All in a day: Secret Gardens of London Tour

Date Posted: 03/09/2013

A group at Chelse Physic Garden.

Pictured: Chelsea Physic Gardens.

Groups interested in flowers, parks and gardens should enjoy this day out from Greenwich Royal Tours. The Secret Gardens of London day itinerary takes you to see some of the capital’s hidden away beauty spots and gardens, off the beaten tourist track.

9.30am – Gems in the heart of the West End

The group trip begins at St Martin in the Fields Church, on London's Trafalgar Square.

There’s then a ten minute walk to see the 17th century St Paul's, nicknamed the actor’s church because of its long association with the theatrical community. There’s time to look over the church and its pretty graveyard garden; followed by a walk to Covent Garden, modelled after an Italian piazza.

From Covent Garden, the tour takes you past the Opera House and onto Lincoln's Inn Fields, London's largest square. Located on the square is John Soane House, once residence of the eccentric architect John Soane.

His house is home to a truly eclectic mix of Hogarth prints, Roman antiquities and Egyptian artefacts including a sarcophagus that once held its own mummy. Outside in the garden is some impressive statuary.

10.30am - From Dickens to Temple Gardens

Groups will then be led through the square, past the bamboo garden there, across the Strand and into the hidden Temple Gardens.

Here, among the Inns of Courts (which is explored in detail on another walking tour offered by Greenwich Royal Tours, Law in London) are some charming small gardens; Temple Church (of Da Vinci Code fame); and the fountain featured in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit.

11.15am -   A visit to one of London’s ‘best small museums’

After a short coach ride, the tour heads to the London Garden Museum, adjacent to Lambeth Palace on the Thames. This is an ideal stop-off for all garden lovers and described as: “One of London's best small museums” by the Daily Telegraph.

High tea.

Pictured: Enjoying high tea in Kensington Palace Orangery.

Groups visiting the museum can learn more about the social history of gardening in Britain and see an unusual 17th century Knot Garden there.

In addition, there will be the opportunity to take a tea/coffee break in the museum.

12.15pm -   Learn about the medicinal qualities of plants

After another hop on the coach, you will arrive at the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Established in 1673, the garden offers a truly remarkable array of apothecary plants and flowers.

Visitors can often latch onto a frequent in-house tour led by one of the knowledgeable garden volunteers, who can explain all about the medicinal qualities of plants and flowers to your party.

Groups should allow at least an hour and a half at Chelsea Physic Garden.

2pm – High tea at Kensington Palace

Depart by coach for Kensington Palace.

Once the official residence of Diana, Princess of Wales, group travel organisers can enjoy a traditional high tea in the recently restored Orangery, before strolling around the perimeter of the sunken garden, which offers some stunning floral arrangements.

4pm - Depart for home

The coach will be ready to take you back to Trafalgar Square.

Included within the price of the tour is a tour guide, all museum admission fees, high tea and your transport.

The Secret Gardens of London Tour is run daily by Greenwich Royal Tours between 1st April and 30th September 2014.

For further group travel information contact:

0800-542 1200
www.greenwichroyaltours.com

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