The Beth Chatto Gardens


A great summer day out


to an inspirational and famous garden in Essex


Monday 22nd May 2017   


Beth Chatto OBE is an award winning plantswoman.  Born in 1923 to enthusiastic gardening parents, after working as a teacher she married the late Andrew Chatto in 1943. His life long interest in the origins of plants influenced the development of the Gardens and our use of plants to this day.Her work at the Gardens began in 1960 when she took an overgrown wasteland of brambles, parched gravel and boggy ditches and transformed it using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions. An inspirational, informal garden has developed over the years. What was once a car park is now a world-renowned Gravel Garden [which is never watered] and the dozens of plants Beth used to give family and friend have morphed into one of the UK’s leading plantsman’s nurseries. Beth continues to oversee the development of the Gardens and works closely with her team. The Gardens remain a family-run business, managed by Beth’s granddaughter Julia Boulton.  


You might have caught a glimpse of the gardens recently when they were featured on an episode of Monty Don’s TV series Big Dreams, Small Spaces and in the new series of Gardeners World [BBC 2] Carol Klein shares with viewers some of her heroes of gardening - the people who have impacted the way we garden for the last 50 years. She began with Beth Chatto.


Itinerary for the Day


After our usual coach pick ups and a welcome coffee and comfort stop at the Great Danes Hotel, we will travel to the Beth Chatto Gardens [estimated arrival 12.15pm], which are located in Elmstead Market, near Colchester. On arrival we can buy lunch in the tea- room before exploring all the gardens have to offer at our own pace.  If you wanted to bring a picnic please note that you are not allowed to picnic in the gardens, only in the car park area.  Once you have seen all you can of the gardens you might like to return to the tearoom to buy a nice cup of tea and maybe a slice of cake. Expected departure time is 4pm.

Excursion Price: £45.00


Price includes: coach travel throughout; coffee and biscuits en-route, entrance to the gardens, coach driver’s gratuity, courier services


8.00am Sandwich Railway Station                                      

8.08am Sholden Church


8.12am  Deal Fire Station Bus Stop                                    


8.15am Deal South Street                                                  


8.20am Walmer – opposite butcher’s shop                          


8.40am Dover – St Paul’s Catholic Church, Maison Dieu Rd


9.00am Folkestone outside Bus Station


9.05am Folkestone bus stop opposite Trinity Church


9.10am Seabrook bus stop opposite Fountain Pub


9.15am Hythe Red Lion Square bus stop


9.45am  Great Danes Hotel near Maidstone [coffee stop]


Contact Theatre Club Kent:

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