Exclusive for MoS readers: See the RHS garden with Tom Stuart-Smith

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the new Royal Horticultural Society garden with designer Tom Stuart-Smith

It’s one of the biggest gardening projects in Europe – the new Royal Horticultural Society garden at Bridgewater. And you can be one of the first to visit when it opens in May during this exclusive four-day tour.

The opening has been delayed by the pandemic – but that has allowed Bridgewater’s dedicated team of gardeners to make it even more spectacular. A core, socially-distanced group has spent the lockdown planting thousands of specimens, meaning that 40,000 more plants than originally planned will be ready for the revised opening date.

Bridgewater, in Salford near Manchester, will be the fifth RHS garden, and to make this trip even more unforgettable you’ll be joined by the man behind the vision for the project, landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, who will take you on an exclusive tour. This will be followed by afternoon tea, a talk from Tom and a question-and-answer session.

Heavenly: The newly created Paradise Garden at RHS Bridgewater

The itinerary includes visits to Trentham Estate, Arley Hall and Tatton Park (above)

MEET OUR SPECIAL GUEST

You will be joined by Tom Stuart-Smith

Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith designed the Queen’s Jubilee Garden at Windsor Castle to mark the Golden Jubilee and Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire, as well as the masterplan for the RHS gardens at Bridgewater, which is the largest new garden project in the UK.

Tom says: ‘I have known the amazing site that is to become RHS Garden Bridgewater for some time and it is really remarkable. It is a great honour and a huge challenge to be able to contribute to this very exciting project.’

Your trip will also take in some of the finest gardens in the North West of the country, including the Trentham Estate – which also features gardens designed by Tom – Dunham Massey and Tatton Park, whose gardens have developed over 200 years.

You’ll visit Ness Botanic Gardens in the Wirral, with their own weather station and historic Arley Hall, where a pair of herbaceous borders were first laid in 1846.

REASONS TO BOOK

Exclusive events with Tom Stuart-Smith: Tom, who has designed eight gold medal-winning gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show, will join you for a tour of RHS Gardens Bridgewater, the plan for which he designed. He’ll also deliver an exclusive talk and answer your horticultural questions.

Be among the first to visit: The creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater is one of the most significant events in the 215-year history of the RHS and its first new garden for nearly 20 years.

Its centrepiece is the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, one of the UK’s biggest, covering the same area as six football pitches and comprising 11 gardens, including The Paradise Garden, Kitchen Garden, Community Wellbeing Garden and Community Grow Garden.

Tour Trentham Estate: You’ll begin your break with a visit to the Staffordshire gardens where the contemporary revival of Italian Gardens was led by Tom himself. Explore the Piet Oudolf-designed Rivers of Grass and Floral Labyrinth and the Trentham Lake, which was created by Capability Brown.

Discover delightful gardens: The year-round Ness Botanic Gardens feature lilies, primulas and terrace gardens with climbing plants, herb and water gardens in the summer months. Dunham Massey was planted in regimental fashion by the 2nd Earl of Stamford and Warrington before being abandoned in 1856. The architect of Crystal Palace, Joseph Paxton, designed aspects of Tatton Park and you’ll end your trip with a visit to the beautifully maintained gardens at Arley Hall.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Tour of RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith.
  • Talk by Tom Stuart-Smith and question-and-answer session.
  • Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Queen at Chester Hotel, Premier Collection by Best Western, Chester.
  • Afternoon tea.
  • Visits to Trentham Estate, Arley Hall, Dunham Massey, Tatton Park and Ness Botanic Gardens.
  • Comfortable coaching throughout.
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager.  

YOUR ITINERARY: DAY 1 Pick-up, Trentham Estate DAY 2 Ness Botanic Gardens, RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith DAY 3 Dunham Massey, Tatton Park DAY 4 Arley Hall, return to pick-up point

HOW TO BOOK

The price: From £695pp* for four days. The dates: July 25-28 and August 8-11, 2021.

Call 01334 441 880 quoting MOS Bridgewater. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/tomstuartsmith.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: * Price based on two sharing. Single supplement available (£120pp). Supplement for August date (£20). Subject to availability. Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and at the tour manager’s discretion. This trip is exclusive to Mail Travel and selected other titles. For full T&Cs, visit mailtravel.co.uk/tomstuartsmith. 

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