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5 nights
from £1795

The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring

A six day tour to enjoy the cream of Cornish Gardens and the Music of London Festival Opera

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  • Garden
  • Caerhays Castle

Where better to enjoy the arrival of spring than in Cornwall. The county has more than its fair share of marvellous gardens, in part thanks to the warmth brought to its shores by the Gulf Stream. From our central base, the stylish and unique Tresanton Hotel in the lovely small port of St Mawes, we will explore some of the finest and most beautiful gardens, and always close by will be the sea, providing the most dramatic of backdrops to the botanical wonders.

For us one of the most important rules in organising a botanical tour is that it should not be rushed. So, apart from a guided tour of the gardens there will also be free time to explore individually, take in the vistas and sit and wonder at what nature and man have created. Nowhere, is this more important than at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The extensive work carried out here over the last twenty years is truly phenomenal and cannot be appreciated in a fleeting visit. Likewise, the extensive ravine and cliffside gardens of Glendurgan need time to appreciate as you make your way down to the sea.

A highlight for many will be our day at Caerhays Castle and Garden. Designated by Kew as being a garden of outstanding importance and covering some 120 acres, the unique microclimate here at this private garden has produced something rather unique. As you explore it helps to imagine you are halfway up a mountain in the Chinese province of Yunnan, some hundred years ago. It was from this region in the early 1900s that the ancestors of the current owners sourced many new species formerly unknown in Western Europe.

We could not really contemplate such a tour as this without including the magical Tresco Abbey Gardens in the Isles of Scilly. A full but rewarding optional day visit will be available. Currently, there is no direct helicopter service to Tresco Island, but plans are afoot to commence a new service from Penzance in the Spring of 2018. We hope to use this service, but if not operational in time we will use the flight service from Newquay to St Mary’s and use a connecting boat transfer to Tresco. Adding to our enjoyment will be performances by our good friends, London Festival Opera in St Mawes and at the Caerhays Estate.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Guest Speaker

    Mike Nelhams

    Mike Nelhams

    Mike Nelhams first went to Tresco on a Studley Trust Scholarship as a student in 1976. He first trained for three years at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley. After managing a woodland garden in Sussex for five years he returned to Tresco Abbey Garden in 1984 as Head Gardener and then in 1994 took the post of Garden Curator which was established for him. He is an RHS judge on the Tender Plants Committee, judging regularly at Chelsea, Hampton Court and London RHS shows and also is a frequent lecturer throughout the English-speaking world. He has published a book, “Tresco Abbey Garden” and has made many appearances on national TV and radio, as well as having written many articles for the horticultural press. Mike has a particular interest in plants from the Mediterranean and associated coastal regions of the world. A Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture and an Associate of Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mike regularly leads garden tours.

    More information
  • Tour Manager

    Chantal Cookson

    Chantal Cookson

    Chantal was born in Suffolk very near the sea and now lives in Northumberland where her husband farms. Chantal has been associated with Noble Caledonia since the company was founded in 1991 and has led tours, be it cruising or land, all over the world. Chantal’s initial experience of cruising in British waters was in 1991 when Noble Caledonia undertook its first cruise around the British Isles, which was a groundbreaking voyage and led to a very successful and popular concept. Though her main job over the last 25 years has been working for Sotheby’s, she is now a Travel and Fine Art Consultant intertwining in her busy life still working periodically as part of the Noble Caledonia field staff team. From the Arctic to the Antarctica, South America to Australia, the UK, Africa, India, the Seychelles, and many other destinations she has been able to pursue her love of t he oceans, travel and photography. Chantal is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

    More information

Tresanton Hotel

Tresanton Hotel

Chosen for its ideal location, but mostly because it is one of Cornwall’s loveliest hotels. The Tresanton Hotel is situated on Cornwall’s picturesque southern shores and commands stunning views across the sea of the Roseland Peninsula. Formerly, a yachting club and a cluster of old houses which in 1999 was purchased and transformed by one of the worlds’ foremost designers, Olga Polizzi. From the minute you enter the hotel her wit and great sense of style are evident everywhere both in and outside.

Everything you could possibly want from a luxurious Cornish hotel is here, stylish rooms with sea views, elegant public spaces, flower filled terraces and gardens with amazing sea views. Here you will also find some of the best food in Cornwall and a first class and friendly service that only a small hotel can provide.

For our five night stay we will take over all 30 rooms and suites allowing us to plan the perfect schedule. The Tresanton, like many of Cornwall’s best hotels has a cliff side location. Some elevated rooms are accessed by numerous steps, but the reward is breathtakingly beautiful.

