English for Garden Lovers – 400 Years of Garden History (EGT4)


Now in it’s 20th Season!

This classic tour programme balances the grand and historic garden with the more intimate, cottage style. As a study tour it crosses the centuries and represents the traditional styles recognised as typical English gardens: the great houses (palaces and castles) at the heart of the country estate, the contemporary planting of the modern cottage garden style as at Wollerton Old Hall, fantastic horticulture in a unique historic setting at Powis Castle. Chatsworth has the vaster landscape of “Capability” Brown’s parkland as well as a baroque pleasure ground with fountains and a treasure house of great art. A day in the Lake District includes the iconic topiary at Levens Hall. This week of English conversation and workshops is an epic encounter with the history and variety of the English country house and its garden and an unforgettable experience! Henry James describes the effect of gardening under the influence of history when he writes of “the human soul of a place with its past brought up to date”. Those words of his describe this week.

“Good design without plants is boring, but a plant collection without design is dull”
R L Fox

“There he arrives and round about do fly
From bed to bed, from one to other border,
And takes survey with curious busy eye
Of every flower and herb there set in order”
Edmund Spenser (1591) on garden visiting.

Price: £930 (UK pounds sterling)

The package includes:

  • English conversation classes
  • Seven nights home stay in the pleasant suburb of Didsbury, South Manchester (bed, breakfast and evening meals)
  • Sandwich lunches
  • Transport and garden admission
  • Expert guide accompanying every visit
  • Manchester Airport transfers
  • Personal & baggage insurance (see Terms & Conditions)


Day Period Activity
Sunday 7/8 ARRIVALS
Arrivals Manchester Airport or Railway Station.
Transfer to host families.
Evening Dinner with host families.
Morning English conversation class and garden briefing Introduction to Manchester
Coffee break.
Discover Manchester featuring ‘Dig the City’, Manchester’s Summer Garden Festival. Lunch and orientation tour of the City centre with its impressive Victorian and modern buildings.
Evening Dinner with host families.
Tuesday 9/8 CHATSWORTH
9.30 Garden briefing Town and Country – an Introduction to Chatsworth and the Devonshire Family
10.30 Depart for the Peak District National Park via the village of Tideswell in the Peak District National Park Chatsworth is a 17th century palace with a rich collection of art and antique furniture. The house, set in 400 hectares of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped park, is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The gardens at Chatsworth are ‘Pleasure Grounds’ on a vast scale with fountains and avenues, arboreta, a maze, a baroque cascade and sculpture.
Evening Dinner with host families.
Wednesday 10/8 ARLEY HALL
10.30 English conversation class In an English country garden
The Herbaceous Border – Introduction to Arley.
Picnic lunch.
13.00 Visit to Arley Hall via the pretty Cheshire village of Great Budworth and Fryer’s Rose Nursery and Garden Centre. In August Arley’s renowned double herbaceous border reaches its peak of perfection.
Evening Dinner with host families.
Morning Depart for the English Lake District, Levens Hall, a tower house dating from 1250 with an exceptional 300 year old garden. Levens is probably the most famous topiary garden in the world – a synthesis of formality, illusion and horticultural magic.
Afternoon Seven lake tour of the Lake District including Hill top, home of Beatrix Potter and Grasmere home of the English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth.
Evening Dinner with host families.
09.30 English conversation class and garden briefing.
A Gardener’s A to Z
10.30 Depart for Trentham Garden, a multi-award-winning contemporary restoration of the 19th century Italian Garden featuring work by Chelsea Gold Winners Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf.
14.30 Arrive Wollerton Old Hall. This is a great garden of 20th century choice influences recalling the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Evening Optional Curry night at Sangam restaurant, Didsbury or dinner with host family.
Saturday 13/8 BODNANT GARDEN
10.00 Depart for the medieval walled-town of Conwy on the North Wales Coast.
Afternoon Visit to the world renowned garden of Bodnant created over more than 100 years by three presidents of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Evening Farewell Party at Moor Cottage with host families.
Sunday 14/8 DEPARTURES

Manchester Language School reserves the right to change the programme according to the availability of gardens, venues and speakers listed.

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