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Garden Tour Summaries 2017-2018

Springtime in the Lake District (#1)
& A Special Country House Hotel
May 21-29, 2017. 9 days, 7 nights
Land Price: $4595; Single Supplement: $795
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 18 members

A FULL WEEK AT ONE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND’S MOST ACCLAIMED HOTELS sets the tone for a late-spring tour of the romantic Lake District, erstwhile home of the immortal poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Cragwood Country House Hotel, idyllically situated on the shores of Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, consistently rates among the top three of nearly 200 hotels in the region on TripAdvisor.com. We'll be treated to exclusive tours of exceptional private gardens, several of which seldom open to the public. Highlights include Elizabethan Levens Hall, where the enormous, fanciful, other-worldly topiary specimens, dating back to 1694, lean and sway like giant chess pieces in the wind; Hill Top House, Beatrix Potter’s charming 17th-century home and garden, shown as if Ms Potter were still there, with her books open and artwork on display; and a scenic cruise on majestic Lake Windermere. Mid-June will not only be an absolutely glorious time for viewing gardens, with many of the perennials and roses at or near their peak of beauty, but, in addition, we’ll have the advantage of seemingly endless hours of daylight, in that northern-most region of England.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For more information on this tour, send us an email.

Jane Brand

JANE BRAND

Blue Badge Guide Jane Brand, born in Cambridge, has been leading upscale tours of the UK since the early 1990's. An art historian and garden enthusiast who regularly lectures at prestigious venues such as London’s National Portrait Gallery, she is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and Swedish. Jane has also led tours throughout the Continent, primarily for American groups specializing in gardens, textiles, art, and archaeology. This will be her ninth year on the COOPERSMITH'S team, having built up a following of loyal and enthusiastic travelers.

Springtime in Cornwall
& a Visit to Tresco Abbey Gardens

June 1-9, 2017. 9 days, 7 nights
Land Price: $4895; Single Supplement: $695
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 18 members


CORNWALL, THE RUGGED SOUTHERN- AND WESTERN-MOST PART OF GREAT BRITAIN, is the perfect place to be in late spring. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the gardens here reach their peak of beauty before anywhere else in the UK. One of two 2017 COOPERSMITH’S trips to feature week-long stays at the same wonderful hotels, this tour is based entirely at Budock Vean, beautifully located on the Helford River in the picturesque hamlet of Mawnan Smith, near Falmouth. From there we’ll venture out to see such well-known gardens as the spectacular, subtropical Tresco Abbey Gardens in the Scilly Isles; the Lost Gardens of Heligan, dating from the mid-1700’s and restored in the 1990’s; the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which preserves the life’s work of the woman who pioneered abstract sculpture in England; and the world-famous Eden Project, containing more than 70,000 plants from around the globe. Also on the itinerary: Port Isaac, location for the popular British mini-series, "Doc Martin"; the Tate Gallery St. Ives, exhibiting work by modern British artists; and the Copeland China Collection, home to the world’s largest collection of Spode and Copeland china.

Scroll down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For more information on this tour, send us an email.

Christine Hoodith

CHRISTINE HOODITH

Blue Badge Guide Christine Hoodith holds an honors degree in English from University College, London. She has been leading and planning tours of the British Isles and Western Europe since 1994. For two years, she ran her own tour company, providing specialty tours of the UK and Europe. Prior to that she worked as a director, script writer, and actress for a London fringe theater. Christine’s areas of expertise include museums and galleries, walking tours of historic London, and gardens. We were extremely fortunate to have her join the COOPERSMITH’S team in 2016.!

