Garden Travel: Past Trips & Tours - 2023

2023 Trips & Tours

Gardens of Scotland: From the Border to the Highlands
May 25 - June 9, 2023
This 13-night tour will included some areas of Scotland that HPSO had not visited since 2000.  The tour commenced in Glasgow and then traveled up the western side of Scotland (across many famous Lochs) up to the highlands.  While up near the top of the country, we saw the famous Inverewe Garden where blue meconopsis (Himalayan Blue Poppies) thrive in the cool maritime climate.  [Palm trees even grow way up here because of the influence of the Atlantic Gulf Stream.]  Included on our journey were visits to castles, famous battlefields and museums, and a distillery or two!  Of course, we also saw fabulous gardens all along the way!  We dropped in at Balmoral Castle, too, but we probably weren't able to see the King.  He doesn't arrive until later in the summer.  Our journey continued across to the eastern side of Scotland and down to Edinburgh where we had some free time to visit its famous castle and historical downtown area as well as wander down the Royal Mile.  On our way back to Glasgow, we dipped down into the "borders" region as some very good gardens are there. 
Inverary Castle, ScotlandMeconopsis sheldonii Piper in Scotland Cawdor Castle, Scotland


Northern England: The Borders, The Lake District, and Yorkshire gardens

June 10-23, 2023
Subsequent to the Scotland tour (above) was this 13-night tour of the gardens of southern Scotland and northern England.  The tour commenced in Glasgow, proceeded down the west coast to the English Lake District, then crossed east over the Yorkshire Dales to the city of York.  The tour then proceeded southwest and ended in Manchester.   Highlights included three days in the English Lake District, three days in Yorkshire, a visit to the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) Harlow Carr garden, a cruise on Lake Windemere, and a day at the new RHS regional flagship garden, Bridgewater, near Manchester.   While in the English Lake District, we stayed in the quintessentially quaint English town of Langsdale and made excursions to Rydal Mount (the last home and garden of William Wordsworth).  With more than 30 gardens (from small ones to grand castle estates, from modern to traditional to historical), this was a tour for garden lovers!  
HPSO at Newby Hall in Yorkshire
 Peter Rabbit shop in Windemere, UK Old Town York at night Gresgarth Garden, UK



June 23-July 4, 2023
HPSO has had three previous tours of Wales (or tours that included parts of Wales).  This fourth tour, 11 nights, had many new features not previously included.  Our tour commenced after the conclusion of the northern England tour (above) in Manchester.  We then began our tour of Wales from top to bottom - from north to south.  We stayed several days in Llandudno, a seaside resort town on the north Welsh coast.  Nearby was the justly famous Bodnant Garden, a half day visit, plus Conwy Castle and the unique Portmerion.   Next, we traveled to the central part of Wales, visiting more fantastic gardens along the way, to stay in a lakeside mountain resort as our next home base for the next few days.  Nearby, we visited another famous garden, Powis Castle, followed by several visits to private gardens, and then enjoyed free time in Shrewsbury.  Our next home base was on the south Welsh coast.  En route, we stopped in Haymarket, made famous for its many quaint bookshops, and then crossed the Brecon Beacons to our resort hotel in Pembrokeshire.   There were many fine gardens on the southwest Welsh coast, and we saw the very best of those!  Our tour included an afternoon (and night) in Cardiff where we visited the highlights and museums.  Finally, we continued east along the Welsh southern border, crossed over into England and ended our tour in the wonderful city of Bath.  Naturally, we saw more fine gardens on our way - many that had not been included on past tours to this area.   
Bodnant Garden, Wales  Powis Castle, Wales Bookstore in Hay-on-Wye, Wales Bodnant Garden, Wales Queen Victoria Bodysgallen Hall, Wales Bryan's Ground Garden, Wales


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