More 2014 Holidays

SICILYSARD2014

SICILY & SARDINIA 2014

The Garden Islands of Italy

Come with us to discover the culture and beauty of two islands, both steeped in their own unique history and traditions, and both very different from mainland Italy. We fly first to Sardinia to explore its rugged wild flower covered mountains as well as its spectacular coast, dotted with picturesque towns and villages. Enjoy the warmth of Sardinian hospitality as we meet the locals, and in particular eat some of their outstanding seafood and drink their renowned wines. We cross Sardinia on the famous Trenino Verde train via the remote valleys of the beautiful mountainous centre. We stay on the Costa Smeralda, playground of the rich and famous as well as visiting some ancient reminders of Sardinia’s long and rich history of occupation.

We then fly to Sicily for a completely different experience as we are welcomed into the homes & gardens of some passionate gardeners. As well, we will be visiting historic mansions & gardens where we are hosted by the aristocracy for some sumptuous lunches of Sicilian delicacies. But it is a lot more than just all gardens.

We enjoy the best of their fascinating culture, history, food and wine, entertainment, shopping, arts and crafts, scenery and nature, and most of all – lots of fun and relaxation.

On both islands we make a base for several nights and take day trips out to explore the surrounding countryside.

Our 4 and 5 star hotels for this holiday are located in some of the most fascinating and historic towns on Sardinia and Sicily. This is a truly relaxing holiday without long drives, long hours or early starts. Start and finish times are very civilized and designed for enjoyment. The food lover is very well catered for, with a combination of full buffet breakfasts, quality restaurant dinners and fresh local lunch produce.

 

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 CORNWALL AND THE WEST COUNTRY 2014

A new tour with Merryle to enjoy the spring abundance in England’s Cornwall and West Country. Commencing in London, we travel to Dorset where we make a base for several days before continuing our journey through Devon and finally Cornwall. This is a beautiful land of dramatic coasts; gorgeous unspoilt countryside; tiny lanes & villages; of myths and legends; grand private gardens and stately estates. We have timed our visit to catch the gardens in spectacular spring bloom and the blue-bell woods a sea of blue. There is a lovely mix of private gardens, famous “must see” gardens, and a great deal more, including Prince Charles’ Highgrove. The tour is especially designed for our gardeners who travel with non-gardening companions, and for our gentlemen travellers as we have an excellent array of “must see” and alternative visits for them. But everyone will be enchanted by the magnificent countryside, the spectacular coast, and the colourful history of sea-farers and smugglers, pirates and pre-history. There is so much to interest everyone.

Our accommodation is outstanding and something really “different”. Wherever possible we are staying in small, luxury country house retreats, rather than hotels. It is a very special and different experience. Our food and dining is also a wonderful journey. Our taste buds explore everything from local home cooking at our private home visits, to gourmet experiences at some of England’s finest restaurants. The whole holiday is pure pleasure – off the beaten track.

You can then “Add On” Chelsea Flower Show on Member’s Day when the crowds are smaller.

 

RDLESSTRAV2014

 A ROAD LESS TRAVELLED 2014
Through the Countryside of Italy

 A small group tour for lovers of the “Dolce Vita”, as we take a gentle journey through the treasure towns of Padua, Mantua, Bologna, Ferrara, Vicenza and Cremona. We sample some of the finest authentic regional food and wine, art, and cultural treasures. Escorted by David, Lucy & Fabrizio, this holiday is a celebration of the best of Italian life, food, treasures and pleasures, but on a road less travelled by the average tourist. The food we explore ranges from simple farm cooking, through traditional regional recipes, to finest cuisine, and of course includes regional wines. We enjoy the ancient towns, lovely countryside, the best of the historic and artistic sights, some lovely homes and gardens, and even have the chance to drive very fast, red Italian cars and shop in the local markets. It is all a delicious adventure.

 

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 TUSCANY & FRANCE WITH THE LOT 2014

 We all know France has a lot, but it also has “The Lot”, a rarely explored region, full of picturesque stone villages, medieval market towns, some stunning gardens and dramatic scenery. This is a brand new itinerary and although we are returning to Tuscany, we will be exploring different parts, as well as visiting new gardens & other historic towns.

We commence our tour in the Bordeaux wine region, before driving through the romantic French countryside to the region of the Lot. Here we are able to visit the most picturesque medieval towns and villages of the region, with lots of opportunities for shopping, visiting art galleries and museums, not to mention some truly inspirational gardens.

From here we journey further to Carcassonne, a walled medieval city set above the famous Canal du Midi on which we take a short cruise. After flying to Rome we drive into beautiful Umbria where we make a base in the historic city of Perugia. From here we take day trips to visit the surrounding region before our final destination in the Tuscan hills, where we stay in a luxury 5 Star hotel and spa.

This itinerary is specially designed for our regular travellers who have perhaps been before, but who can’t get enough of Tuscany & France; plus anyone who yearns for somewhere really different. The tour is timed to catch the best weather and gardens at their peak of late spring/early summer blooming.

 

This is the perfect tour for a gardener travelling with a non-gardener, because it has so much variety on top of superb gardens. Great food, wine, sights & history, enchanting countryside & ancient villages, shops, art, and so much to explore with plenty of time to enjoy it all.

 

 SCANNORWAY 14

GARDENS OF THE WHITE NIGHTS 2014

Starting in Berlin, that vibrant city of art, music and history we take a gentle tourthrough the wonderful sights, gardens and culture of Northern Germany and into Denmark, where you enjoy a lovely blend of tranquil countryside and sophisticated Copenhagen, one of the world’s most civilized cities. Copenhagen is very easy to enjoy and our hotel location is perfect. Then onto Sweden during the time of the ‘White Nights’, the summer solstice when it stays light for nearly 24 hours. Sweden is the surprise packet with superb private gardens tucked away in the green fields and by lake and sea. Our tour concludes in Sweden’s beautiful capital Stockholm. The holiday is a feast for all the senses and pleasures with famous gardens and private homes, wildflowers, lakes and forests, art and music, and of course that special Scandinavian flair and design, plus top class hotels in perfect locations.

You can then choose to ‘Add-On”

‘THE WILDFLOWERS & FJORDS OF NORWAY’ 2014

A special place at a very special time when the days are long and warm, the nights are short and the flowers are blooming their socks off during their summer fling. Our journey takes us up over the mountains through fields of wildflowers in the peak of bloom, past spectacular fjords and on dramatic mountain railways. It is all about incredible scenery and enchanting flowers. You then have the option to join a cruise up the coast of Norway on the famous HURTIGRUTEN MAIL BOAT.