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April 18, 2018 - April 18, 2018

GMG Visit to Swiss Garden, Biggleswade

The Swiss GardenWe are delighted that we have organised a guided tour of the picturesque 19th century Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth.

Created between 1824 and 1832, it was the project of Lord Ongley who, in the Regency fashion, wanted to recreate a picturesque alpine landscape in the flat Bedfordshire countryside. By moving tons of earth and using shrubs, trees, paths, lakes and follies, he transformed the nine-acre garden into what a contemporary visitor described as a "fairyland". There's really nowhere else quite like it in Britain.

The garden, which reopened in 2014 after a £2.8 million Lottery-funded restoration, has 13 listed structures including the marvellous thatched 'Swiss Cottage'. Other highlights are a glazed fernery, an atmospheric shell grotto, and many ornate bridges and pergolas. In April the garden will be full of spring colour from daffodils and fruit blossom.

Our visit will begin at 10.45am with tea and coffee in the Garden Room. Then GMG member Corinne Price, the grounds manager, will take us on a guided tour and tell us about the intriguing history of the Swiss Garden. After this we will enjoy a complimentary light lunch in the 1872 house (not usually open to the public), which overlooks the parkland.

After lunch, we are free to explore the adjacent Shuttleworth Collection of cars and aircraft. Even if you are not a petrolhead, this famous museum is a fascinating place, with exhibits including penny farthings, Edwardian cars, a Sopwith Camel and the only surviving Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain.

This visit is free to GMG members; there is a £15 charge for non-members, payable on the day to the garden. There are no restrictions on photography. If you are coming by public transport, the nearest station is Biggleswade, three miles away by taxi.

To book your place on this exciting visit, please contact Kate @ GMG Admin as soon as possible.

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