View accommodation details

Itinerary

Day 1 - St Austell to St Mawes.

Transportation will meet the late afternoon arriving trains at St Austell Station and provide a transfer to the Tresanton Hotel at a designated time. Those arriving by car will be met at the hotel by a porter who will arrange valet parking in the hotel’s car park. Meet for drinks followed by dinner at the hotel.

Day 2 - Lost Gardens of Heligan.

After a leisurely breakfast drive to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Europe’s largest garden restoration project. There will be a range of short and comprehensive guided tours, including the historic glasshouses, Melon Yard and the Pineapple Pit, and the glorious Pleasure Gardens. Excellent facilities are available for snacks and lunch. Enjoy free time before we return to our hotel for afternoon tea and a presentation from our horticultural expert. Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening.

Day 3 - Glendurgan Estate, Helford River.

A short walk through St Mawes brings us to a jetty where we board the ferry for the 30 minute sailing to Falmouth Harbour. Continue by coach to Glendurgan for a guided tour of the woodland gardens created by the Fox Family in the 1800s. Not one, but three valleys to explore at their springtime best with thousands of wild flowers carpeting the slopes amid fabulous displays of camellias and magnolias. Later, enjoy a tour of the Fox family home which is not usually open to the public and a light lunch. Drive back to Falmouth and board the ferry to St Mawes. Late afternoon drinks and canapes will be served on the Tresanton Terrace followed by a performance from London Festival Opera at the charming St Mawes Chapel. Dinner will be at the hotel this evening.

Day 4 - Tresco Abbey Gardens or Lamorran House Garden & St Just in Roseland.

Those electing to join the full day optional excursion to Tresco will leave the hotel after an early breakfast. Full details of the Tresco trip and price to arguably the UK’s most exotic garden will be published once it is known whether the excursion will be by helicopter or plane. Places will be limited to a maximum of 28 persons. For those staying in St Mawes we have arranged a visit to the private garden at Lamorran House, an inspiring subtropical, Italianate four acre garden in St Mawes. It is certainly a star garden having appeared on both the BBC’s Gardeners World and listed in the top ten of the BBC’s Nation’s Favourite Gardens. Later, a short drive will take us to the 13th century Church at St Just in Roseland. The church and lush garden setting by a tidal creek is beautiful. So beautiful it led Sir John Betjeman to describe it “to many people the most beautiful churchyard on earth”. There will be time here to explore the church and surrounding natural landscape. Both tours will include lunch and dinner this evening will be at the hotel.

Day 5 - Caerhays Estate.

After a leisurely breakfast we will make a short drive to the Caerhays Castle and Garden. Situated between St Mawes and Mevagissey in a secluded valley above Porthluney Cove, this is one of the great gardens of Cornwall. The estate is one of the oldest in the country and home to a National Magnolia Collection. The origins of the historically important collection of magnolias can be traced back to the work of the great plant hunters, Ernest Wilson and George Forrest and the 120 acre woodland gardens are a springtime wonderland. During the morning there will be guided tours of the garden and after lunch a guided tour of the castle, still inhabited by the Williams family who in the early 20th century sponsored plant hunting expeditions in Asia. Later, a short drive takes us to the Vean, a typical Cornish Georgian country house on the estate where afternoon tea will be served prior to a performance by London Festival Opera in the house. Difficult to leave this enchanting place, there will be drinks and canapes before returning to the hotel for our Farewell Dinner.

Day 6 - St Mawes to St Austell.

Linger over breakfast enjoying the stunning sea views for one last time before boarding the coach which will depart for St Austell.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
6 to 11 May 2018
Category Price
Small Room £1795
Medium Room £1895
Spacious Room £1995
Favourite Room £2295
Family Suite (Room 25) £2495
Forte Suite (Room 33) £2695
Family Suite (Room 32) £2895
The Lamorran Suite £3095
Small Room for sole use £2795
Medium Room for sole use £2995

Tour Reference Code: LAFLOWERS

Price Includes: Five nights hotel accommodation at Hotel Tresanton on a breakfast and dinner basis, lunch on days 3 & 4, afternoon tea on days 2 & 5, excursions as described, two London Festival Opera performances, Tour Manager, Guest Speaker, group transfers.

Not Included: Travel insurance, optional excursion to Tresco Abbey Gardens on day 4.

