Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Visit the gardens at Highgrove House with former BBC Royal correspondent Jennie Bond
The Cotswolds are home to some of Britain’s most gorgeous gardens and classic, honey-stone houses – so it’s no wonder that keen gardener Prince Charles chose the area for a home where he could create a country retreat.
Since buying Highgrove House in 1980, the Prince of Wales has redeveloped the garden, taking on a new project each year. With the help of his friend Lady Salisbury, he has surrounded the house with scented wisteria, honeysuckle, jasmine and thyme, and has also created an experimental wildflower meadow of endangered native plants.
Magical: On The Mail on Sunday’s special four-day tour you’ll explore the gardens of Highgrove House (above) in the Cotswolds
You will visit majestic Windsor Castle (pictured), the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, now used by the Queen as her permanent residence
MEET YOUR SPECIAL GUEST
You will be joined by Jennie Bond
As a Royal correspondent for 14 years, broadcaster and journalist Jennie Bond was at the heart of events that made headlines. She talked about her time as a Royal correspondent in a documentary for Channel 5, Jennie Bond’s Royals, and is the author of several books on the subject.
Jennie, who spent 14 years reporting on the monarchy, will give a talk and take part in a Q&A session.
You’ll also visit Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, now used by the Queen as her permanent residence.
The State Apartments are the focal point of the castle and were modernised by Charles II, who was trying to outdo his cousin Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles. Admire painted ceilings and the many works of art from the Royal Collection that line the walls as you explore the lavish interiors.
Other highlights of this memorable trip will include Henry VIII’s extravagant Tudor mansion Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and a walk around the exterior of Buckingham Palace.
REASONS TO BOOK
Tour the gardens of Highgrove House: Take in the fragrant wildflower meadow at this beautiful Cotswolds property, which contains some 32 varieties of endangered native plants as well as many hidden corners and peaceful spaces for you to explore.
Hear from Jennie Bond: You’ll meet Jennie at the gardens of Highgrove House, and the Royal expert will share fascinating tales from her many years covering the monarchy through one of its most turbulent periods, as well as answering your questions.
Go inside Windsor Castle: Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, Windsor Castle is the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle. Its ornate State Apartments are filled with exquisite antique furniture and priceless artworks.
Tour Hampton Court Palace: Perhaps best known for Henry VIII’s life of excess, Hampton Court Palace features a maze and lavish rooms. Watch out for ghosts – the ‘screaming’ Queen Catherine Howard is rumoured to haunt its halls.
Discover grisly tales: Another of William the Conqueror’s castles – built to protect him from an uprising – the Tower of London was for centuries England’s most notorious prison. Famous inmates included Guy Fawkes and Sir Walter Raleigh.
Stay in comfort: Nestling in 25 acres of stunning landscaped gardens, DoubleTree by Hilton St Anne’s Manor, Wokingham, is a historic country manor with a 14-metre indoor pool, sauna, steam room and an award-winning chef. The hotel also has tennis courts and a 24-hour fitness room.
- Tour of Highgrove House gardens with Jennie Bond.
- Talk and Q&A with Jennie.
- Tour of Hampton Court Palace.
- Visits to Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London.
- Three nights’ accommodation at DoubleTree by Hilton St Anne’s Manor, Wokingham.
- Three breakfasts, one lunch and two dinners.
- Transfers and services of an experienced tour manager.
YOUR ITINERARY: DAY 1 Arrive, welcome talk from tour manager and dinner DAY 2 Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace DAY 3 Tour of Highgrove gardens, with lunch, talk and Q&A with Jennie Bond DAY 4 Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace walk (exterior) and Tower of London
HOW TO BOOK
The price: From £1,149pp*. The dates: September 21 to 24, 2022.
Call 02045 792 923 quoting MOS HIGHGROVE BOND. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/highgrovebond.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: *Price shown based on two people sharing. Single supplement applies. Subject to availability. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and expert-led events and the overall itinerary may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated.