Private Gardens of Guernsey and Sark (RHS Package)

5 Days

From £1195pp

  • An interesting range of private gardens in Guernsey
  • The natural beauty of wildflower meadows
  • A one-of-a-kind tour of a prison garden
  • Scenic boat trip to Sark and a night on the island
  • Drinks reception at Grange Court

From immaculate gardens to orchid-filled meadows, the sun-drenched islands of Guernsey and Sark have much to offer for the plant enthusiast.

The island of Guernsey, just 20 miles off the coast of France, flourishes in the warmth of summer and is home to some wonderful private gardens. On our first day in Guernsey we visit two private gardens in St Peter Port, a large town garden with good planting and another set over three terraces with fine sea views, as well as the public Candie Gardens, a Victorian gem.

Next we visit La Petite Vallée, where we find a range of traditional and exotic planting, spend some time botanising among the orchid meadows of the west coast and visit the inspiring garden at Guernsey Prison. On our third day we will seek out more wild flowers, followed by visits to a private garden with some unusual plants and the Guernsey Clematis Nursery, where Raymond Evison, our RHS host, will give an insight into his nursery and the development of new varieties of clematis.

Then we make the short sea crossing to the tranquil, traffic-free island of Sark where we visit the wonderful garden of La Seigneurie and wildflower meadows. We stay overnight here, an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful night skies that this unspoilt island offers, before returning to Guernsey for our flight home.

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Day 1

We travel from London to Guernsey. Our first visit is to the private townscape garden at La Bigoterie – laid out over spacious terraces offering spectacular views over the harbour and surrounding islands. We continue to Candie Gardens, which have given pleasure to many since they were left to the people of Guernsey in 1887. The gently sloping upper lawn affords the visitor a panoramic view over St Peter Port and the neighbouring islands beyond. We also visit the private garden of Grange Court, where we enjoy a drinks reception, welcoming us to the island. We end the day at our hotel in St Peter Port, where dinner is served in the evening.

Day 2

This morning, we visit the private garden of La Petite Vallée, a mature three-acre garden with a wide range of exotic and traditional planting on the terraces and slopes leading down towards the sea. This afternoon, we make our way to a very different garden – in Guernsey Prison. The prisoners and Horticulture team have established a formal garden in the grounds of the prison. Afterwards, we continue to Bruce Russell & Son, a wonderful workshop and showroom where they craft traditional silverware, gold, and platinum jewellery. We conclude today at the Victorian walled garden at Saumarez Park.

Dinner is served in the evening

Day 3

We travel to Forest Lodge, the garden of Tattie Thompson, who will accompany us as we wander through a wide variety of unusual plants and shrubs. We continue to The Guernsey Clematis Nursery, which produces a range of popular forms of clematis, along with many new and improved cultivars, and exports worldwide. Here, in what for many will be the highlight of the holiday, Raymond Evison will give us a personal tour of the nursery to see clematis breeding and production and a talk on how to grow and nurture clematis plants. Our tour ends with a drinks reception.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Day 4

We transfer to the harbour at St Peter’s Port and depart for the neighbouring island of Sark. We visit the private garden of Mollie McKinley, upon our arrival. Mollie grows a wonderful selection of fruit and vegetables, and also keeps chickens. We continue to the gardens of La Seigneurie. The Walled Garden is aligned with the Church Le Pelley built in 1820 and the central arches framed a view of the tower, a scene now obscured by the new Island Hall.

We continue to the luxurious Stocks Hotel, where we are staying tonight. After dinner, we can enjoy the clear and starry night skies for which Sark is renowned.

Day 5

After breakfast, we return by ferry to St Peter Port where we have some free time for shopping in. Guernsey’s capital has been a busy entrepôt since Roman times and the Channel Islands’ premier port, graced by the wealth of ship builders, privateers and merchant adventurers. We enjoy a final visit to L'Etiennerie Farm in Castel, home to the private gardens of Tim and Eleanor Henderson. The informal country garden has herbaceous borders, a pond, potager, wild flower meadow and transfixing views over the Fauxquets Valley and surrounding countryside.

Afterwards we transfer to the airport for our flight home.

What's Included

  • 4 nights: 3 in St Peter Port and 1 in Sark – dinner, bed & breakfast
  • Return flights: London to Guernsey
  • Return ferry crossings from Guernsey to Sark 
  • Comfortable coaching on Guernsey
  • Visits to selected private gardens on Guernsey and Sark 
  • Services of a professional tour manager and Raymond Evison as RHS host

Supplements per person

  • Single room: £220.00
  • Insurance: £21.00 (under 65); £42.00 (65–74); £63.00 (75–90)
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Departures

21/09/2017 from £1195pp

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Departure points and times

Depart Return
London
(Gatwick Airport)
0835 1910