Rockcliffe and Highgrove, 11th and 12th April 2019

Highgrove House, Nr. Tetbury

Please join us/register your interest for our visit on Thurs 11 April and Friday 12 April 2019 This event is organised by Martin Staniforth and Peter Styles.

After considerable discussions with the Royal Household we are pleased to announce that we have been given special access to TRHs gardens at Highgrove in Gloucestershire. These discussions have unfortunately resulted in a rather late announcement of this event, but we hope that members will understand the difficulties. This is a rare opportunity for members to be shown around the gardens by the Head Gardener Debs Goodenough MVO, who has kindly agreed to give her time in what will be a very busy time for the gardens with their planned special week long ‘Talking Gardens’ events. In addition we have also arranged a visit to Rockcliffe Gardens, a wonderful private garden in Upper Slaughter.

Outline Programme:


14.00 Meet at Rockcliffe Gardens, Upper Slaughter

Rockcliffe Gardens, Upper Slaughter

Rockcliffe Gardens, Upper Slaughter

Rockcliffe Gardens has been developed by Emma Keswick over the last 30 years, it is an 8 acre private garden in Upper Slaughter in the heart of the Cotswolds rarely open to the public. Rose terraces, herbaceous border, rectangular pond with Cornus contraversa ‘Variegata’ stretching branches across it, lawn leading up to a ha-ha edged with huge pyramids of beech, yew hedged rooms, canals, walled kitchen garden, greenhouses, and above the kitchen garden a path flanked by yew birds leading up to the orchard (image) to a stone dovecot built 2001. Beyond the dovecot is an arboretum underplanted with Tenby daffodils, pheasant eye narcissi, star of Bethlehem and autumn colchicum.

Kew Graduate Thomas Unterdorfer was the head gardener until last year when he moved to Juniper Artland. Amy Newsome current diploma student in course 56 trained at Rockcliffe and speaks highly of the garden.

Admission Charges

As this a private garden and entrance is free, we have agreed a garden donation fee of £6.50 per person.

Directions: At the main traffic lights in Stow take the B4068 signposted Naunton and Lower Swell. Go through Lower Swell on the B4068 and continue on this road for 1 mile until you see a converted barn on the left-hand side of the road. Continue on round a bend and the entrance to Rockcliffe Garden is half-way down the beech covered hill on the right. The entrance is a break in the bank  with a cattle grid. Address Rockcliffe, Upper Slaughter, Cheltenham, Glos., GL54 2JW

There is parking at the gardens.


We are proposing to have an optional members dinner at a suitable pub/restaurant in the vicinity. Details to be announce but we would anticipate meeting up at 19.00.

Overnight Accommodation

There are a number of hotels and B&Bs in the area. Members will need to make their own arrangements regarding accommodation.


09.15 Meet at Highgrove, Nr Tetbury

Highgrove House, Nr. Tetbury

Highgrove House, Nr. Tetbury

09.30 Meet Debs Goodenough, the head gardener, who will take us around the gardens.

Created with imagination and passion by the Prince over the last 38 years, the series of interlinked organic gardens reflect his deep commitment to sustainability, as well as a natural artistic ability. As an important haven for a rich variety of flora and fauna, the gardens have been developed to not only please the eye but sit in succinct harmony with nature.

We can experience the gardens’ seasonal highlights in April and discover how the Prince has transformed a landscape which was once merely lawn into an ever-changing canvas of magnificent garden scenes.

From the classic order of the Cottage Garden to the pastoral beauty of the Wildflower Meadow, these unique spaces, along with hidden curios and horticultural innovations, offers a personal perspective  of the Prince.

11.30 pm. Formal tour concludes. As the café facilities are fully booked for that day, we will need to make our own lunch arrangements after the event.

Admission charges

Admission charges are normally £27.50 per person but Charlie Craven, the Royal Household estate administrator has kindly agreed to waiver charges for Kew members. We are proposing a donation of

£6.50 for each member to be donated to HRH charities.

Parking at Highgrove

Because of the busy programme of events at Highgrove that week car parking is restricted. We therefore need to consider car sharing from a predetermined carpark outside of the gardens to reduce the number of cars arriving at Highgrove. Details to be announced.


For Sat Nav, please use postcode GL8 8TQ, which will take you to the concealed entrance for The Royal Gardens at Highgrove. Do not go into Street Farm Workshops. Instead keep left on the narrow walled lane and stop after 100 metres at the police checkpoint for identification and vehicle checks. Please have your identity documents and tickets to hand at this stage.

From the South take the A433 towards Tetbury, passing the Westonbirt Arboretum and “Hare and Hounds” Hotel on the left. On nearing Doughton, pass a “concealed entrance” sign on the left-hand side. Immediately after the 30 mph speed restriction sign take the next small entrance on the left.


Full details of the payments required will be announced as soon as we have agreed the dinner arrangements on the Thursday 11 April.

Costs for garden entries will be: Rockcliffe Gardens £6.50 each Highgrove £6.50 each

All payments will be required prior to the visits and payment details will be confirmed.


Please register by email to Peter Styles and copy in Brian Phillips with your name, guests and confirmation of gardens visits or gardens and dinner.

There is a maximum limit of 25 and we anticipate a good response from members. This event will be a ‘first come first serve’.

REPLY TO: Peter Styles. tel. 07971 216896 or 0333 456 1132 Copy to Brian Phillips tel. 01342 824154.

Click on the link below for a printable pdf version of this programme:
Highgrove and Rockcliffe event outline programme

3 Comments on “Rockcliffe and Highgrove, 11th and 12th April 2019

  1. Hi, this came through to my alternative email address so have only just picked it up! I have already registered and booked accommodation so hope my name is still on the list !! See you all at he next meeting. Hope the weather will be as kind as it is today Jean


  2. Hi, please do not use this email address, I rarely look at it and may miss something !


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