RHS Chelsea Flower Show's 100th Anniversary!

The Chelsea Flower Show is the most important and prestigious flower show in the world. While it is not the largest (try the Floriade in Amsterdam once every 10 years), it is, without question, the best.

Tour highlights: an incredible trip for as few as eight (8) participants but limited to no more than 15. Five nights in the Cotswolds and two nights in London. Transfers from/to London Gatwick Airport, one transfer to the flower show, all breakfasts, two dinners, one lunch and all garden fees, including admission to the Chelsea Flower Show on the first Member's Day (Tuesday, May 21) are included. We travel in a small, luxury coach (Mercedes Sprinter or similar) with air-conditioning and we have a dedicated driver/guide. Airfare is additional, as is the single supplement if rooming alone.

Costs are: $4,325 per person for the ground portion of the tour based on sharing a room; $550 additional for a single supplement. The deposit to hold your place is $550. As soon as eight people have paid deposits, all balances are due and the trip is "on go". It is critical that deposits are made before December 1 as the flower show tickets go on sale at that point and will sell out quickly. See the Registration page and return the form with your deposit today!

Detailed Itinerary (May 14 - May 22, 2013)

  • (0) Tuesday, May 14 - Depart your hometown for London (Gatwick).
  • (1) Wednesday, May 15 - Arrive at Gatwick and meet the coach at 9:30 am. We depart at 10:00 am. Our only garden today is Waterperry Gardens. We have lunch in their cafe and then travel to our hotel in the romantic and charming Cotswolds. Overnight at Ellenborough Park near Cheltenham. Dinner included.
  • (2) Thursday, May 16 - We visit the quaint town of Bourton-on-the-Water known as the "Venice of England". Those who want to rest or try a Spa treatment (not included) may opt to stay at the hotel until we depart in the afternoon. Lunch is own your own in Bourton-on-the Water or at the hotel. This afternoon we travel to Tetbury and HRH Prince Charles' home Highgrove which will be a highlight of our tour. Overnight at Ellenborough Park. Breakfast.
  • (3) Friday, May 17 - A visit to Bourton House Garden is first today. A special treat is lunch at Barnsley House. On our way back, there may be time to explore Stow-on-the-Wold, one of the prettiest villages in England. Overnight at Ellenborough Park. Breakfast and Lunch.
  • (4) Saturday, May 18 - Today we see Cerny House Gardens. From here, we drive into Cirencester and try a local deli (Made by Bob). After an easy lunch, we visit Rodmarton Manor. Overnight at Ellenborough Park. Breakfast.
  • (5) Sunday, May 19 - Two of the most celebrated gardens in the Cotswolds are Hidcote Manor Garden and Kiftsgate Court. Hard to believe that they are a 10-minute walk apart (we'll ride). We have lunch at Hidcote an then make the quick trip to Kiftsgate. Overnight at Ellenborough Park. Breakfast, Final Group Dinner.
  • (6) Monday, May 20 -We depart the Cotswolds and make an extended visit to RHS Wisley this morning. Lunch is in the cafeteria. You'll want to save time for the gift shop and the carden center before we travel into London for our overnight stay at The Rubens Hotel, not far from Chelsea. Breakfast.
  • (7) Tuesday, May 21 - The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, all day. Transfer to the show and stay as long as you like. Overnight at The Rubens Hotel. Breakfast.
  • (8) Wednesday, May 22 - Early departure from the hotel for Heathrow International Airport. Breakfast (boxed).
  • Note: itinerary subject to change for the carrying out of the tour. Updated on March 8, 2013.

Typical Daily Schedule

Here is my trip philosophy: amazing gardens, an easy pace, small numbers of passionate gardeners, good food and nice hotels. Simply because England is one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit (#25 in 2012), I try to keep costs reasonable. To make it easy on the group, I include breakfast daily, several dinners while in the countryside, and entrance fees to the gardens. Lunch is on your own daily (usually in one of the gardens) except as noted in the itinerary, as is dinner in London. Airfares, trip cancellation insurance, etc. are on your own as well.

A typical day is as follows: wake-up call at 7 a.m.; breakfast is at 8 a.m.; we are on the coach and depart the hotel at 9 a.m. We see one garden in the morning for approximately two hours and then head to another garden for the afternoon. Sometimes we can fit in one more garden into the afternoon. Lunch is either at the first or second garden. I try to have us back at the hotel between 5 and 7 p.m. When included, dinner is around 7 p.m.

A word about English hotels in particular and European hotels in general: rooms are tiny by American standards. In addition, many hotels, including hotels in London, do not have air-conditioning but it is rarely needed. Please take this into account when traveling "abroad".

Questions and Assumptions / Contact Us

  • If you have ANY questions about the trip, please ask (email or telephone 864-582-1498). I don't want you to be disappointed. You won't have regrets if you ask first and make an informed decision. Please don't assume anything.
  • Copper Beech Ventures, LLC / Attn: Linda McHam / 1010 Andrews Farm Road / Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302