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Glorious Gardens to Explore in 2019

14th March 2019

This month we are highlighting the great gardens of the UK and Ireland, showcasing outstanding ideas and experiences. From educational and traditional to wild or urban, Dream Escape can ensure access to exquisite gardens with fascinating owner and expert led visits and unique private access.


From curated tours of private gardens to architect designed gardens reflecting the fashions of centuries gone by, indulge the senses in a horticultural discovery. Ireland is a treasure trove for nature lovers and gardening enthusiasts and the grounds of castles and private estates provide the opportunity to see some of the rarest plant and tree species in the world.

Garden lovers will be charmed by Powerscourt House – National Geographic’s third favourite garden. The Shamrock Garden, (unsurprisingly, shaped like a shamrock!) is unlikely to be seen anywhere else.  It has Yew hedges in the shape of an Irish harp and striking tulip beds shaped in the Red Hand of Ulster. It’s a fitting introduction to a garden that’s both playful and political, formal yet exotic.

Enjoy a guided tour of one of the most celebrated and original gardens in the world, Mount Stewart. The head gardener will tell you of the eccentric family, their stories depicted in amazing topiary designs, mythological sculptures. The gardens are a living monument to their exceptional creator, Edith, Lady Londonderry, reflecting her unique personality, life, history, politics and values. Discover the newly restored sunken gardens which have been transformed into a kaleidoscope of colours and plants inspired by Maud Wards painting of 1864.


Explore the great gardens of England and learn of the famous and Royal characters who curated and created them.

Visit the Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens which was opened in July by HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and take the opportunity to explore the incredible gardens at the Prince’s residence, Highgrove. From the magnificence of the Thyme walk to the magical Stumpery, learn how each garden was crafted and see a glimpse into the life of the Prince.

Nearby, attend Gardening School at one of the Country’s most luxurious properties nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside. Discover, explore and learn the secrets of the 11 world-class enchanting gardens and orchards of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. From the tranquillity of the Japanese tea garden to the Mushroom Valley project.

Receive an exclusive tour of the Duke of Marlborough’s private Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace and explore the Formal Gardens which surround the palace including The Rose Garden, The Arboretum and The Grand Cascade, designed by ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th Century. Explore the park by buggy, visit the site of the ancient Oak forest and learn what it’s like to run the historic gardens of Blenheim Palace.

The great Castle Gardens of Kent provide the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the capital. It was Henry VIII who brought pleasure gardens to this area. In the 1530’s the King stayed in hunting lodges in the local vicinity, hoping to bump into Anne Boleyn. Hever Castle, once home to Anne Boleyn has a beautiful garden recreated as a slice of Italy in the middle of the Weald.

Chartwell, once the home of Winston Churchill is also on the ‘must-see’ list and the Kitchen Garden is a highlight. Using Churchill’s Head Gardener’s diaries and surviving invoices of seed purchases, a productive kitchen garden has been recreated.

Learn about Vita Sackville-West, her writing and her gardening, with an after-hours private garden tour led by the Head Gardener at Sissinghurst. Visit the newly opened retreat of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, a cottage retreat in the middle of the garden and visit Harold’s book room where he carried out most of his writing. The White Garden is Vita’s most famous creation. Breathtakingly elegant, it is a romantic vision and gardening masterpiece.


Discover some of Scotland’s finest gardens and estates and experience a world of beauty and adventure where you can relax, recharge and contemplate.

Go behind the scenes at Cawdor Castle and after a unique personal guided tour by Lady Cawdor, admire the rarely seen views from the top of the castle’s medieval tower. Discover the magnificent historic walled gardens and the wild garden with the Head Gardener providing fascinating insights into the workings of the gardens. The gardens also contain a number of commissioned sculptures which all have an interesting story and meaning behind them.

Explore one of the last remaining and most outstanding areas of conserved ancient Caledonian Oak woodland in the United Kingdom with a Ranger. Learn the history of this magnificent woodland, the animals and birds who call it home and the relation to the Castle and family who have lived here for over 600 years.

Discover bridges, ravines and rivers in a stunning castle estate which also provides a home to giant Sequoia and Redwood trees as well as the tallest Firs in Scotland. Take a horse and carriage ride and a private garden tour before star gazing the clear skies with a Dark Sky ranger.


Gardening Diary Dates 2019

 12-14 April: RHS Flower Show, Cardiff

29 April-5 May: National Gardening Week – Edible Britain

1 May–31 October: Raymond Blanc Gardening School, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison

18-26 May: Chelsea Fringe

21-25 May: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

30 May-3 June: Bloom in the Park, Dublin

31 May-2 June: Gardening Scotland, Edinburgh

5-9 June: RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Derbyshire

8-9 June: Open Garden Squares, London

21-22 June: Garden Museum Literary Festival, Houghton Hall, Norfolk

21-23 June: Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Woodstock

1-7 July: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival


Click below to view these inspiring featured itineraries

England’s Glorious Gardens

Great Gardens of Ireland

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    Clients of Jessica Thompson, Fairway Travel, Virtuoso

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    Connie Hanes, Herff Travel

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    Client of Leah Molinari, Molinari Travel, Gifted Travel Network

  • "Dream Escape was the trip of a lifetime. Excellent choice of hotels, tour guide was awesome, the planned tours were wonderful and very informative."