Springtime in the Lake District (#2)
& A Special Country House Hotel
June 10-18, 2017. 9 days, 7 nights
Land Price: $4595; Single Supplement: $795
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 18 members

A FULL WEEK AT ONE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND’S MOST ACCLAIMED HOTELS sets the tone for a late-spring tour of the romantic Lake District, erstwhile home of the immortal poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Cragwood Country House Hotel, idyllically situated on the shores of Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, consistently rates among the top three of nearly 200 hotels in the region on TripAdvisor.com. We'll be treated to exclusive tours of exceptional private gardens, several of which seldom open to the public. Highlights include Elizabethan Levens Hall, where the enormous, fanciful, other-worldly topiary specimens, dating back to 1694, lean and sway like giant chess pieces in the wind; Hill Top House, Beatrix Potter’s charming 17th-century home and garden, shown as if Ms Potter were still there, with her books open and artwork on display; and a scenic cruise on majestic Lake Windermere. Mid-June will not only be an absolutely glorious time for viewing gardens, with many of the perennials and roses at or near their peak of beauty, but, in addition, we’ll have the advantage of seemingly endless hours of daylight, in that northern-most region of England.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For more information on this tour, send us an email.

Jane Brand

JANE BRAND

Blue Badge Guide Jane Brand, born in Cambridge, has been leading upscale tours of the UK since the early 1990's. An art historian and garden enthusiast who regularly lectures at prestigious venues such as London’s National Portrait Gallery, she is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and Swedish. Jane has also led tours throughout the Continent, primarily for American groups specializing in gardens, textiles, art, and archaeology. This will be her ninth year on the COOPERSMITH'S team, having built up a following of loyal and enthusiastic travelers.

Wessex & the Isle of Wight
Gardens & Stately Homes

June 20-June 30, 2017. 11 days, 9 nights
Land Price: $5695; Single Supplement: $795
An Encore Performance/ Luxury Edition Tour. Maximum 16 members


WESSEX—FROM “WEST SAXON”—WAS AN ANCIENT ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOM in the south of Great Britain, encompassing the modern-day counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Wiltshire. Our exploration of this historic region begins with three nights at the four-star Francis Hotel, in the beautifully preserved Georgian and Roman city of Bath. From there, it’s on to Thomas Hardy’s Dorset for four nights at Plumber Manor, a one-of-akind country house hotel and ancestral home of Richard Prideaux-Brune and family since the 1600’s. The trip concludes at the luxurious Royal Hotel on the Isle of Wight, home to Queen Victoria’s favorite residence, Osborne House, and stomping ground of the cream of Victorian society. Among the tour’s many highlights are Jane Austen’s house in Bath, the setting for her novels Persuasion and Northanger Abbey; Iford Manor, erstwhile estate of eminent architect and landscape designer, Harold Peto; Sherborne Castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, with interiors from a variety of periods, and landscaping by Capability Brown; and Mottisfont Abbey, home to an incomparable collection of old-fashioned roses, based on the design and selection by Graham Stuart Thomas. Along the way we’ll savor gourmet meals, and be welcomed at several delightful, lesser-known gardens that rarely open to the public.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For a complete day-by-day itinerary of this tour, send us an email.

Jane Brand

JANE BRAND

Blue Badge Guide Jane Brand, born in Cambridge, has been leading upscale tours of the UK since the early 1990's. An art historian and garden enthusiast who regularly lectures at prestigious venues such as London’s National Portrait Gallery, she is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and Swedish. Jane has also led tours throughout the Continent, primarily for American groups specializing in gardens, textiles, art, and archeology. This will be her ninth year on the COOPERSMITH'S team, having built up a following of loyal and enthusiastic travelers.

