Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the RHS’s new garden with architect Tom Stuart-Smith

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the RHS’s superb new garden with its architect Tom Stuart-Smith

Opened in May 2021, RHS Garden Bridgewater was one of the largest landscaping projects in Europe. A core team spent the first Covid lockdown putting in 25,000 plants across 154 acres, while staying socially distanced.

Their hard work at the fifth Royal Horticultural Society garden meant that 40,000 more plants than planned, and features including a lakeside path, were ready for its revised opening date last spring.

You can admire the spectacular results on our exclusive four-day tour – and making the trip even more memorable, you’ll be joined by the man behind the vision for the project, landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. Tom will lead you on an exclusive tour of the garden, which will be followed by a talk by him and a question-and-answer session.

Idyllic: The beautiful Paradise Garden at RHS Bridgewater in Salford 


You will be joined by Tom Stuart-Smith

You will be joined by Tom Stuart-Smith

Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith designed the Jubilee Garden at Windsor Castle to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, as well as the masterplan for the RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford – the largest new garden project in the UK.

Tom says: ‘I have known the amazing site that is to become RHS Garden Bridgewater for some time and it is really remarkable.

‘It is a great honour and a huge challenge to be able to contribute to this very exciting project.’

Your holiday will also take in some of the finest gardens in the North West, including the Trentham Estate which also features projects by Tom, Dunham Massey and Tatton Park, whose gardens have developed over 200 years. You’ll visit Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral, which has its own weather station, and Arley Hall, where a pair of herbaceous borders were first laid in 1846.


Exclusive events with Tom Stuart-Smith: Tom, who has designed eight gold-medal-winning gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show, will join you for a tour of RHS Gardens Bridgewater, the plan for which he designed. He will also deliver an illustrated talk and answer your horticultural questions.

Visit the newest RHS garden: The creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater is one of the most significant events in the 215-year history of the RHS, and its first new garden for nearly two decades. Its centrepiece is the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, one of the UK’s biggest, as large as six football pitches and comprising 11 gardens including The Paradise Garden, Kitchen Garden, Community Wellbeing Garden and Community Grow Garden.

Tour Trentham Estate: You’ll begin your break with a visit to the Staffordshire gardens where the contemporary revival of Italian gardens was led by Tom himself. Explore the Piet Oudolf-designed Rivers of Grass and Floral Labyrinth and the Trentham Lake, which was created by Capability Brown.

Discover delightful gardens: The year-round Ness Botanic Gardens feature lilies, primulas and terrace gardens with climbing plants, and herb and water gardens in the summer. Dunham Massey was planted in regimental fashion by the 2nd Earl of Stamford and Warrington before being abandoned in 1856. Sir Joseph Paxton, architect of Crystal Palace, designed aspects of Tatton Park. You’ll end your trip with a visit to the beautifully maintained gardens at Arley Hall. 


  • Tour of RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith.
  • Personal welcome from the curator of RHS Garden Bridgewater.
  • Talk and question-and-answer session with Tom Stuart-Smith.
  • Three nights’ B&B at the Queen at Chester Hotel, Premier Collection by Best Western, Chester.
  • Two dinners and one afternoon tea.
  • Visits to Trentham Estate, Arley Hall, Dunham Massey, Tatton Park and Ness Botanic Gardens.
  • Comfortable coaching throughout.
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager.

YOUR ITINERARY: DAY 1 Pick-up, then Trentham Estate DAY 2 Ness Botanic Gardens, RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith DAY 3 Dunham Massey, Tatton Park DAY 4 Arley Hall, return to pick-up point


The price: From £795pp* for four days. The dates: July 24 to 27, 2022.

Call 01334 441 880 quoting MOS Bridgewater. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/tomstuartsmith.

Terms and conditions: *Price based on two sharing. Single supplement available (£120pp). Subject to availability. Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and at the tour manager’s discretion. This trip is exclusive to Mail Travel and selected other titles. For full T&Cs, visit mailtravel.co.uk/tomstuartsmith.

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