Blooming marvellous garden holidays

by Sylvia Pownall
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TRAVEL Department has launched a range of escorted garden holidays for 2018 and they’re blooming marvellous!

New tour destinations include Catalonia, Shakespeare’s Gardens and the unique winter gardens of Cambridge with visits to some of the most iconic gardens in the world.
And if you fancy flying further afield there’s a superb opportunity to experience the gardens of Japan during the spellbinding cherry blossom season.

The garden tours are led by expert guides Frances and Iain MacDonald, who run the renowned Bay Garden in County Wexford.

Having spent time living and working in Japan herself, Frances MacDonald is the perfect guide to bring garden enthusiasts to some of the country’s most impressive gardens and attractions.

She said: “Our garden tours are unique as our groups are small, allowing for individual attention from either myself or Iain.
“We welcome all ages and those travelling alone as the common interest in gardening, at varying levels, unites our group and allows us to share knowledge.

“We visit not only gardens that are generally open to the public but also smaller private gardens, where the owners guide us around their creations, which inspire and delight us.
“We look forward to visiting a new selection of gardens both in Ireland and further afield in 2018, and returning with renewed energy and fresh ideas for our own gardens.”

Gardens Kyoto

The once-in-a-lifetime 13-night Gardens and Sights of Japan tour visits the bustling high-rise metropolis of Tokyo, the gardens of the ancient city of Kyoto, the renewed city of Hiroshima and Mount Fuji.

Another highlight for 2018 is a new five-night break to the Gardens of Catalonia, including excursions to the stunning Marimurtra Botanical Garden on the Mediterranean, the Temps de Flors Flower Festival in Girona and a full day tour of Barcelona.


Park Guell

Also new for 2018 is a three-night tour of Shakespeare’s Gardens and the Cotswolds, visiting some of the fine houses and gardens associated with England’s greatest playwright.
Alternatively there’s a magical Winter Gardens & Christmas in Cambridge two-night break featuring a guided tour of the winter wonderland at Cambridge Botanic Gardens.

Closer to home, there will also be new Irish tours to the Gardens of Carlow and Kildare, and the Gardens of Antrim and Down.

Other highlights include the Gardens of Cornwall, Gardens of the Lake District, Gardens of Lake Como, Gardens of Brittany and Gardens of East Cork, as well as trips to two major Horticultural Shows – Chelsea Flower Show and the Tatton Park Flower Show – and two exclusive tours to Highgrove, the garden of HRH Prince Charles.

Winter Gardens Cambridge

Further information at 01 6371635 or visit

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