Susan Worner Tours

Brittany – Spring Gardens of the Côtes d’Armor

20 – 25 May 2014

Brittany – Spring Gardens of the Côtes d’Armor

The beautiful unspoilt northern coast of Brittany between Roscoff and St Malo enjoys an exceptional climate due to the Gulf Stream. Alongside the rocky coastline, through deep-cut inlets and in the inland wooded valleys, we will discover some extraordinary gardens in secret locations. Most gardens have been extended beyond their original farm or manor house walled area by their present owners, inspired by the climate, good soil and the ability to acclimatise plants from other parts of the world.

Our base is the contemporary, stylish Hotel Costans, situated above the town of Perros-Guirec and with impressive views to the seven islands off the coast which are home to colonies of seabirds. Delicious local dishes can be enjoyed in the excellent hotel restaurant each evening.

Travel by train from London St Pancras is proposed, while some may wish to take the ferry crossing to St Malo or Roscoff.

 

Itinerary

DAY ONE – TUESDAY 20 MAY

Morning departure by Eurostar, continuing by TGV to Guingamp. Transfer to comfortable, contemporary-style Hotel Costans at Perros Guirec. Aperitif and short talk on the week’s programme before enjoying dinner together in the hotel’s excellent restaurant.

DAY TWO – WEDNESDAY 21 MAY

Morning visit to the castle and gardens of Domaine de la Roche Jagu. Situated high above the tidal River Trieux, the garden and surrounding forests were devastated by the hurricane of 1987, resulting in extension and restoration. We are invited for lunch at the manor house of the legendary gardens at Kerdalo. Created by Prince Peter Wolkonsky on his retirement who has achieved one of the finest gardens in the region. Originally a manor farm in its enclosed valley with natural springs, the formal garden develops into the wooded valley with a lake, pools and grotto with a rich collection of trees and shrubs. Since the Prince’s death in 1997, the gardens are looked after by his daughter and her husband, both Kew trained. Evening at leisure.

DAY THREE – THURSDAY 22 MAY

Morning visit to the personal garden of Isabelle and Timothy Vaughan at Crech ar Pape, overlooking the sea. A formal plan with an intimate atmosphere, well planted with good colours and shapes. We lunch at Guingamp en route to an innovative garden of a farmhouse well-protected with woodland. A remarkable contemporary garden with vistas, pools and topiary. In the garden of temptation, serpents of clipped box climb up the apple trees! We are welcomed by the owner and his capable gardener who will accompany us. Evening at leisure.

DAY FOUR – FRIDAY 23 MAY

We head west to Roscoff to visit the botanical gardens with an amazing collection of southern hemisphere plants. The gentle microclimate, influenced by the Gulf Stream and excellent growing conditions, results in a superb variety of plants laid out on a hill-side overlooking the bay. Lunch in a chosen creperie in Roscoff. We take a boat to the Ile de Batz to the coastal garden laid out by Georges Delaselle in the early 1900s to acclimatise plants from many parts of the world. The walk from the jetty through the village and along a peaceful lane is delightful. We return to the hotel for dinner together.

DAY FIVE – SATURDAY 24 MAY

Morning visit to a private manor house garden, Le Jardin du Pellinec. Inspired by the gardens at Kerdalo, the seven-acre garden on the Pellinec estuary with good soil was started twenty years ago. The microclimate has encouraged Monsieur Jean to grow a huge diversity of plants laid out in visual harmony. Lunch-time in Treguier with its cathedral and attractive half-timbered buildings. The well planted gardens of Kestellic on the banks of River Jaudy enjoy a mild microclimate. Delightful views from the manor house up the river to Treguier. We return to the hotel and enjoy dinner together.

DAY SIX – SUNDAY 25 MAY

Depart after breakfast westwards to the airport of Quimper to return on a BA flight to London City.




Map of France

Tour Costs

Train & Airflight, Hotel and Itinerary Costs £1730
Accommodation based on 2 people sharing
b&b, dinner on 3 evenings, 3 lunches
Supplement – single use of double room £180

Activity Level:

Relatively level waking, gardens extensive.

Additional Information:

Possible to arrive by car ferry in St Malo or Roscoff and add a few days in this beautiful region.