To celebrate National Gardening Week, we have thrown together some incredible places where Mother Nature’s in her prime – stunning gardens, flowers bursting with colour, and people celebrating the seasons with creativity.
Visit world-famous Windsor Castle, stroll in Windsor Great Park along the majestic Long Walk, or cross the river into Eton with its world-renowned college.
Founded in 1840, this London based botanical garden houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. Its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants and its herbarium has over 7 million preserved plants specimens, it’s no wonder it is one of London’s top attractions.
For those choosing our 22 May 2017 departure, a full-day excursion to Chelsea Flower Show is included. Our 3 July 2017 departure includes a full-day excursion to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Both offer a plethora of sights and sounds, a combination of which is often hard to find in the United Kingdom.
Chelsea Flower Show
Founded in 1804 by the Royal Horticultural Society, the Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, which is just about enough room to park 500 London buses.
The first Flower Show was held in 1993, and it has continued to grow into one of the world’s largest flower shows. Averages of 130,000 people attend every year and flood into the Floral Marquee which is big enough to house an FA football pitch.
Spring in Madeira is honoured with a festival of fragrance and colour. The streets of Funchal are filled with flower-bedecked floats during the Floral Parade. The locals create flower carpets, walls, jewellery and host folklore shows and classical music performances. The festival takes place in spring when the flowers are at their best. The event often described as enchanting spreads a fairy tale ambiance all over the city with a multiplicity of floral species from the island.
While cruising along Europe’s longest river, the Volga, which links Russia’s two greatest cities you’ll be looking forward to excursions such as visiting the Kremlin and touring the city of Moscow. What makes this cruise different from other visits to the ‘Russian Motherland’ is the stunning and historic Peterhof Palace. At the ‘Russian Versailles’ of Peter the Great, you may spend time exploring the surroundings, but the true beauty of this unbelievable landmark is the breath-taking palace gardens, which is a triumph of nature considering the inhospitable climate, look out for the immaculately maintained formal gardens, cascading fountains and trellis tunnels.
Venice, Tuscany, Rome and Naples are just a few of the incredible cities you will visit on this great Italian adventure. The rest will no doubt whet your appetite for more and a visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta will certainly fill you up. Those who have experienced this historic palace comment on the beauty of its park composed of vast fields, flower beds, waterfalls and numerous dancing fountains throughout, also boasting stunning pools and large sculptural groupings finishing with the breath-taking Grand Cascade.
Bavaria is as close to a fairy tale location as you can get, following the footsteps of Ludwig II, who was so obsessed with legendary knights and medieval adventures, that he built castles that wouldn’t be out of place in story books. One area that continues to please the locals as well as visitors is Munich’s Englischer Garten (English Garden). This urban park is one of the largest in the world, rivalling London’s Hyde Park and bigger than New York’s Central Park. More than 5 million people visit each year, a popular attraction is the Chinese Tower boasting 7,000 seats and is one of the largest beer gardens in Bavaria.
The waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium are nothing short of beautiful, and there is no better time to visit than spring when the tulips are in full bloom. The Dutch countryside is not only famous for its many windmills, the Keukenhof Gardens and its millions of its multi coloured tulips are also cherished by the welcoming locals. The flower bulbs bloom over 32 hectares (that’s almost equivalent to 32 international rugby pitches) and is surrounded with the sight and scent of blossoming flowers. The Garden is famous for its international showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector, which has a special emphasis on flower bulbs, over 7 million spring flowering bulbs with 100 participating companies show their living catalogue. It truly is a spectacle not to be missed.