La Seigneurie Gardens
La Seigneurie Gardens

Private Gardens of Guernsey and Sark

5 days From £1,195

19 September 2019

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 a private garden in St Peter Port, as well as the public Candie Gardens, a Victorian gem.

We shall also visit La Petite Vallée, where we find a range of traditional and exotic planting, 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 the Fresia Nursery, where one of Guernsey’s main exports are grown, and Oatlands Village, which brings together a range of local crafts and produce.

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.

What's included?

  •  Flights
  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Ferry crossings

Led by...

Malcolm Cleal

Malcolm Cleal

A welcome new recruit to the Brightwater ranks, Malcolm Cleal was previously the Manager of Guernsey’s Parks and Gardens and has a vast horticultural and historical knowledge of the island’s parks, gardens, coastal and cliff areas.

Book Now £1,195 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £250

Tour highlights:

  • 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

Tour details

Dates 19 September 2019 - 23 September 2019
Duration 5 days
Cost £1,195 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £250 Balance due by 27 June 2019
Activity Level Moderate
Tour code BWPGS19B

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

19 September 2019: Itinerary

We depart from London Gatwick today on our direct flight to Guernsey. On arrival we board our coach and transfer to a private town garden. We will then continue to St James to view the Guernsey Millennium Tapestry, a project that involved the whole community. It illustrates 1000 years of local history in ten panels of embroidered canvas work, each panel covering one century. The original aim of the project was to provide a lasting reminder of the Millennium celebrations, involve the whole community and encourage people to look more deeply in to the Island’s history.

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. The Lower Gardens provide a rare example of a late 19th century Public Flower Garden as originally laid out, while the heated glasshouses date to the end of the 18th century, making them the oldest in the British Isles.

We then visit Grange Court, a large town garden in St Peter Port which has a gorgeous rose garden, folly, cactus vinery and mixed borders set around rolling lawns, all immaculately maintained. It was the winner of the 2008 Island Garden Competition for the best perennial garden.

We end the day at our comfortable 3-star accommodation at La Barbarie Hotel in St Peter Port. The lovely rural location and award-winning restaurant make this one of Guernsey’s best hotels for relaxing short breaks.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: La Barbarie Hotel, Guernsey

After breakfast, we travel to the open gardens of La Vallon, a private garden in St Martin. This amazing and huge garden will be a pleasure to explore.

We continue to Bruce Russell & Son, a wonderful workshop and showroom where they craft traditional silverware, gold, and platinum jewellery. During the last century, they have been commissioned to design and craft spectacular jewellery for royalty and heads of state.

This afternoon, after lunch (not included), 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. We will get the chance to visit the greenhouses where prisoners grow their own crop, used daily in the prison kitchen.

We conclude today at the Victorian walled garden at Saumarez Park. Work to restore the walled garden is still in progress, but it is already producing well, yielding crops in varieties appropriate to the Victorian era. The garden has also gained several first prizes in the Northern Agricultural & Horticultural Society's annual show held in the park.

Within the park is the National Trust of Guernsey’s Folk and Costume Museum, where we will enjoy a guided tour. The museum illustrates the history of the people of Guernsey over the last 250 years through their costumes.

We return to our hotel, where dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: La Barbarie Hotel, Guernsey

This morning, following breakfast, 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. A stream, ponds and folly are some of the features of this fine garden.

We continue to the private garden of Forest Lodge, a medium sized garden which contains a wide variety of more unusual and tender, plants and shrubs.

In the afternoon we visit a Fresia Nursery, where we will see the various stages of growing these exotic blooms, which are one of Guernsey’s principal exports. Nearby is Oatlands Village, home to a variety of unique attractions, in the form of historic brick kilns, thatched barns, craft and embroidery shops, a jeweller’s and a chocolatier.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: La Barbarie Hotel, Guernsey

Following breakfast, we transfer to the harbour at St Peter’s Port and depart by boat for the neighbouring island of Sark. More than twice the size of Herm at 2 square miles in area, Sark also bans motor vehicles and on arrival at the port we will be taken up the hill to the centre of the island by horse and cart.

We continue to the gardens of La Seigneurie, which were created on land bought by Seigneur Le Pelley in 1835. 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. The high walls give protection from the wind and, together with the mild micro-climate, allow many tender and half-hardy plants to thrive. The more unusual specimens are labelled, such as the Australian Bottlebrush and New Zealand Tea Tree. Probably the oldest surviving feature of the original layout is the formal rose garden edged with box hedging. Other features include a Victorian glasshouse on the north wall which shelters some long-established vines; a productive vegetable garden which helps supply the café, and adjacent sensory and wildflower gardens.

We then continue to the luxurious Stocks Hotel, where overnight accommodation has been arranged and where dinner is served in the evening. After dinner, if weather conditions allow, we can enjoy the clear and starry night skies for which Sark is renowned.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Stocks Hotel, Sark

After breakfast this morning 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. Georgian and Regency styles were enriched by an influx of French emigrés, including Victor Hugo, whose influences included Parisian-style urinoirs! Today the town is a captivating blend of styles, framed by a tumble of terraces and tiered gardens and criss-crossed by worn steps and hidden alleys. There is an excellent range of shops, and the Old Quarter is the place to find antiques.

We enjoy a final visit to another private garden before we transfer to the airport in time to check in for our homeward flight.

Meals include: Breakfast

19 September 2019: Additional Info

19 September 2019: Accommodation

Situated in the quiet, green valley of St Martin, La Barbarie Hotel overlooks Saints Bay. With a swimming pool, restaurant and stylish rooms, there is also free parking and free Wi-Fi.

The bright and airy rooms at La Barbarie Hotel have modern en suite bathrooms and tea and coffee facilities. All rooms have a TV and ironing facilities, and some have cosy seating areas.

The Barbarie Restaurant serves a creative British menu, featuring fresh local seafood and vegetarian options. Light lunches and bar snacks are also available.

La Barbarie Hotel features a charming guest lounge with exposed beams and open log fires. There is also a heated outdoor swimming pool, a large sun terrace and pretty flower gardens.

With direct access to the rugged cliffs and coves of South Guernsey, La Barbarie boasts a peaceful location just half a mile from Mouilpied. Guernsey Airport can be reached in 10 minutes’ drive. 

This 16th-century luxury hotel is located on the peaceful island of Sark, offering individually decorated rooms with elegant furnishings. Guests can enjoy acres of landscaped grounds and a heated swimming pool.

All of the rooms at Stocks Hotel feature solid oak furniture, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can make use of tea/coffee facilities, hairdryers, and ironing facilities.

Meals are served in the elegant main restaurant, offering fine dining made from fresh, locally sourced produce. Guests can relax at the Poolside Bistro, with outdoor dining in beautiful surroundings. The Smugglers Bar provides a range of drinks and single malt whiskies amongst historic oak beams.

19 September 2019: Enquiries

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29 April 2019

Malcolm Cleal

Led by Malcolm Cleal

5 day tour, from £1,195

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