Spring Tour 2020
Private Gardens of Brittany
22 – 29 April 2020
The cost of the tour includes
The cost of the tour is from £1400 per person.
Not included in the tour price are
The tour commences 22 April and ends on 29 April.
*Please note it may be necessary to change the visits in the event of unforeseen circumstances
Should you be travelling to Portsmouth by car, there is a multi-storey car park adjacent to the ferry terminal which can be pre-booked.
Day 1 – Wednesday 22 April 2020
We depart from our local area and travel to Portsmouth in time to check-in for the Brittany Ferries overnight sailing to Caen. Accommodation is provided in twin-berth inside cabins (up-grade to outside cabins available on request). Dinner is available on board the ferry (not included).
Day 2 – Thursday 23 April 2020
We arrive in Caen this morning, and following breakfast on board (not included), we disembark and depart for a visit to the Jardin de Castillon near Bayeux. On one side of a broad central path, a series of themed gardens feature exuberant mixed borders, poetic aquatic plants, lush humidity-loving plants and sculpted conifers from the Far East. On the other side, three vast terraces punctuated by yew topiary and beechwood hedges each offer a unique ambiance: a collection of ornamental grasses, a blue garden and an ensemble of daylillies and hostas arranged around a reflecting pond.
We then cross into Brittany for a visit to the Botanic Gardens of Haute Bretagne. This floral and botanical park of 25 hectares is home to plants from every continent spread over 24 contemporary themed gardens, inspired by poetry, souvenirs of travel and the history of gardens. The diversity of plants and flowers and the viewpoints provide the visitor with a charming experience. Following our visit we continue to our hotel in St Brieuc where dinner is served in the evening.
Day 4 – Saturday 25 April 2020
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and head for the south coast of Brittany, with two visits en route. The first is the remarkable private garden at Edern, full of wonderfully displayed rare plants.
Later we visit the impressive Domaine de Trévarez, a ‘belle époque’ castle in pink brick and Kersanton stone which was constructed at the end of the 19th century by James de Kerjégu. This unusual construction was equipped with extremely innovative features for the time, such as structural steelwork, elevators, electricity and art nouveau décor.
Built at the heart of a magnificent forest and floral park of 85 hectares, the estate is renowned for the beauty of its camellia, rhododendron (Collection Nationale label) and hortensia collections and bears the “Jardin Remarquable” distinction.
We continue to our comfortable accommodation at the Hotel de l'Océan, at Concarneau on Brittany’s south coast. Concarneau is one of France’s largest fishing ports and is a haven for artists. The medieval walled town, the Ville Close, is also one of the most photographed in Brittany. Dinner is served in the evening.
Day 5 – Sunday 26 April 2020
Following breakfast we depart for Scaër, just north of Quimper, for our visit to the Rhododendron Show here.
Later we visit the Parc Botanique de Cornouaille in Combrit. Created in 1981 by Jean-Pierre Gueguen, the park extends over 4.5 hectares and benefits from a benign micro-climate. The park is designed “à l’anglaise” (in the English style) and is the result of many years of research in botanic gardens in the UK, including Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and the Home Counties. There are around 25,000 plants representing some 4,000 different species.
We return to our hotel in Concarneau, with dinner served in the evening.
Day 6 – Monday 27 April 2020
Enjoy your breakfast. Today we return to Scaër and visit two private gardens, beginning with Treuscoat, which is full of rare and carefully labelled plants, including many rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias.
Next door is Prat Vagagen, which has received the label ‘National Collection for Rhododendron species’ from the C.C.V.S (Conservatoire des Collections Végétales Spécialisées).
Dinner is served back at our hotel in Concarneau.
Day 7 - Tuesday 28 April 2020
After breakfast this morning we check out of our hotel and depart for our final visit, the large nursery at Stervinou, a chance perhaps to purchase a souvenir plant or two. Founded in the 1940s, the nursery now specialises in heathland plants and in particular rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias.
We continue to our overnight hotel in St Malo where dinner served in the evening.
Day 8 – Wednesday 29 April 2020
Today, after breakfast, we must check out of our hotel depart for Caen in time to catch the early afternoon Brittany Ferries sailing to Portsmouth (day cabins are available at a supplement). In the early evening we will arrive at Portsmouth where on arrival we shall transfer back to our local area.