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Above image shows the parterre garden at Charlcote House

Today was the first day of the tour in which rain featured throughout. However, we progressed as follows:

First to Hidcote Manor Garden near Chipping Campden.This garden was created over a period of 30 years commencing 1907 by one Major Lawrence Johnston. During the 1920s Major Johnston travelled the world selecting plants for his creation which became one of England’s great Art & Crafts gardens.

We explored Johnston’s ‘garden of rooms’.The vibrancy of the Spring flowers and blooms was magnified against the dark and rainy backdrop.

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Next we travelled to Kineton and then up to Radway Tower ( aka Prince Rupert’s Tower) on Edgehill. This is the site of the first (1642) battle in the English Civil War the result of which was inconclusive. The Tower offers superb views over the local landscape. It was built in 1742 to commemorate the battle of 100 years previoulsy.The lower floor is now a restaurant where we had lunch.

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Next, to Charlecote House and Park near Stratford-upon-Avon.This is, essentially, a 16th century mansion built by the wealthy Lucy family, although much embellished during the Victorian era. The House sits on the bank of the River Avon, has well presented gardens and is surrounded by 185 acres of parkland which contains a herd of deer.

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Charlecote concluded our tour for the day following which we returned to our lodgings in Moreton in the Marsh.

Tomorrow, we visit Blenheim Palace.

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