29th January, 2017
In the midst of the winter frost it’s hard to believe that spring, replete with new life and vibrant colours, is just around the corner. For flower lovers, the warmer weather brings with it the excitement of new blooms, celebrated every British summertime with a diverse array of flower shows scattered across the country. This year marks the opening of a new flower show from the Royal Horticultural Society, taking place in the verdant grounds of Chatsworth House in June. In celebration of this new addition to the botanical calendar, and to spread a little warmth during a very chilly January, we've picked three brilliant UK flower shows, set in the grounds of beautiful historical homes – all of which you can incorporate into one of our cycling tours.
Chatsworth House is the lavish stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, located in the Derbyshire dales, and its 1000 acre parklands are the ideal spot for floral festivities. The newest flower show from the RHS, which will make its debut between June 7-11, promises to surprise and delight visitors with an immersive horticultural experience centred around the theme of ‘Design Revolutionaries’, with the aim of imbuing traditional design with an innovative twist. We recommend kickstarting your summer holiday with a visit to the show, followed by a weeklong ramble and ride around the Cotswolds, starting in Oxford and taking in glorious scenery by bike and on foot.
Head up to Scotland to enjoy one of the country’s finest flower shows, set in the sumptuous woodlands surrounding Rozelle House, an imposing 18th-century mansion. Expect specially-created miniature and themed gardens, as well as a variety of delicious food and drink stands and cookery demonstrations. The three-day event takes place in early August, but you'll need to keep an eye on the website as this year’s dates are yet to be released. Ayr is located just south of Glasgow, and is the perfect pit stop for travellers to the dramatic shores of Loch Lomond – incidentally the starting point of our lochs and glens to Edinburgh tour. Scenic cycling heaven.
Less home, more vast medieval royal household, Hampton Court Palace is one of Greater London’s most extraordinary buildings, boasting a unique combination of Tudor and Baroque architecture. Best known as the residence of King Henry VIII, Hampton Court is now equally recognised for its annual hosting of the world’s biggest flower show in the palace’s breathtaking park. Featuring show gardens, floral marquees and pavilions, as well as complementary talks and demonstrations, it is the second major national show after Chelsea and differs in its particular focus on environmental issues and self-grown produce. This year’s show takes place from July 4-9, so why not make a trip of it and plan your visit around our Thames-side cycling holiday Windsor and Hampton Court – a freewheeling celebration of royal history.