    Client of Trisha Rathke, VIP Travel Designs, Gifted Travel Network

  • "Dreamscape designed an itinerary that combined an exploration of Scottish history and culture and a visit to some of the filming locations for the hit TV show Outlander. The tour guides provided were personable and knowledgeable and responsive to our interests. Our driver who was with us for the entire trip was professional and pleasant and again, flexible and sensitive to our interests. The hotels were magnificent and the pacing of the trip, spending at least two nights in each hotel was perfect. The itinerary was everything we wanted!"

    Client of Susan Morley, Journeys around the World, Cadence

  • "Sally Strange was wonderful so knowledgable, friendly and fun. 100% would use her services again. We feel like we have a friend for life! We LOVED our tours, where we ate lunch, and spending the days with Sally......Thanks (once again!) for looking after our clients so well. We so appreciate you. "

    Lauren Ainsley, Black Tomato

  • "Rosie...thank you for giving us such a world-class experience in Scotland. Everyone had such a wonderful time and your presence was a large part of that. Your warmth and generosity in taking care of us on our little excursion is so beyond appreciated and I can’t wait to work with you again soon."

    Alex Martinetti

  • "Thank you so very much for the amazing trip to Scotland that you planned for us!! It was truly a once in a lifetime fabulous family trip!! Not only were the accommodations perfect, the activities were above expectations, given the people involved with so much knowledge and compassion for what they do....Many, many heartfelt thanks for making this trip so very special for our family. "

    Clients of Kristen Meckem, Kristen Meckem Travel, An Affiliate of Brownell

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    Jennifer McCrea, Boutique Travel Advisors

  • "We cannot thank you enough for all you did for us during our stay in Scotland! We loved every minute of it....and we loved you teaching us the history of each town and visit. "

    The Pogue Family - Clients of Amy Spence, Strong Travel

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    Pat Bowden, Red Letter Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell

  • "Michael does such an outstanding job with making sure every itinerary he works on with me is well thought out. He is attentive to detail and always allows for the clients interest to be reflected in their tours. He makes sure that the perfect tour operator and chauffeur is paired with each client. I wanted you to know what a pleasure it is working with Michael and knowing my clients will always be well cared for when traveling with Dream Escape! "

    Jennifer McCrea, Boutique Travel Advisors

  • "Without a doubt, what made all of it so special and unforgettable was having the true pleasure of having Sally Strange as our guide. She was truly full of life, energy, amazing historical knowledge anywhere we visited was extraordinary. Her sense of humor and fun personality made her extra special. Sally was a winner in every way."

    Clients of Betsy Talbot, Travel by Talbot (Brownell)

  • "Your team excelled on all levels! The execution of the itinerary was flawless!!! Well done. The clients LOVED Sally and this was just the second note from them about how exceptional she was. "

    Cathy Major, Cerulean World Travel

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    Krista Boyles, Unique Romance Travel

  • "I want to extend my deepest gratitude for your incredible work on this project, we really could not have gotten it across the finish line without you and your team 😊"

    Marieta Carrrero, Boost Journeys

  • "I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone at Dream Escape who helped in making the Gialamas' visit to London special. I know Dream Escape has many people behind the scenes that work on making an itinerary such as this flow seamlessly and I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work! "

    Jennifer McCrea, Boutique Travel Advisors

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    Black Tomato Clients

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    Gretchen Ashworth Stewart, Client

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    Nancy Ebel, Virtuoso Travel Advisor

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    Shannon Marie Long - Reed and Mackay

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    Josh Whitaker - Owner, Rudi Steele Travel

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    Rob Arrow, Al Tayyar Group

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    William A Heim, Client

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    Jean Newman-Glock, Signature Travel Network

  • "You were the heart and soul of the trip….I truly admired your sunny personality, sense of humor, organization and professionalism.  You also demonstrated  that a guide’s work is never done as you were constantly researching….. Did you ever rest??? "

    Sharon Delano, Frosch

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    Thomas Cohen, Client

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    Jill Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "Our holiday in Scotland now tops their lists of best trips…… To their growing list of amazing and memorable first-time experiences, our sons may add fishing for trout and salmon on the River Tay; steering a motor boat on Loch Ness; and taking private guided tours on Culloden Moor Of the eight full days we were in Scotland, Alex and Mattie thought each and every day was the best"

    Michael Guadarrama & Trammi Nguyen, clients of Peter Carideo. CRC Travel

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    Max Levy, Direct client

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    Joni Gerace, The Travel Society, LLC

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    Clients of Courtney Regan, Affiliate of Brownell Travel

  • "Rosie was MORE than outstanding – she went out of her way to help us in every regard...She was so knowledgeable – we all loved her"

    Jill A. Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

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    Cindy Evans, Travel Consultant

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    Carole McFarland, Universal Travel

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    Donald M. Davis, President, Luxury Travel, Inc.

  • "Thank you all so much it's great to have trusted friends on the ground to take care of our clients!"

    Peter Carideo, CRC Travel

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    Ann Lipschitz, Worldview Travel

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    Debra Fini, VWTI

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    Financial Times, How to Spend it

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    Country Life

  • "David Tobin’s an ace at getting inside private castles and estates and he’s well connected.... "

    Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

  • "The level of service they provide is outstanding. They truly care about every aspect of the trip to ensure you have a fantastic stay. Rosie is a hidden gem of a tour guide. Just fabulous."

    Yvonne Malka, Signature Travel Network, April 2018