Gardens, Castles & Stately Homes
of Northumberland & North Yorkshire
July 1-10, 2017. 10 days, 8 nights
Land Price: $4995; Single Supplement: $795
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 18 members


ONE OF ENGLAND’S MOST PICTURESQUE AND UNSPOILED REGIONS—the Northeast, encompassing the dales and moors of North Yorkshire, and the rugged Scottish-border county of Northumberland, awash in Roman and prehistoric sites—is home to many of the country’s most celebrated gardens and treasure houses. We’ll visit a number of these, as well as smaller, more intimate residences where we will be the exclusive guests of the owners. Highlights include Castle Howard, the grand setting for Brideshead Revisited; Alnwick Castle, monumental location for the final episode of Downton Abbey and site of postwar Europe’s most exciting new public garden; and Newby Hall, whose and luxuriant herbaceous borders are worth the trip to England by themselves! While based for four nights in a luxurious 14th-century castle and four more in a delightful country house on the moors, we’ll explore portions of 1,900-year-old Hadrian's Wall; recognize quaint villages and familiar landscapes from All Creatures Great & Small; and revel in the majesty of Durham Cathedral, an 11th-century architectural marvel that looms high above the city of the same name.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For a complete day-by-day itinerary of this tour, send us an email


Adrienne Oddey

ADRIENNE ODDEY

Londoner Adrienne Oddey, originally from Northumberland, holds a BA honors degree in Law from the University of Nottingham. After working in a law office for a number of years, she decided to change course. She went back to school, this time at University College, London, and obtained an honors degree in French. In 2004, after qualifying as a Blue Badge Guide, Adrienne was named UK Guide of the Year. Her interests include gardens & stately homes, theater, art history, literature, wine & fine dining. This will be her second year with COOPERSMITH’S.

Chateaux & Gardens, Wine-tasting & Gastronomy of Bordeaux, Perigord
& the Dordogne

September 24-October 3, 2017. 10 days, 8 nights
Land Price: $5895; Single Supplement: $995
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 16 members


Set in the beautiful Southwest of France, this early autumn tour, which takes place during the vendange, or grape harvest, has it all: magnificent chateaux and gardens, ancient towns and villages, wine-tastings at some of the world’s most prestigious wineries, spectacular cave paintings at Lascaux, a leisurely cruise on the Dordogne River, and gourmet meals throughout. Our trip begins with four days in Bordeaux, a treasure-house of Renaissance architecture and the center of one of France's three greatest wine-making regions; and ends with four days in Sarlat, an impossibly picturesque town famous for its golden stone buildings, maze of medieval streets, and incomparable open-air market. A highlight will be an exclusive lunch with Le Comte de Baritault in the early 14th-century castle where his family has lived for over 700 years. We’ll also discover some of the secrets of producing fine wines at the newly-opened Cite du Vin, a museum dedicated to the Bordeaux wine region and designed by acclaimed architect, Jean Nouvel.

Scroll up the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For a complete day-by-day itinerary of this tour, send us an email

Catherine Chamoux

CATHERINE CHAMOUX

French-born-and-raised Catherine Chamoux has been leading tours to all corners of her home country for twenty-five years, primarily for British and American groups. Among the prestigious organizations for whom she has worked are the Smithsonian, Elderhostel/Roadscholar, and universities such as Rice and Tufts. Among her many areas of expertise, in addition to the chateaux of the Loire Valley, a tour of which she led for us, to rave reviews, in 2016, are French history, geography, gastronomy, and Impressionism. Her own travels have taken her all over Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Southeast Asia, Russia, the Canary Islands, and North Africa. We are pleased to have her back for a second year on the COOPERSMITH’S team.

Springtime in Provence:
Gardens, Chateaux, Art & Gastronomy

May 22-31, 2018. 10 days, 8 nights
Land Price: $5995; Single Supplement: $995
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 16 members


WITH ITS LEGENDARY EXPANSES OF SUNFLOWERS AND LAVENDER, its fine food and wine, world-class art and architecture, Provence provides a remarkable variety of riches in a compact area. Here the gardens, towns, and villages retain the charm that Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne captured in paintings over a century ago. The well-preserved Roman temples and amphitheaters hold stories of the area’s rich and complex past. In this leisurely-paced tour, we enjoy extended stays in two fascinating venues (and two superb four-star hotels) that are less than an hour apart by coach, yet each a world unto itself—the urbane Provençal capital, Aix-en-Provence; and the colorful market town of St-Rémy, built alongside the ruins of a Roman settlement. Visits to half-a-dozen notable gardens, all bursting with springtime blossoms, add to the appeal, as does a full day in the historic city of Arles, where Van Gogh lived from 1888 to 1890, while painting the bright yellow fields of sunflowers and twisting olive groves; a day in Avignon, with its medieval city walls and world-renowned bridge (“Sur le Pont d’Avignon”); and an excursion to the quaint villages of the Luberon, made famous in A Year in Provence.

