Coach Trips


Coach Trips 2023


Details of the coach trips arranged for 2023 will appear here with links to the booking forms when arrangements are confirmed.


Norwell Nurseries, Newark and Belton House (NT) - September 2018

Packwood House (NT) and Winterbourne Gardens - August 2018

Meadow Farm Nursery and Morton Hall Gardens - July 2018

Croome Court - September 2017

Hemingford Abbots Flower Festival - June 2017

Hanbury Hall and Gardens and Stonehouse Cottage Gardens - June 2016

Wightwick Manor and Gardens and Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens - August 2016

Chenies Manor Gardens and Plant Fair - July 2016

Kirtling Towers, Newmarket and Lode Gardens, Cambridge - July 2011


Richard Ayres gave a talk including a description of the walled garden at Kirtling Towers at a recent meeting so we were keen to see the garden for ourselves.
The first challenge of the day was for our coach driver, Jeff, to negotiate a more than 90° turn into the drive followed by a squeeze through a farm gate to enter the parking area.  Then we ourselves had to negotiate the plant sale and many wallets suffered some damage.
Kirtling Tower itself has a moat on three sides.  The garden of five acres was created nine years ago.  The main features were a secret garden, the walled garden and a cutting garden.  There was also an original Tudor walk. 




Left: A view of Kirtling Tower

Middle: A pond and water feature

Right: The Winter Garden

We were pleased to find that the church was open for refreshments.
Then we moved on to Lode where we viewed four gardens, including that of Richard Ayres, which were open under the National Gardens Scheme.  Richard’s garden was planted with bold groups of herbaceous plants viewed from impeccable grass paths creating an element of mystery and delight.
Another was overflowing with roses and clematis set against a vegetable garden edged with lavender and sage and a wild flower spiral.
These contrasted with two recently developed gardens, one displaying shrubs and trees around a fine lawn and the other was a formal garden with an intricate design formed from box, yew and pleached lime. 


Hill Close Gardens and Mill Gardens, Warwick - August 2011


Hill Close Gardens are survivals of Victoria gardens once used by townsfolk who lived above their businesses and wanted to escape from the town centre.  Owners came here after work and on Sundays to tend their flowers, fruit and vegetables.  We had a guided tour of the sixteen remaining individual plots.  See for more information.


One of the expertly restored summerhouses, the cosy interior of one of the summerhouses and Flowers and vegetables in a restored plot.


The Mill Gardens are a half-acre informal cottage garden that lies in a superb setting beneath the walls of Warwick Castle beside the River Avon.  It is a garden of winding paths that lead through a delightful series of plantings with an abundance of plants, shrubs and trees.  Around every corner there are dramatic views of the Castle, a medieval bridge, the Castle Mill and the river.


Mill Gardens Cottage                                                   One of many superbly planted borders                    Warwick Castle from Mill Gardens


Norwell Nurseries, Newark and Newstead Abbey, Nottingham - September 2011


Norwell Nurseries belongs to Dr Andrew Ward who has spoken at our meetings.  He began our visit to the nursery by showing a collection of plants that were of particular interest before giving us a tour of the gardens where we could see plants that were available in the nursery in their natural setting.  After Helen, Andrew’s wife, had served refreshments a long queue formed as we purchased many plants.  See for a comprehensive website.
In the afternoon on our way home we called in at Newstead Abbey Gardens.  The Abbey was once the home of the notorious poet, Lord Byron.  The gardens of over 300 acres consist of lakes, ponds and waterfalls, a rose garden, a 720-foot long summer border, a Japanese garden and a Spanish garden and more.  See for more information.


                             The Abbey                                                   The rear of the Abbey                                                  The Walled Garden