Learn the secrets of English country gardens with Sarah Raven

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Learn the secrets of English country gardens with Sarah Raven

Few things in life can compare to the joy of strolling through an English country garden at the height of summer, when roses, lavender and hydrangeas are all spectacularly on show. 

Our superb four-day trip includes visits to world-class examples in Kent and Sussex, plus a special event with gardening expert Sarah Raven.

Ideal for anyone with a passion for gardens and gardening, this trip has so many highlights, including the shrubs and perennials of Great Comp Garden, Scotney Castle’s famous wisteria and moated manor house, Lullingstone Castle’s World Garden of Plants and the tropical garden at Great Dixter.

What’s more, you will have the chance to meet Sarah Raven at her own garden, Perch Hill in East Sussex, where she will give a private talk, plus you’ll enjoy a lunch from the plot’s produce.

Moated marvel: On The Mail on Sunday’s superb four-day trip, you’ll visit the gardens at Scotney Castle (pictured)

On the tour you will have the chance to admire the colourful flowers at Sissinghurst (pictured) 


You will be joined by Sarah Raven 

Since the publication of her first book, The Cutting Garden, Sarah Raven has led the way in introducing a new kind of productive gardening. She’s a teacher, broadcaster, and host of the podcast Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange.

Another highlight will be an early-bird visit to Sissinghurst, one of the best and most admired flower gardens in the world.

Reasons to book

Sarah Raven masterclass: During a private event at her own house and garden, Perch Hill, Sarah will tell the story of its 25-year transformation from a ramshackle former dairy farm into 90 acres of inspirational planting. You will then have a guided tour of the garden with the gardeners, who will point out plants and features of interest and answer any questions you may have. Your tour will be followed by a two-course lunch featuring fresh produce from the garden.

Early-bird Sissinghurst visit: Sissinghurst Castle is the ancestral home of Sarah’s husband, historian and broadcaster Adam Nicolson, and is renowned for its beautiful gardens. They were designed by Adam’s grandmother, Vita Sackville-West, and her husband Harold Nicolson in the 1930s. You will enjoy a special tour before Sissinghurst opens to the general public.

Glorious gardens: Each day of your holiday includes tours of wonderful gardens, from the beautiful seven-acre Great Comp Garden and the historic manor house at Lullingstone Castle, one of England’s oldest family estates, to Pashley Manor and garden writer Christopher Lloyd’s celebrated English country garden at Great Dixter.

Stylish hotel stay: You will be based throughout at the four-star Spa Hotel close to the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Set in 14 acres of picturesque grounds, the hotel, originally built in 1766 as a country mansion, has 70 stylish bedrooms, an award-winning restaurant, swimming pool, steam room and spa.


  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the Spa Hotel, Royal Tunbridge Wells.
  • Three dinners at the hotel.
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout.
  • Special talks and events with Sarah Raven.
  • Two-course lunch and tour of Sarah Raven’s gardens.
  • Visits to the gardens of Lullingstone Castle, Great Comp, Scotney Castle, Pashley Manor and Great Dixter.
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager.

ITINERARY: DAY 1 Arrive in Tunbridge Wells and visit Great Comp and Lullingstone Castle DAY 2 Pashley Manor and Scotney Castle DAY 3 Great Dixter and Sissinghurst DAY 4 Sarah Raven’s garden at Perch Hill, and depart


The dates: June 6 to 9, 2023. The price: From £1,295pp* for four days.

Call 01334 260 256 quoting reference MOS SARAH RAVEN. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/sarahraven.

Terms and conditions: *From price is per person, based on two sharing a double room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £195. Deposit required. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included but required for most of our overseas trips, and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Brightwater Holidays (ATOL 4498). 

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