London, Paris & the Chelsea Flower Show 9 days / Special Event Tours
About This Experience
The Chelsea Flower Show is more than just your garden-variety flower show—it’s an annual cultural event that kicks off London’s spring season, luring both English elite and horticultural innovators from around the globe. Get to know the event’s host city on a guided tour before spending a day exploring the show’s fresh blooms and cutting-edge design trends. Then, it’s on to Paris, where you’ll stroll among the gardens and green spaces that inspired the likes of Monet.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
7 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Multilingual Tour Director
Private deluxe motor coach
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
You’ll never look at gardening the same way
Wandering the landscapes that inspired Impressionists
London’s historic landmarks are more like pop icons
There’s nothing like Paris in springtime
Incredible views from underneath the English Channel
Sipping café au laits & traditional English ales
Overnight Flight1 night
London4 nights - hotel info
Touch ground, then take off to do your own thing
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Welcome to London! After clearing customs and collecting your bags, look for the “Hotel by Bus” transfer desk. They’ll be providing your transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for beginning your explorations of London. Meet your fellow group travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.
Big Ben, Buckingham, buskers—bring on the English icons
Embark on a panoramic sightseeing tour of London this morning. You’ll see Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace and more. This afternoon, consider joining our optional excursion to Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle $85* pp
Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest-inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.
Wander the city’s nooks and crannies, from Soho to Covent Garden
With another free day in London, set out to explore hidden parts of the capital: Soho, Covent Garden and Charing Cross. Both Soho and Covent Garden boast vibrant local communities, while Marylebone’s pretty, village-like streets and quiet squares are one of London’s less-familiar retreats. You may also opt to join our excursion to Kew Gardens, one of the world’s leading botanic gardens. Here, you’ll see the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants, with over 40,000 different species. The garden’s seven glasshouses, including the famous Palm House, display rare and unusual plants from across the world. You’ll start out with a guided tour of Kew Gardens and after an included light lunch, set out to explore on your own.
Kew Gardens $125* pp
Now a World Heritage Site, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is home to the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants, with over 40,000 different species. The garden’s magnificent glasshouses, including the famous Palm House, display rare and unusual plants from around the world. A light lunch is included. Please note: This optional requires advanced booking at least 20 days before your departure.
They call it a flower show, but it’s more like a living art gallery
Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show is the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship annual event. Visitors come from far and wide to see the best of garden design and horticulture, and to get ideas to take home to their own gardens. It’s here that plant breeders unveil new plants and the Great Pavilion provides the first glimpses of the newest horticultural trends. Later, join an optional excursion to one of Britain’s newest attractions, the London Eye, before dining out at a local pub.
London Eye & Pub Dinner $119* pp
Glide through London's skyline on the London Eye. As the world’s third-tallest observation wheel, the London Eye lifts its passengers 450 feet above the River Thames on a 30-minute ride in an enclosed gondola. In clear weather, you can see for 25 miles around the city center. Afterward, take a brief tour of London’s West End before venturing to a local pub for dinner. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked no fewer than 20 days prior to departure.
Paris3 nights - hotel info
Dive into the depths of the Channel and surface in Paris
This morning, transfer to Saint Pancras Station. Here, you’ll board the Eurostar, Europe’s quarter- mile-long, high-speed train that whisks passengers below the English Channel and resurfaces in France. Relax aboard comfortable, state-of-the-art transportation, arriving at Gare du Nord in Paris just three hours later. Upon arrival, a Go Ahead representative greets you and oversees check-in at your Paris hotel, where you’ll share an included dinner with your travel companions.
The gardens, the museums, the Eiffel—it’s undeniable, c’est amour
Set out on a sightseeing tour of the City of Light this morning, taking in Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and much more. This afternoon, consider joining our optional excursion to Versailles.
Versailles $99* pp
The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 45 days prior to departure.
No, you didn’t walk into an Impressionist painting, you’re in Giverny
Monet Garden and Foundation
This morning, travel to Norman town of Giverny, where Claude Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926. Here, you’ll view the artist’s workspace. Absorb the intricate palette of colors that the “Father of Impressionism” employed in his paintings—such as the Water Lilies series—as you stroll through the surrounding gardens. Later, join your Tour Director for an afternoon walking tour through the gardens of Paris, during which you’ll stroll through the Jardin des Plantes and Luxembourg Gardens. With over 400 public “green spaces” in Paris, a garden is never far away, offering a calm break from the bustle of the city. And with over one-fourth of the total area of the city dedicated to parks, gardens and woods, Paris is arguably the greenest city in Europe. In the evening, opt to enjoy our Evening in Paris excursion and take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light. After dinner at local restaurant, you’ll board a boat to cruise along the Seine, the perfect way to spend your last evening in Paris.
