Normandy – Gardens of Upper Normandy and Picardy

13 – 18 September 2021

Normandy – Gardens of Upper Normandy and Picardy

Upper Normandy has a wealth of remarkable gardens on the coast where the climate is mild and the soil is acid. Inland country gardens, set amongst apple orchards, rolling hills and forests, are inspirational. Of the gardens we visit, some are contemporary while others are walled potager gardens; all feature a rich variety of trees and plants arranged with great panache. They also share notably enthusiastic owners. We travel to France by Eurostar to Lille, going on to visit a fascinating private garden in Picardy before arriving in Upper Normandy.

Our hotel is charming, comfortable and well placed in the countryside near Dieppe. Le Clos Masure is an original half-timbered Norman farmhouse and has been beautifully restored by its owners who are most welcoming. It has an excellent restaurant – with table d’hôte – where we dine each evening.

The main travel is by Eurostar train, with local visits by small coach. The group will be about 16.




Morning departure from London St Pancras to Lille Europe. We join the coach to cross the Pas de Calais and Picardy to visit a beautifully planted garden surrounding a brick and stone manor house. The present owners have extended the garden over the years. Continuing our journey we arrive at the Hôtel Le Clos Masure, just south of Dieppe. We enjoy an aperitif and short talk in the garden before dinner together.


Our morning visit is to Château Miromesnil with its fabulous walled potager garden and elegant park. Guy de Maupassant was born here. Lunch is in the château in the company of the owner followed by a tour of the interiors. Afternoon visit to an exceptional collection of hydrangeas. The owner, Robert Mallet, shows us many eye-catching and unusual varieties. We return to our hotel for dinner together.


Le Vasterival, the renowned garden of the late Princess Sturdza, is on the coast. A splendid, extensively planted garden, the under-planting with hydrangeas in the woodland is most rewarding. A knowledgeable gardener will accompany us during our visit. Lunchtime in a nearby restaurant. Afternoon visit to L’Etang du Launay, recently created gardens of Jean-Louis Dantec, where high-pruned specimen trees lead to a lake and ponds with extensive woodland planting beyond. It is an impressively planted garden.


We leave after breakfast for the superb contemporary garden, Le Jardin Plume, and enjoy a guided visit with the inspiring owners, Sylvie and Patrick Quibel. Well designed from an original apple orchard, it has good structure and vibrant autumn colours. There is time to visit their tempting nursery before a picnic lunch in the garden. Our afternoon visit is to Jardin de Valérianes, created by the owners around a typical farmhouse – richly planted and with the addition of a new garden in contemporary design. We return to the Clos Masure for dinner together.


This morning we return to the coast to visit the extensive Arts & Crafts garden of Les Bois des Moutiers, created by Gertrude Jekyll around the house designed by Lutyens for Guillaume Mallet. It is an original and well-planted period garden with woodland behind the house leading to the sea. On the cliffs nearby is the eleventh-century church of Ste Marguerite with its Georges Braque stained glass windows: Braque lived and worked in the village. Lunch is in a nearby village. At the Château de Mesnil Geoffroy, we enjoy a guided walk around the grounds accompanied by one of the gardeners and discover a newly restored potager garden with old varieties of local vegetables. We return to the hotel to enjoy dinner on our final evening.


Depart by coach through Picardy. We break the journey to visit the delightful garden of Château de Séricourt, continuing to Lille Europe for the Eurostar train to London St Pancras.

Tour Costs

£2,725 per person sharing
Single occupation of double room supplement £550


Return travel by Eurostar in Standard Premier with light refreshments.
Transport in a comfortable minibus. Accommodation in suites, all meals as indicated, all visits, entrances and guides or head gardeners. Local taxes.

Not included:

Drinks, telephone calls, tips, items of a personal nature.


Clos Masure hôtel de campagne, Belmesnil, Normandy


The climate in September is warm and mellow though showers can occur. Dew can be heavy in the gardens in the morning so sturdy shoes are recommended. Smart casual for the evening.

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

Wi-Fi is available in the hotel.

Activity Level:

Some gardens are extensive, those on the coast are hilly.