Susan Worner Tours

Lyonnaise Region – Gardens in the Hills North of Lyon

15 – 20 June 2020

Lyonnaise Region – Gardens in the Hills North of Lyon

The rolling hills north of Lyon are notable for their exuberant private gardens set against a backdrop of woodland and rows of vines. Attractive villages are interspersed with well-known names, as this is Beaujolais country. The region is renowned for rose gardens and we have selected a number to visit. Among the highlights of our tour are the Botanical Garden in Lyon and the restored garden at Château de Cormatin.

Our hotel, Château de Pizay, also has a beautiful garden with chequer-board clipped yews and well-planted borders; it is surrounded by the château’s wine estate. The hotel is welcoming and comfortable, and it features an excellent restaurant.

We travel in comfort by Eurostar from London St Pancras direct to Lyon. The group will not exceed 16 participants.




Early morning departure on Eurostar from St Pancras to Lyon. Both breakfast and lunch are served on the train while guests enjoy the changing scenery on the journey southwards.
On arrival at Lyon, the group is met at the train station for the transfer to Château de Pizay, set in an estate of vines. After check-in, discover the superb garden of the Château followed by an aperitif and short talk on the tour programme before dinner.


After breakfast we visit a recently restored château garden dating back to the 19th century with different themed ‘rooms’. The five hectares of gardens, well known for a fine collection of roses, have been restored and developed by the present owners. Lunch is in a nearby village, followed by an afternoon visit to the gardens of Domaine de Longsard with its 18th century château. Here we discover both the influence of symmetry, with clipped yews, and of later English landscape design. At the end of our visit we have the opportunity to taste wine from the estate.


The Botanical Garden, Tête d’Or in Lyon, has a high reputation and we enjoy a morning exploring the large diversity of plants accompanied by one of their specialist guides. Lunchtime is nearby, followed by a visit to the gardens of La Belle Allemande above the River Saône. They are laid out along the length of two terraces surrounding an 18th century house relating to Jean Kleberger from Nuremberg. The present owners will personally show us the garden they have developed over the years with an emphasis on roses. We return to the hotel and enjoy dinner together.


In the rolling hills of Beaujolais the village of Ternand features a garden and nursery owned by an enthusiastic landscape gardener. The garden is exceptional: richly planted and inspirational. We have lunch in the village followed by a visit to a private garden specialising in old roses. Odile Masquelier has created her beautiful walled garden on a hillside south of Lyon. We return to the hotel for dinner together.


We travel through a landscape of beautiful villages in the Beaujolais hills, covered with rows of vines interspersed with woodland, and arrive at the village of Brouilly. Our first visit is to an elegant château with its formal garden. Afternoon visit to Château de Cormatin created circa 1620, the garden redone in the late 1700s in the English landscape style. Some trees such as limes and swamp cypress (taxodium) have survived from that period. In the 1990s the garden was replanted with parterres, an outdoor theatre, maze and vegetable garden. We return to the hotel for dinner.


After a leisurely breakfast, departure to the train station at Lyon for the return journey, changing at Lille to go through customs and arriving in London St Pancras late afternoon.

Map of Lyon

Tour Costs

£2,850 per person sharing
Single occupation of double room supplement £520


Travel by Eurostar Standard Premier class and transport in modern comfortable minibus. Accommodation with en-suite bathroom, delicious meals as indicated, all garden visits and guides.

Not included:

Alcoholic and soft drinks (except the aperitif on the first evening and the final evening’s wine), items of a personal nature, comprehensive travel insurance with full cover to be taken out on payment of the deposit. Driver’s tip.


Château de Pizay, Saint Jean d’Ardières


The climate in June will be warm and summery but sometimes with showers. Layered clothing is recommended, with a waterproof jacket in case of a shower and good shoes. Smart casual for the evening.

Meals included are shown as B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). Guests often meet for drinks before dinner (optional).

Wifi is available in the hotel.

Activity Level:

Good walking ability for visiting gardens.