Touring Gardens: A Horticulturist’s Handbook for Vacations.

Critical Overview:

Gardening has long been a popular leisure activity, and it seems that this trend is extending to travel as well. Garden-inspired breaks have emerged as a new travel niche, catering to green-fingered travelers who seek to combine their love of gardening with their vacation plans. From guided tours of botanical gardens to garden-themed cruises, there is no shortage of options for those looking for a garden-inspired getaway.

In this article, we will explore some of the most popular botanical break ideas available to travelers today. We will look at guided tours and cruises organized by the Royal Horticultural Society and leading tour operators. We will also examine day trips offered by Border Lines Garden Tours and residential or day-trip gardening courses provided by garden designer Arne Maynard. By the end of this article, readers will have a better understanding of the types of garden-inspired breaks that are available and what they can expect from them.

Royal Horticultural Society Tours:

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is a well-known organization that has been promoting gardening for over 200 years. The RHS has partnered with leading tour operators to offer gardening-themed escorted tours and garden-inspired cruises. These tours and cruises cater to both domestic and international travelers.

For those who wish to stay close to home, the RHS offers a five-night mini-break that explores the gardens of Devon and Cornwall. This tour includes visits to Capability Brown-designed gardens as well as other notable gardens in the area. For those who want to venture further afield, the RHS also offers tours to National Parks in Japan, Chile, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. These tours are organized in partnership with Brightwater Holidays, a leading tour operator.

Garden-Inspired Cruises:

If you prefer to combine your love of gardening with luxury cruising, the RHS has partnered with Voyages of Discovery to offer a range of cruises that include excursions to botanical gardens and other horticultural sites. These cruises take travelers to destinations such as Cuba, the Caribbean, Madeira, and the Mediterranean. Excursions are led by an RHS guest speaker, and the cruise ships have an on-board library stocked with gardening books.

Border Lines Garden Tours:

For those who prefer day trips, Border Lines Garden Tours offers an impressive selection of outstanding garden destinations. These trips are highly acclaimed and include visits to gardens in North Wales, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Somerset, and Sussex. This year’s tours also offer the opportunity to explore the interiors of some of the houses, including St Paul’s Walden Bury, Cothay Manor, Yarlington House, and Badminton House.

Gardening Courses:

For those who seek to improve their gardening skills while on vacation, Arne Maynard offers a range of residential and day-trip gardening courses. Maynard is a renowned garden designer who offers courses and workshops on topics such as creating atmosphere with plants, woodland and shady planting, the kitchen garden through the year, and creating gardens with a sense of place. These courses take place in the idyllic setting of Maynard’s Monmouthshire home.


Garden-inspired breaks are a new travel niche that caters to green-fingered travelers who want to combine their love of gardening with their vacation plans. From guided tours of botanical gardens to garden-themed cruises, there are plenty of options for those seeking a garden-inspired getaway. The Royal Horticultural Society, Border Lines Garden Tours, and garden designer Arne Maynard are just a few of the organizations that offer garden-inspired breaks. By taking advantage of these offerings, travelers can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and improve their gardening skills at the same time.