Best British holidays: Guernsey for gardeners



No garden lover should miss the Floral Guernsey Summer Festival this year, from 6-14 July. It's the perfect opportunity to see this fabulous island, wander through award-winning open gardens, take walks with local horticultural experts, see demonstrations from garden designers and enjoy a family fun gardening day. The-nine day festival will also welcome gardening expert and television presenter Carol Klein, who will share her horticultural expertise with locals and visitors.

Guernsey is a home to many unique plant varieties and a mild maritime climate, including rare orchids, crocuses and exotic lilies. Here's a selection of the festival's highlights (unless stated otherwise, all tours can be booked at the Guernsey Information Centre on 01481 723 552). Go to visitguernsey.co.uk for more information.

Guided walk of Lihou Island

Lihou Islandis only connected to Guernsey at low tide is home to many specialised plants, insects and birds. Visit the seabed on a cobbled causeway to Lihou for an exploration of the remote and unspoilt island. The walk costs £8.50 per person including afternoon tea. Guided walk on Pleinmont nature reserve- 11th July
Take a guided coastal walk of Pleinmont, Guernsey's most westerly peninsula to take in the flora and fauna, native bird life and historical landmarks of this nature reserve. Price: £8 per person.




Exotic Gardens of Herm with a three course meal
Herm is home to many subtropical plants from around the world due to its favourable climate. Take a private tour of the exotically planted gardens followed by a three course lunch in the Whitehouse Conservatory Restaurant. The tour and lunch costs £39.50 (£34.50 for RHS members).

Victorian summer garden party

The lovely walled kitchen garden of Saumarez Park will hold a Victorian summer garden party with Victorian games and crafts for all ages; produce and plant stalls, tea, coffee and cakes and garden activities. This party is free and no bookings are required.

Dinner with Carol Klein

Gardening expert Carol Klein, will host a talk on 'Wild Flowers: Nature's own to Garden Grown'? sharing her practical expertise and hints and tips, including which variations to go for and how and where to plant for the most spectacular results. The talk will be followed by a three course meal at the Farmhouse Hotel in St. Saviour. Price: £40 per person.



Family floral fun at Le Friquet

Check out the sow and grow children's tent with free gardening workshops for children, including a special 'how to grow your own veg at home' children's workshop. The day is free and no bookings are required. Workshop times and more information is available from the Le Friquet customer services desk on 01481 259 220.

Victor Hugo guided walk

Take a walk through the quiet lanes and cliff paths of Guernsey's Forest Parish and experience wild, rural Guernsey. From Les Villets to La Moye Point, this guided walk takes in Victor Hugo's 'Port on the Fourth Floor' as described in Toilers of the Sea. Price: £5 per person in aid of the Forest Group (children under 12 go free). Booking: 01481 263427.




Getting there

Guernsey is accessible from London Gatwick with Flybe and from Gatwick and Stansted with Aurigny with prices starting at £77 and £74 respectively. Flights from regional airports are also available. Sea crossings from Poole and Portsmouth can be booked through Condor Ferries with return prices starting at £101.50 for a car and two passengers.

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