Brightwater Holidays

Reviews of Brightwater Holidays

Overall company rating
4 92%
Reviews submitted: 236
Reviews accepted: 234
Reviews rejected: 2

Always a good holiday experience with Brightwater

By Couple-Tadworth on 16 Aug 2017

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about Caithness & Sutherland >

We have travelled several times with Brightwater, mostly on their garden holidays, and each time we have enjoyed wonderful gardens, a good standard of hotels and very competent and friendly tour guides and coach drivers. For the last two trips we have been privileged to have been led by garden experts. Our latest trip was to Gardens of Caithness and Sutherland and we visited a variety of lovely gardens. We have also enjoyed garden holidays in The Cotswolds, including Highgrove, Northumberland, Somerset and Dorset, the Scilly Isles and in France. .

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Brightwater staff are always helpful and it's easy to contact them by phone or e-mail. The company is large enough to be able to offer a wide variety of holidays but the office set-up seems small enough to care about individual travellers.

By roxanne on 15 Aug 2017

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about Highgrove and the Cotswolds >

Went on the Highgrove tour which I have already done in the spring some years ago. Excellent tour and viewed two different gardens-Westonbirt Arboreteum which had a free guided walk in the morning with a very knowledgeable volunteer guide,and Miserden Park in the afternoon.The biggest disappointment was Abbey House Gardens which to me did not look as though a gardener had been there since the spring, it was so unkempt.I feel another garden should have been viewed.Apart from this the holiday was great with an excellent hotel.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Brightwater holidays was very good and I would recommend them from my experience.

Architecture and Gardens of Andalucia (RHS Package) was Disappointing

By Single Traveler from US on 29 Jun 2017

Rating for this holiday Average

The tour itinerary was excellent, but I expected more garden-related information, especially for a tour associated with the Royal Horticultural Society. The tour guides were more oriented toward history than gardens and architecture. I learned more from the books I bought before the trip and videos on youtube. The best garden information was during an informal tour of a small garden at the place we had lunch near Ronda given by a person in our group.

Rating for tour operator Good

Brightwater Holidays was extremely helpful with information. I was traveling from the US alone and not England or Canada, where most people came from, so I was not traveling with the group to get to the start of the tour or at the end of the tour. They sent e-mail replies with a friendly and professional tone and timely manner with accurate information.

Tresco Disaster

By Click0518 on 9 Jun 2017

Rating for this holiday Poor

Last September my wife and l were booked for the Tresco garden break , our arrival was delayed due to train problems that were nothing to do with us but meant we were late into Penzance, thus missing the flight to The Isles of Scilley . I phoned Brightwater who assured us not to worry and that they would book us into a local guest house BUT that we would have to pay for this and our evening meal but not to worry all was covered within our travel insurance and a FULL refund would be made !!!!! Long story short on attempting to claim we were given the run around and actually received ZERO ZILCH NOTHING so we're a further £200 out of pocket.
I would never book another break / holiday with this company again it appears to me they Trade on the good name of the RHS

Rating for tour operator Poor

Brightwater were useless when things went wrong and that is a sign of their competence any can get praise when things go well

Great Experience

By Lanka Jewels on 12 Nov 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

A little disappointed to go to a tea factory that was just a museum instead of a working factory.i.e Glen Loch on the way to Kandy.
Also Yala was far too busy and maybe Uda Walawe National Park may have been better.
More time at peradeniya would have been good too.
Chris Bailes & Alison Goding were superb.
Going to the Temple of the Tooth at night on a public holiday was a challenge!

Rating for tour operator Excellent

A good all round job.

A very interesting and pleasant trip

By Satisfied on 8 Nov 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

Everything ran very smoothly.Well organised trip.
Tour manager was first class and so helpful and informative.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Very helpful and approachable.
Every aspect of trip well organised.

Amazing archaeological tour of Bulgaria!

By Intrepid traveller on 4 Nov 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about Archaeology of Bulgaria >

We had a fabulous comprehensive historical and archaeological tour of Bulgaria. We had both an archaeologist guide (British professor) and a Bulgarian guide for this tour which made sure that we had an insight into Bulgarian culture as well as all of our questions, queries being dealt with as they arose. Brightwater had put together a comprehensive programme which also included general areas of interest and wonderful scenery as well as the archaeology. The programme was both full and varied and included all entrance fees to museums, sites etc and the cost of most of the meals. What we really enjoyed, in addition to the archaeological and historical experiences, was that we also had several meals out in local restaurants, which gave us a real flavour of Bulgarian life. We had free time to explore each place as well as a comprehensive guided tour. It was a really fabulous holiday and we definitely recommend Brightwater as a tour operator. This is our fourth tour with them, three historical and archaeological tours and one a visit to St Klda and the Outer Hebrides, and are now devoted followers of this company. They really do pull out all the stops to make a truly memorable holiday experience!

Rating for tour operator Excellent

As stated above, Brightwater provide wonderful range of specialist holidays. We have been on four tours with them now, one general experience tour to St Kilda and the Outer Hebrides and three historical and archaeological tours and have been absolutely satisfied by everyone of them. Brightwater pay great attention to detail to make their tours a truly memorable experience. Their booking systems also make sure that you have a friendly and personal experience and they do everything they can to cater to your needs. We can definitely recommend this company! We are already looking to book our next holiday with them!

gorgeous scenery, food,company and service. Accomodation brilliant, comfortable and warm.,

By fennel on 2 Nov 2016

Rating for this holiday Good

went to Mull then along the Caledonian Canal.

Rating for tour operator Good


Albanian Archaeology ; adventures in the Balkans in this newly free country

By Awesome Albania on 1 Nov 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about Archaeology of Albania >

In October, we visited Albania for 7 days, travelling by bus from Roman cities to Greek cities to partisan mountain strongholds to vineyards and golden beaches. It was an adventure of great variety and interest, placing Albania once more in the fold of Europe. Travelling in October, we had the Greek and Roman archaeological sites and museums to ourselves, still bathed in sunshine, butterflies and wild flowers. The golden coast to the South was beautiful. We ate very well, and enjoyed the Albanian wine and the surprising warm hospitality of the people we met. Very enjoyable experience.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

We had an excellent archaeologist as leader, who brought the sites to life, and who explained the great tribal and cultural changes in Albania's long history in Europe. Our Albanian guide was charming, spoke perfect English and knew everyone, helping to get us into special places not normally open. He helped to explain Albania's dreadful recent past and what it hoped for in the future, from a personal and country-wide point of view. The operator had booked excellent hotels, central and comfortable, and every needs was taken care of, including travelers with mobility problems.We all felt at the end of the holiday that we had really been looked after. Lots of wonderful and surprising experiences.


By Dougster on 20 Oct 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about A Classic Scottish Steam Break >

We enjoyed the Falkirk Wheel, SS Sir Walter Scott trip, our time on the Waverley Paddle Steamer, and the Jacobite Train.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Alistair is very informed about all aspects of Scotland and everyone, we are sure. learned a great deal on this trip.