Tresanton Hotel

Chosen for its ideal location, but mostly because it is one of Cornwall’s loveliest hotels. The Tresanton Hotel is situated on Cornwall’s picturesque southern shores and commands stunning views across the sea of the Roseland Peninsula. Formerly, a yachting club and a cluster of old houses which in 1999 was purchased and transformed by one of the worlds’ foremost designers, Olga Polizzi. From the minute you enter the hotel her wit and great sense of style are evident everywhere both in and outside.

Everything you could possibly want from a luxurious Cornish hotel is here, stylish rooms with sea views, elegant public spaces, flower filled terraces and gardens with amazing sea views. Here you will also find some of the best food in Cornwall and a first class and friendly service that only a small hotel can provide.

For our five night stay we will take over all 30 rooms and suites allowing us to plan the perfect schedule. The Tresanton, like many of Cornwall’s best hotels has a cliff side location. Some elevated rooms are accessed by numerous steps, but the reward is breathtakingly beautiful.

 
  • Terrace
    Terrace
  • Terrace
    Terrace
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • Small Room
    Small Room
  • Family Suite
    Family Suite
  • Spacious Room
    Spacious Room
  • Medium Rooms
    Medium Rooms
  • Forte Suite
    Forte Suite
  • Terrace
    Terrace
  • Your Accommodation

    The rooms are located across the following five areas of the hotel; Little Tresanton: Situated at the front of the property with only a few steps to negotiate, the building is two floors and is also home to the hotel bar, The Dogs’ Bar. Main Tresanton: The main building comprising of three floors. The ground floor is the public area level with the reception, sitting room, cinema/function room and the restaurant with a large terrace. The first and second floor are the accommodation levels. Upper Tresanton: This two storey building has an elevated position behind the main building of the hotel. There are a few more steps to climb however all rooms have balconies and command stunning uninterrupted views over St Mawes Bay. The Nook: Separated from the main hotel and located at the front of the property, this sweet little coastal house has three bedrooms over two floors. Rock Cottage: Located behind The Nook and adjacent to the main building, this three storey building is accessed by sloping paths from the main terrace and road.

    Please note: Due to the layout of the hotel and grounds, we do not recommend this holiday for those with walking difficulties. Although small, the hotel is spread out and many rooms are only accessible by climbing a number of steps.

  • Small rooms

    Room 17, Main Tresanton (14.5 m2): This small but perfectly formed room has a sea view and a double bed.

    Room 20, Main Tresanton (14 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed.

    Room 21, Main Tresanton (14 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed.

    Room 26, Upper Tresanton (14 m2): This room is on the first floor with a balcony with a sea view and a king size bed*.

    Room 30, The Nook (15 m2): This room has a king size bed* and its own private terrace but no
    sea view.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • Medium rooms

    Room 11, Main Tresanton (16 m2): This room has a sea view, a king size bed* and seating area.

    Room 12, Main Tresanton (16 m2): This room has a sea view and a large double bed. It boasts a large outside terrace with seating and loungers.

    Room 14, Main Tresanton (17.5 m2): This room has a sea view and a large double bed.

    Room 15, Main Tresanton (17 m2): This room has a sea view and a large double bed.

    Room 18, Main Tresanton (16 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed*.

    Room 19, Main Tresanton (16 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • Spacious rooms

    Room 2, Little Tresanton (24 m2): This sea view room has a spacious sitting area and a king size bed.

    Room 3, Little Tresanton (24 m2): This sea view room is a split-level room with a separate sitting area on the lower level and a king size bed.

    Room 5, Main Tresanton (22 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed as well as a 3.6 m2 terrace with seating and loungers.

    Room 8, Main Tresanton (20 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed* and seating area.

    Room 9, Main Tresanton (23 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed* and seating area.

    Room 10, Main Tresanton (20 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed* and seating area.

    Room 16, Main Tresanton (20 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed*.

    Room 24, Upper Tresanton (19 m2): This room is on the ground floor and has a sea view with a balcony and a king size bed*.

    Room 27, Upper Treasnton (19 m2): This room is on the first floor with a balcony with a sea view and a king size bed*.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • Favourite Rooms

    Room 1, Little Tresanton (38 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed* as well as a private terrace.

    Room 6, Main Tresanton (26 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed* as well as a 3.6 m2 terrace with seating and loungers.

    Room 7, Main Tresanton (25 m2): This room has a sea view and a king size bed*. The room is spacious and boasts one of the largest window apertures giving you great light and views over the bay.

    Room 28, The Nook (28 m2): This sea view room has a king size bed*.

    Room 29, The Nook (24 m2): This sea view room has a king size bed*.