Scroll up the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For a complete day-by-day itinerary of this tour, send us an email

Catherine Chamoux

CATHERINE CHAMOUX

French-born-and-raised Catherine Chamoux has been leading tours to all corners of her home country for twenty-five years, primarily for British and American groups. Among the prestigious organizations for whom she has worked are the Smithsonian, Elderhostel/Roadscholar, and universities such as Rice and Tufts. Among her many areas of expertise, in addition to the chateaux of the Loire Valley, a tour of which she led for us, to rave reviews, in 2016, are French history, geography, gastronomy, and Impressionism. Her own travels have taken her all over Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Southeast Asia, Russia, the Canary Islands, and North Africa. We are pleased to have her back for a third year on the COOPERSMITH’S team.

Springtime in Cornwall
& a Visit to Tresco Abbey Gardens

May 30-June 8, 2018. 9 days, 7 nights
Land Price: $4895; Single Supplement: $695
An Encore Edition Tour. Maximum 18 members


CORNWALL, THE RUGGED SOUTHERN- AND WESTERN-MOST PART OF GREAT BRITAIN, is the perfect place to be in late spring. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the gardens here reach their peak of beauty before anywhere else in the UK. One of two 2017 COOPERSMITH’S trips to feature week-long stays at the same wonderful hotels, this tour is based entirely at Budock Vean, beautifully located on the Helford River in the picturesque hamlet of Mawnan Smith, near Falmouth. From there we’ll venture out to see such well-known gardens as the spectacular, subtropical Tresco Abbey Gardens in the Scilly Isles; the Lost Gardens of Heligan, dating from the mid-1700’s and restored in the 1990’s; the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which preserves the life’s work of the woman who pioneered abstract sculpture in England; and the world-famous Eden Project, containing more than 70,000 plants from around the globe.

Scroll down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For more information on this tour, send us an email.

Christine Hoodith

CHRISTINE HOODITH

Blue Badge Guide Christine Hoodith holds an honors degree in English from University College, London. She has been leading and planning tours of the British Isles and Western Europe since 1994. For two years, she ran her own tour company, providing specialty tours of the UK and Europe. Prior to that she worked as a director, script writer, and actress for a London fringe theater. Christine’s areas of expertise include museums and galleries, walking tours of historic London, and gardens. We were extremely fortunate to have her join the COOPERSMITH’S team in 2016.

Springtime in the Lake District
& A Special Country House Hotel
June 9-17, 2018. 9 days, 7 nights
Land Price: $4595; Single Supplement: $795
An Encore Edition Tour. Maximum 18 members

A FULL WEEK AT ONE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND’S MOST ACCLAIMED HOTELS sets the tone for a late-spring tour of the romantic Lake District, erstwhile home of the immortal poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Cragwood Country House Hotel, idyllically situated on the shores of Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, consistently rates among the top three of nearly 200 hotels in the region on TripAdvisor.com. We'll be treated to exclusive tours of exceptional private gardens, several of which seldom open to the public. Highlights include Elizabethan Levens Hall, where the enormous, fanciful, other-worldly topiary specimens, dating back to 1694, lean and sway like giant chess pieces in the wind; Hill Top House, Beatrix Potter’s charming 17th-century home and garden, shown as if Ms Potter were still there, with her books open and artwork on display; and a scenic cruise on majestic Lake Windermere. Mid-June will not only be an absolutely glorious time for viewing gardens, with many of the perennials and roses at or near their peak of beauty, but, in addition, we’ll have the advantage of seemingly endless hours of daylight, in that northern-most region of England.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For more information on this tour, send us an email.

