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LIST: HORTICULTURAL HOLIDAY OPERATORS

These are UK-based tour operators and specialist travel agencies offering garden tours, farm visits and horticulture tours for garden enthusiasts.
Archers Direct 0870 460 3894 Archers offer garden tours to Provence & the French Riviera, Venito & Tuscany, and the southern states of the USA.
Boxwood Tours 01341 241717 Holidays for garden lovers offering a chance to visit some of the most exclusive and beautiful gardens of Europe and meet with garden owners and head gardeners wherever possible.
Brightwater Holidays 01334 657155 starHorticultural tours to gardens all over the UK, Europe and worldwide as far afield as South America and the Far East. They also offer a range of garden cruises particularly to Scottish & UK islands.
Brookland Travel 01305 259467 Tailor-made garden tours and a programme of tours in association with Hillier garden centres to gardens in Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Holland and France.
Compass Holidays 01242 250642 Compass operate a number of gardens tours in the UK.
Enterprise Travel 01756 710500 Specialist gardens tour operator, offering short breaks & holidays in the UK.
Flora Garden Tours 01366 328 946 Gardens tours in the UK for small groups (max 12).
Garden Tours America 020 8802 2796 Tours to the gardens of Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.
Heritage Touring 01794 342249 Heritage Touring have been operating garden tours and special interest holidays in the UK and Europe for 20 years. Their programme features short break tours with visits to a wide range of private gardens, well-know public gardens, and some exclusive visits to historic houses and their gardens.
Kirker Holidays 0870 112 3333 The short breaks specialist launched its first Cultural Tours brochure in Sept 05 for groups of around 15-22 people escorted by an expert lecturer. The focus is on art & culture but there are some Gardens & Botany tours in the programme of 70 departures which started Feb 06.
Leger 0800 018 9898 Leger has a small programme of flowers and gardens tours in Europe and the UK.
RHS Garden Holidays n/a The Royal Horticultural Society has a worldwide programme of garden tours operated by Colette Worldwide Holidays; of garden tours in China operated by Wendy Wu Travel; of UK garden tours operated by Just Go; and of garden themed cruises operated by Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic.
Saga 0800 096 0084 Saga (holidays for over 50s) have a gardens programme, with its own dedicated brochure, that runs from March through to October visiting special gardens worldwide in the company of horticultural experts.
Sisley Garden Tours 01423 531222 Tours to gardens in the UK and Europe.
Trossachs Garden Tours n/a Short break tours to private gardens in Scotland.

Notes

  • Cape Insights is a special interest travel company that offers expert-led tours around South Africa, including garden tours.
  • Great British Gardens is not so much a tour operator as a guide to gardens in the UK and where to stay nearby.
  • Not many realise it but the Cambridge University Botanic Garden has been open to the public since 1846 (thanks to Prof. John Stevens Henslow, who is best remembered for inspiring his pupil Charles Darwin with a love of natural history). The Garden curates, develops and displays the plant collections of the University of Cambridge, for research purposes and for everyone to enjoy. Word is finally getting out! Last year 125,000 visitors turned up to see the eight thousand different plant species in 40 acres of landscapes.
  • Greek holiday specialists Freelance Holidays (01789 297705) are operating expert-led botany tours to southern Crete on two dates in April 09.

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