Gardens of Guernsey and Sark
The island of Guernsey, just 20 miles off the coast of France, flourishes in the warmth of summer and is home to some wonderful gardens. On our first day here we visit the Guernsey Millennium Tapestry which provides a colourful introduction to the island’s history, followed by Castle Cornet where a profusion of plants nestles within the ancient walls, a large town garden with good planting in St. Peter Port as well as a small private garden.
Further highlights on Guernsey include Saumarez Park and the Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum, the workshop of a local jewellers and Candie Gardens, a Victorian gem with sweeping views over St Peter Port.
We also offer the opportunity to sail to the neighbouring island of Sark, where we tour the wonderful garden of La Seignurie and the wildflower meadows that are scattered across this tranquil, traffic-free island.
Your Departure date
$1,850 (including offers)
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- Save $140 with our Offer Discount.
Deposit: $175 Single supplement: $555
Day 1 -
We fly from London to Guernsey, where we begin with a visit to 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 into the Island’s history.
We continue to Castle Cornet, which guards the approaches to St Peter Port’s harbour. Contained within its walls is a profusion of plants both ancient and modern, most of them found in four period gardens from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Following a visit to a private garden, we continue with a visit to 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.
|Hotel||La Barbarie Hotel, Guernsey|
Day 2 -
After breakfast, we travel to 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 then visit the private gardens of La Haye du Puits. This is a very old estate with extensive formal gardens. 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.
We conclude today at 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 return to our hotel, where dinner will be served in the evening.
Day 3 -
A private garden awaits us this morning with its wide variety of unusual and tender plants and shrubs. We continue with a visit to a Craft and Farmers Market, followed by Le Friquet Garden Centre, which is the largest on the island and offers a huge array of plants, seeds and bulbs, together with a relaxed covered shopping area and lively eateries. Later we enjoy a scenic guided coach tour of the island, stopping off at points of interest along the way.
Day 4 -
Following breakfast, the day is free to explore at leisure.
Alternatively join our optional excursion to neighbouring Sark, where we visit 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 later return to Guernsey.
Day 5 -
After breakfast we have free time in St Peter Port for shopping. 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 for our return flight to London.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
- Ferry crossings
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|11 April 2024||BGYS240411||11 April 2024 (Thursday)||15 April 2024 (Monday)||$1,990
|Book your trip|
|12 September 2024||BGYS240912||12 September 2024 (Thursday)||16 September 2024 (Monday)||$2,270
|Book your trip|
Enchance your trip
Sark $110 per person