tamed and richly planted with sub-tropical species: a particularly fine collection of over 40 species of palms & tree ferns. We are invited to tea and cakes on the terrace before the short journey to Tresanton Hotel. Dine together in the hotel restaurant with fine views.
Day 3: Tuesday 12th April
The Fox family arrived in Cornwall in the 17th century, 100 years later the family had established a successful ship agency in Falmouth and had built a number of stately country homes with an array of fine gardens that can still be admired today. We are honoured to have Charles Fox of Glendurgan to show us three of these outstanding gardens and to relate how they were initiated and developed by his family. Penjerrick is the earliest of the valley gardens created in the 19th century by Robert Were Fox and his children Barclay and Anna Maria Fox. Trebah was developed by the younger brother of Robert Were Fox and now has one of the most stunning vistas of all Cornish gardens, down through the valley gardens to the Helford estuary. At Glendurgan we are invited to lunch with Charles and Caroline Fox before being shown this remarkable wider valley garden initially developed by Alfred Fox, another brother of Robert Were Fox. If weather permits return to St Mawes by ferry from Falmouth with a short walk back to Tresanton Hotel where again we dine together in the hotel restaurant.
Day 4: Wednesday 13th April
We start the day at Caerhays Castle. With its fine collections rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias, Caerhays has been justly regarded as one of the most important plantsman’s gardens in Cornwall. A light lunch will be provided at Caerhays before we drive together to Trewithen where Head Gardener, Gary Long will take us to the main lawn and beautiful, intricately planted vista, followed by free time to explore. Later at Bosvigo House, Mrs Perry has been trying to buck the Cornish Rhododendron trend for many years, exploring her love of herbaceous perennials and rare plants laid out in stunning colour combinations. Following tea and cake continue to Bovey Castle for dinner together in the hotel restaurant.
Day 5: Thursday 14th April
A morning visit to Cothay Manor, a medieval manor surrounded by a romantic garden created in the 1920’s that was strongly influenced by the contemporary gardens of Sissinghurst and Hidcote as the owner, Colonel Reginald Cooper, was friends with Harold Nicolson, Major Lawrence Johnston and Edwin Lutyens. It has even been called “Sissinghurst of the West Country. We are invited to a light lunch before journeying up to London Heathrow airport. We have timed the arrival for 17:15 to check-in for the 19:15 flight BA 0988 back to Berlin.
The tour price is E2998 per person with a single supplement levied by the hotels of E450.
This price will include:
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for 2 nights at The Tresanton, St Mawes;
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for 2 nights at Bovey Castle, Dartmoor;
Entry to all the gardens listed in the attached itinerary with guided tours where ever possible;
5 lunches and 4 evening meals (as stated in the attached itinerary);
Coaching from London Heathrow Airport.
This price does not include flights.
Also not included: Travel Insurance (this is strongly recommended to protect traveller payments in case of last minute cancellations and must be taken out in your Country of residence), drinks with meals or any other extra services at hotels.
How much & what's included
The tour price is 2298 EUROS per person. There is a single supplement of 450 EUROS per person levied by the hotel for those not sharing a room.
To make a reservation
Please either book online with the facility at the bottom of this page.
OR telephone the Boxwood office below to make a payment by card.
Boxwood Tours, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd, LL45 2NT, UK.
Telephone: +44 (0)1341 241717
Facsimile: +44 (0)1341 241712
In accordance with ‘The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992’ customers of Boxwood Tours Ltd will be indemnified in respect of their net ascertained loss sustained arising from the cancellation or curtailment of the declared trip travel arrangements arising solely from the event of the financial failure of Boxwood Tours Ltd. A certificate detailing this cover will be given to each and every passenger as evidence of cover.
Please ensure that you have been given the appropriate certificate(s) at the time of booking. This insurance has been arranged by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited on behalf of Towergate Chapman Stevens through International Insurance Company of Hannover SE. This cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the insurance policy, a copy of which is available on request.