Jane Brand

JANE BRAND

Blue Badge Guide Jane Brand, born in Cambridge, has been leading upscale tours of the UK since the early 1990's. An art historian and garden enthusiast who regularly lectures at prestigious venues such as London’s National Portrait Gallery, she is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and Swedish. Jane has also led tours throughout the Continent, primarily for American groups specializing in gardens, textiles, art, and archaeology. This will be her tenth year on the COOPERSMITH'S team, having built up a following of loyal and enthusiastic travelers.

Summer in Holland
Gardens, Art & Architecture
June 18-26, 2018. 10 days, 8 nights
Land Price: $6295; Single Supplement: $1095
A Luxury Edition Tour. Maximum 16 members

This trip features four nights in the ancient town of Maastricht—the oldest city in the Netherlands, dating back to circa 50 BC—and four in Amsterdam, with superb accommodations in both venues: the luxurious Kruisheren Hotel in the former, and the unique Pulitzer Hotel, given a five-star rating on TripAdvisor.com, in the latter. The Dutch are second only to the British in their love for gardens and flowers. We'll be visiting a number of the country's most noteworthy gardens, oftentimes in the company of the owners or head gardeners, at their peak of summer beauty. We'll also have in-depth, expert-led visits to several of Holland's world-famous museums, including the incomparable Rijksmuseum and the recently opened Museum Voorlinden, where the gardens were designed by Piet Oudolf, widely acclaimed for his work on New York's High Line and Chicago's Millennium Park.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For more information on this tour, send us an email.

Jane Brand

SABINE VAN WIJK

Born, raised, and still living in Amsterdam, Sabine van Wijk has been working in the travel industry since 1991. Having completed her studies in specialized tourism, she traveled extensively throughout Europe, led European visitors on trips to North and Central America, and was a tour director for the Holland America Line, which took her all over the world. Specializing in Dutch and Belgian arts and culture, Sabine is passionate about showing foreign visitors her beautiful country.

Lincolnshire & Shropshire
Gardens, Art & Architecture
June 26-July 5, 2018. 10 days, 8 nights
Land Price: $4995; Single Supplement: $795
A Limited Edition Tour. Maximum 16 members


Lincolnshire & Shropshire: two fascinating, historic, odd-the-beaten-path counties in South-Central England that few North Americans think of visiting. In the former, we’ll be staying at the renowned George Hotel, an atmospheric coaching inn with a long and fascinating history, located in the center of Stamford, an ancient market town dating back to the Romans. In a recent survey by the Sunday Times (UK), Stamford was rated “the best place to live in England.” Near the Shropshire village of Market Drayton, our home for the last four nights will be Goldstone Hall, a luxurious country house hotel with an award-winning restaurant in an idyllic location. Both venues are rich in stately homes and lush peak-of-summer-blossom gardens. Highlights include Burghley House, one of the grandest of all Elizabethan houses); David Austin Roses, the ultimate rose breeders; and Lincoln Cathedral, third largest in the UK and for 238 years the world' tallest building.

Please note: Because Goldstone Hall has only 12 rooms, we are limiting the number of solo travelers to a maximum of six.

Scroll up or down the page to see other tours, in chronological order.

For a complete day-by-day itinerary of this tour, send us an email


Adrienne Oddey

ADRIENNE ODDEY

Londoner Adrienne Oddey, originally from Northumberland, holds a BA honors degree in Law from the University of Nottingham. After working in a law office for a number of years, she decided to change course. She went back to school, this time at University College, London, and obtained an honors degree in French. In 2004, after qualifying as a Blue Badge Guide, Adrienne was named UK Guide of the Year. Her interests include gardens & stately homes, theater, art history, literature, wine & fine dining. This will be her third year with COOPERSMITH’S.