RHS Gardens have announced dedicated packages for groups visiting an RHS Garden this winter, including special winter walking tours, festive feasting options, and the festive Glow Illuminations at RHS Gardens Wisley in Surrey, Rosemoor in Devon, and Harlow Carr in Harrogate. There is also a special Winter Garden at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, a Winter Sculpture Exhibition at Rosemoor and a variety of inspirational experiences to be had in the gardens themselves.
Complementing visits with catering packages, groups can also indulge in festive lunches, afternoon teas, mulled wine, mince pies, and delicious warming suppers.
With superb plant centres and gift shops at all the properties, there is also plenty of inspired Christmas shopping ranging from tree decorations and seasonal plants to beautiful arts, jewellery and crafts, along with a huge range of books, tableware, and presents for children.
Melissa Hackney, Groups Marketing Manager at RHS Gardens said, “Our winter events are a great way for groups to enjoy the gardens at this time of year. With memorable events and festive displays adding to the winter flora, they represent great value for money with no additional charge for the illuminations. In addition to free parking and RHS members entering free of charge, there is also the excellent added benefit for groups who have already visited an RHS Garden during the year, to book a second visit (between October and January) to another RHS Garden with a 50% discount.”
RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey
With over 200 acres set in the heart of Surrey, RHS Garden Wisley is an ideal day trip from London. It is equally inviting in the winter months with giant illuminated flowers and other atmospheric illuminations which will set the grounds aglow from 7 December to 5 January 2020.
During this time groups can also enjoy a dedicated catering package for up to 50 people with views out towards the Seven Acres and Illuminations, making for a great winter treat. Options include a festive lunch with prosecco or afternoon with mulled wine, mince pies, cranberry and gin brownies or Christmas cake.
Groups visiting Wisley during winter can enjoy shrubs and trees planted for winter display, scented plants and fabulous stem colour, as well as century-old conifers in the Pinetum. There is also the mass planting of 100 lightly fragrant yellow flowers – Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Grandiflora’ – one of many treasures on the Winter Walk, colourful potted displays of more than 100 crocus species in the Alpine House along with other changing displays. For an extra special experience, groups can book a private walking tour to see the best of the garden with a resident expert. Prices from £12.20pp when pre-booking groups of 10+. Private walks from £3pp.
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon
Groups to North Devon can see Rosemoor’s Winter Garden, Stream Field and Long Borders come to light in the early evening with magical ‘Glow’ illuminations on selected Thursday, Fridays and Saturday from 14 November until 4 January and enjoy special catering packages and a selection of warming treats between 5.30pm and 7.30pm during this period.
In addition, the popular Winter Sculpture Exhibition, available daily, will provide added interest to the gardens when visiting between 7 November to 31 January, with artwork juxtaposed against the backdrop of the garden in winter. Despite the season, visitors will be able to enjoy a surprising mix of colour, fragrance, texture and structure, with a selection of self-guided seasonal trails to stimulate their senses.
In addition to the gardens’ gift shop, groups can also make the most of additional festive shopping opportunities during the Christmas Design for Living fair (22 – 24 November) and the Magic of Christmas fair (14 %15 December). Prices from £7.00pp when pre-booking groups of 10+. 50% offer not applicable. Private walks from £3pp.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Yorkshire
Christmas comes early to RHS Garden Harlow Carr this year with an exhibition featuring local makers and artists, providing the perfect opportunity to pick up unique festive gifts when visiting the garden between 15 October and 24 November.
Then, from 21 November to 28 December, visitors will be able to experience the garden in a completely new light, following a sparkling illuminated trail along the lake and around the Streamside Walk, Winter Walk, Doric columns and Alpine House.
Located on the outskirts of Harrogate in 58 acres of wooded valley, Harlow Carr captures the essence of Yorkshire within a beautiful garden setting. During the winter months visitors can enjoy the vibrant colour of bright barks, Cornus stems and berries along the Winter Walk, as well as fragrant winter flowering shrubs, fabulous stem colours and bird watching from the hide. Groups can round off their trip with a visit to the Christmas shop and enjoy seasonal treats at the famous Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms. Prices from £9.50pp when pre-booking groups of 10+. Private Garden Tour from £3pp.
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex
RHS Garden Hyde Hall will take on a magical feeling during the winter months with crisp wintry walks and a radiant Winter Garden including bright conus stems, peeling cherry barks and vibrant beds of ‘Christmas roses’. Inventive displays of sculptured coppiced willow and frost-tinged perennials further add to the festive feel. Groups can build up an appetite on walks around Clover Hill, along the lake and up to the Hilltop Garden with its stunning views over the Essex countryside before indulging in a delicious festive treat at the Clover Cafe or Gardeners Rest Restaurant.
The Christmas Gift and Craft Fair (22 – 24 November) will provide even more festive shopping opportunities in addition Hyde Hall’s own gift shop. Prices from £9.50pp when pre-booking groups of 10+. Private Garden Tour from £3pp.