British Columbia’s island capital since 1868 is a city that exudes the quintessential appeal of old England. Afternoon tea at The Empress is the tradition, and a perfect refresher after you’ve explored the myriad antique and specialty shops that surround Victoria’s Inner Harbour – a photographer’s heaven. Include a visit to the 20 hectare (50 acre) world famous Butchart Gardens, and be sure to make time for the Royal British Columbia Museum, where you’ll find some of the most imaginative displays ever staged, along with world class touring exhibitions.

Nicknamed the “City of Gardens”, Victoria is full of conservatories, year-round horticulture centres, rose gardens and more. Butchart Gardens certainly sets the standard as Victoria’s best, although an impressive second are the gardens at Government House, home to the lieutenant governor, the Queen’s representative in British Columbia. Come early spring (when the rest of Canada is still under winter’s wrap), Victoria’s cloaked in a landscape of magnificent blossoms. And in summer, ask about tours of private gardens. Every one is a spectacular display of personal expression – an artist’s canvas of Victoria’s green thumb brigade