Lyonnaise Region – Gardens in the Hills North of Lyon

31 May – 05 June 2021

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, has a beautiful garden with chequerboard 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 via Lille to Lyon. The group will not exceed 16 participants.




Early morning departure on Eurostar from St Pancras via Lille to Lyon. We 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 in the rolling hills. After check-in, discover the superb garden of the château followed by an aperitif and short talk on the tour programme before dinner.


Morning 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. We enjoy a buffet lunch in the garden. Afternoon visit to a superb early 17th century Renaissance moated château and surrounding gardens. During a guided tour of the interiors, we are shown a magnificent set of frescoes painted by the Tuscan Pietro Ricchi discovered behind panelling during recent restoration work. The gardens surround the moat with some amusing topiary and long vistas across the forested countryside. Return to the hotel. Dinner together in the hotel restaurant.


Full day around the city of Lyon.
Morning visit to the gardens of La Belle Allemande above the River Saône, laid out along the length of two terraces on a hillside alongside an 18th century house built by Jean Kleberger from Nuremberg. The owners will personally show us the garden they have developed over the years with an emphasis on roses. Lunch in the garden. Our afternoon visit is to the Botanical Garden, Tête d’Or in Lyon, notable for its great diversity of plants. The rose and paeony collections are superb, as are the specialist collections and the arboretum. Return to the hotel with time to enjoy a wine tasting before dinner together.


In the rolling hills of Beaujolais the village of Ternand features an inspirational garden and nursery owned by an enthusiastic landscape gardener. The hillside garden is designed as a series of richly planted rooms. We have lunch in the nearby hilltop village of Oingt. We return through the Beaujolais hills, covered with rows of vines and areas of woodland, passing through beautiful villages, before arriving at the 17th century Château de la Chaise. We visit the formal gardens and the potager garden created in the form of rays of the sun. The estate is a renowned producer of Brouilly wine and we enjoy a tasting before returning to the hotel.


Morning visit to the moated Château de Cormatin created circa 1620. In the late 1980s the neglected garden was replanted with a chequerboard plan and parterres, an outdoor theatre, boxwood maze and vegetable garden. After lunch in the village, we then have a guided visit of the superb interiors of the château, one of few examples surviving from the era of Louis XIII. Return to the hotel for dinner together.


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

Map of Lyon

Tour Costs

£2,880 per person sharing
Single occupation of double room supplement £540


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.