Evening in Paris $99* pp
Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris' bridges, you'll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: the dress code may vary depending your restaurant, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Great Britain and France, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to the Great Britain and France. Be sure to check with your health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in London and depart from Paris. Your transfer upon arrival in London is provided by “Hotel by Bus” transfer service, and you can find them at a desk after you make your way through customs and baggage. There’s an included transfer on the high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris. All other transportation on is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the two cities by public transportation. London’s tube system, consists of 12 lines. Tickets and passes can be purchased in singles or in bulk. London also has an extensive bus system. Paris’ massive Métro is world-class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which one might work best.
Clothing & Packing Tips
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
For traditional British fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie, and Cumberland sausages are specialties. Sip afternoon tea with delicious finger sandwiches and scones at Harrods for the ultimate in English tradition. Modern-day London also boasts an array of ethnic restaurants unmatched by almost any other city in the world. Popular options include Indian, Thai,Chinese, Indonesian, Greek and West African cuisine. Throughout Paris, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For a casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crêpes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from the cafes. For restaurants, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or four-course set menu for a good price.
The British pound and the euro (in France) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, as needed. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges..
At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
Had a wonderful time on Go Ahead's London, Paris and the Chelsea Flower Show Tour. Our tour director, Suzy, wisely timed our arrivals at the Chelsea Flower Show in England and Giverny in France so that we would get to each before the crowds, providing excellent viewing of the gardens. Suzy was an excellent tour director. She not only provided information about specific locations and history, but also the philosophies of each country. She went out of her way to ensure that everyone had a wonderful experience. The only problems we had were with the hotels. We found the Kensington Close Hotel in London to be of poor quality so I informed Go Ahead of a list of problems (some having to do with customer service; others with facilities). In Paris, the air conditioner in our room was broken and reported as broken on our first night there. It was never fixed during the length of our stay even though we were told it would be. Other members of our tour group had the same problem with their air conditioners and to my knowledge they were never fixed either.
First time trip to London and Paris
I went for my first trip outside of US to London and Paris. The hotel in London and Paris provided breakfast each morning. My friends/group did take off a few times to go on other outings to explore other than what may have been planned for the tour. Our tour guide Suzy was very knowledgeable and spoke fluent French. She helped out in buying subway tix in Paris , then we in turn bought them from her since it made things alot easier for us. We were picked up at Heathrow airport and were taken to Chas Degalle airport for the plane ride home. There was a city tour bus ride one morning in London and one in Paris. There were alot of trips/excursions to sign up for, if that was what you are interested in doing.
London, Chelsey Flower Show and Paris
Although I first thought that this 9 day trip was going to be too short (really 7 days due to one day going and one returning), it turned out to be perfect. The first day in each location started out with a city bus tour, which provided a wonderful overview of each city. The optional tours, some of which I took and some not, gave me the freedom to have some time on my own. Such optional excursions in London were going to Stonehenge and Bath, as well as taking in a show, namely, Phantom of the Opera, which was terrific.The Chelsey Flower Show was outstanding. My camera never stopped clicking the beautiful array of flowers, plants, vegetables and displays. My only recommendation would be to cut the Chelsey tour by about two hours. We arrived before 9am and by 1pm, had walked so much and seen so much, that instead of meeting the bus at 3:30, we could have shortened the day, especially as it was a hot day to begin with. Paris being the shorter part of the trip, still was amazing. I took fewer of the optional excursions here because I had a friend living there & was able to connect with her for one of the days. Our tour director, Suzy Madge, was a delight. She was so knowledgeable about the history of each country, in addition to the input shared as we came to each new site in each location. Her humor, coupled with her desire to answer the many questions people asked, was the frosting on the cake for this memorable trip.
Very well organized tour
Suzy, our tour director, was very knowledgable, organized & caring. Would definitely recommend this company & tour to all first time or active travelers