    Room 31, Rock Cottage (21 m2): This room has a king size bed* and is the only room in the hotel with its own private garden.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • Family Suites

    Room 25, Upper Tresanton (37 m2): This two bedroom suite boasts spectacular sea views from the balcony. Both bedrooms have a king size bed*.

    Room 32, Rock Cottage (37 m2): This two-bedroom suite boasts spectacular sea views. It has a small self-catering kitchen, wood-burning stove, sitting room and a balcony with seating. One of the bedrooms can be converted into a twin if required.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • Forte Suite

    Room 33, Rock Cottage (39 m2): The hotel’s Master Suite has a king size bed*, a separate sitting room, wood burning stove, and crow’s nest terrace overlooking St Mawes Bay.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • The Lamorran Suite

    Room 22, Upper Tresanton (50 m2): Tresanton’s largest suite on the ground floor of the building features one master bedroom with king size bed* and one bedroom with a king size bed*. There is also a large sitting /dining area and a long terrace overlooking St Mawes Bay.

    *please note that these rooms can also be configured with twin beds upon request

  • Hotel Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to your accommodation.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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Guest Speaker

Mike Nelhams

Mike Nelhams first went to Tresco on a Studley Trust Scholarship as a student in 1976. He first trained for three years at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley. After managing a woodland garden in Sussex for five years he returned to Tresco Abbey Garden in 1984 as Head Gardener and then in 1994 took the post of Garden Curator which was established for him. He is an RHS judge on the Tender Plants Committee, judging regularly at Chelsea, Hampton Court and London RHS shows and also is a frequent lecturer throughout the English-speaking world. He has published a book, “Tresco Abbey Garden” and has made many appearances on national TV and radio, as well as having written many articles for the horticultural press. Mike has a particular interest in plants from the Mediterranean and associated coastal regions of the world. A Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture and an Associate of Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mike regularly leads garden tours.

Onboard Team

  • London Festival Opera

    London Festival Opera

    We are delighted to be joined by London Festival Opera on many of our tours and cruises. We have long been associated with London Festival Opera and each year our music themed cruises grow in popularity. London Festival Opera have achieved a considerable reputation for presenting opera in palaces, castles, country houses, theatres, concert halls, embassies and private homes and gardens. Recent engagements have been throughout the UK, Europe and as far afield as Barbados, Marrakech and Moscow.

    Particular attention is given to the design and quality of our costumes which are as authentic as possible. Whether it is a period evening dress, such as Regency or Victorian to enhance a gala performance or a full production, the costumes will be of the highest quality and style.

    Bringing together artists from the major British opera companies including the Royal Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the company has a considerable reputation and has appeared in some of the world's leading venues including as a guest company in one of the Italy's greatest opera houses, La Fenice in Venice.

    London Festival Opera will be on the following tour dates: 6 to 11 May 2018

Tour Manager

Chantal Cookson

Chantal was born in Suffolk very near the sea and now lives in Northumberland where her husband farms. Chantal has been associated with Noble Caledonia since the company was founded in 1991 and has led tours, be it cruising or land, all over the world. Chantal’s initial experience of cruising in British waters was in 1991 when Noble Caledonia undertook its first cruise around the British Isles, which was a groundbreaking voyage and led to a very successful and popular concept. Though her main job over the last 25 years has been working for Sotheby’s, she is now a Travel and Fine Art Consultant intertwining in her busy life still working periodically as part of the Noble Caledonia field staff team. From the Arctic to the Antarctica, South America to Australia, the UK, Africa, India, the Seychelles, and many other destinations she has been able to pursue her love of t he oceans, travel and photography. Chantal is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

London Festival Opera

We are delighted that London Festival Opera will be joining us for our stay and presenting two entertaining programmes of opera and operetta including the celebrated works of Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini and the lighter repertoire of Gilbert & Sullivan. We have long been associated with London Festival Opera and each year our music themed tours grow in popularity. London Festival Opera has achieved a considerable reputation for presenting opera in the UK and overseas and has performed for Presidents, Prime Ministers and senior members of the British and European Royal Families. Recent appearances have been in London, Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Brussels, Monte Carlo, Moscow, Marrakech, Mumbai, Barbados and Hong Kong. The company has performed at 10 Downing Street, the British Embassy in Paris, the President’s Palace in Malta and as a guest company in one of Italy’s greatest opera houses, La Fenice in Venice. Bringing together artists from the major British opera companies including the Royal Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne the programmes presented include a wide and varied range of repertoire, performed in formal evening dress and authentic period costume for an added visual impact.

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