TVL Wait may be required to see Prince Charles' gardens

By Susan Catto

New York Times News Service

Q. I understand that tours are sometimes arranged through the gardens of Prince Charles' estate at Highgrove. I'll be in London next spring and wonder how to arrange a stop.

A. It is not unusual to have to wait 18 months for a visit, according to the Prince of Wales' office at Clarence House. The house itself is not open to the public, but the prince occasionally invites small groups to visit the gardens, Clarence House says.

Highgrove House, near Tetbury, is in the Cotswolds, 90 miles west-northwest of London. It was built between 1796 and 1798 and remodeled a century later. The home of the prince since 1980, it has four reception rooms and six principal bedrooms.


Among the garden's features are a wildflower meadow, a sundial garden of black-and-white flowers, an arboretum, a walled garden and, here and there, statues -- all pictured in "The Garden at Highgrove" by the prince and Candida Lycett Green (St. Martin's Press).

Information: The Prince of Wales, Clarence House, St. James' Palace, London SW1A 1BA.

Q. My wife and I would like to take a five- or six-night deluxe guided bus tour of Georgia in early October. We would be willing to see towns outside of Georgia if that makes the tour more interesting.

A. Tauck World Discovery, (800) 788-7885,, has a seven-night, eight-day trip departing from Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 10. The tour begins with visits to two of the Georgia barrier islands -- Jekyll Island, known for its wildlife and mansions, and St. Simons Island, famous for its beaches and marshlands. The tour spends two nights in Savannah, one night on Hilton Head Island, a visit to the town of Beaufort and finally three nights in Charleston.

Accommodations include the Jekyll Island Club and the Mills House Hotel in Charleston. The tour costs $1,850 a person in double occupancy, including 15 meals but not air fare to Jacksonville or from Charleston. Other departure dates are available.

Starr Tours, (800) 314-8411,, has a few seats remaining on its bus tours of Charleston and Savannah Oct. 10-15. The tour spends one day in Savannah, two days in Charleston and an evening in Fredericksburg, Va. Other departure dates are also available.

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