Cultural Landscapes and Gardens of the Channel Islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Herm & Sark 2025

Status: open

23 May – 5 Jun 2025


Cultural Landscapes and Gardens of the Channel Islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Herm & Sark 2025
Tour Highlights

Explore the history and horticultural heritage of the Channel Islands. Warmed all year round by the Gulf Stream, the Channel Islands possess dynamic ecosystems, each a sanctuary for an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Travel in spring with Richard Heathcote and Margaret Heathcote, when clifftops are covered with wildflowers and subtropical gardens burst with colour.

The Channel Islands – Jersey, Guernsey, Herm, Alderney and Sark – are the remains of a vast primordial volcanic crater. Although they lie closer to France than England, the islands’ inhabitants are British citizens. They are, however, neither legally part of the UK nor administered from Westminster, having governed themselves since the 13th century. Their distinctive histories, cultures and geography set them apart not only from France and England but also from each other.

  • With naturalist Mike Stentiford enjoy the wildflower meadow at Le Noir Pré which bursts into colour at the end of May with over 90,000 blooming orchids, and visit the Eric Young Orchid Foundation.
  • Enjoy specially arranged visits to private gardens that are rarely opened to the public, and meet the owners of these lovingly tended homes.
  • Visit Hauteville, Victor Hugo’s house at Havalet Bay on Guernsey, where he lived in exile for 15 years (from 1856 to 1870) and wrote Les Misérables; the Islands also inspired his Toilers of the Sea (1866).
  • Archaeologists introduce us to the prehistory of the Channel Islands with visits to the Neolithic Passage Grave of La Pouquelaye de Faldouet on Jersey and Le Dehus Dolmen on Guernsey.
  • Visit the 6000-year-old burial site at La Hougue Bie; and view its museum containing the ‘Jersey Hoard’, a collection of over 10,000 Celtic and Roman coins found in 2012.
  • Tour the 13-century Mont Orgueil Castle which protected Jersey against French invasion for over 600 years.
  • Visit the unique Glass Church of St Matthew on Jersey where René Lalique designed the extraordinary and beautiful doors, font, screen and altar.
  • Visit St Brelade’s Bay and Noirmont Point with Occupation historian and writer Ian Ronayne to learn about the impact of World War Two on the people and landscapes.
  • Visit the Jersey War Tunnels, a 1-kilometre tunnel network built by POWs. Originally an ammunition store, it was converted into an underground hospital.
  • Take a ferry to Sark for a tour of the walled gardens of La Seignerie and a special tour of the house. Enjoy a ‘Summer lunch’ of Sark lobster salad and fresh strawberries.
  • Visit the tiny pedestrian only island of Herm, located just 5km from Guernsey, and take a RIB boat tour to view its seabird colonies from the water.

Overnight Jersey (6 nights) • Guernsey (7 nights)


A variety of features make this a very interesting tour. Gardens large and small, WW2 history, charming villages and towns, varied islands and great ferry trips all add up to a tour that is ‘out of the ordinary’. Wildflower walks and wildlife spotting all helped hold your interest. Shirley, WA.



The following itinerary describes a range of sites which we plan to visit. Many are accessible to the public, but others require special permission which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, flight & ferry schedules and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary together with their tour documents prior to departure. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches and dinner, indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=dinner.

St Helier, Jersey - 6 nights

Day 1: Friday 23 May, Arrive St Helier, Jersey
  • The tour commences at 5pm in the foyer of the Pomme d’Or Hotel,
  • Welcome Meeting

Meeting Point: The tour commences at 7pm in the foyer of the Pomme d’Or Hotel located in St Helier on the island of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands.

St. Helier stands in St Aubin’s Bay on the southern side of the island and is named after Jersey’s first and most famous saint, a 6th century ascetic hermit who was martyred on the island in c. AD 555. The town is the capital of Jersey and has a population of about 28,000 – roughly one third of Jersey’s total population. While St Helier has a distinctive British atmosphere, the town retains numerous French influences as attested by the many streets that carry old French names and numerous shop fronts still displaying the names of their island founders. In the evening we will gather for a Welcome Meeting before time at leisure for dinner. (Overnight St Helier)

Day 2: Saturday 24 May, Jersey
  • Walk around St Helier: Royal Square, Central Market & Church of St Helier
  • Eric Young Orchid Foundation
  • Mont Orgueil Castle, Grouville
  • Welcome Talk by Guest Speaker: An introduction to the unique ecology of the Channel Islands
  • Welcome Dinner

Today we begin with a short orientation walk around the cosmopolitan harbour town of St Helier. Our walk includes a visit to the Victorian covered market which includes a stunning array of overflowing flower stalls, fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes, wines and chocolates, dairy products made from the famous Jersey cow, and local specialties including des mèrvelles (small doughnuts), de nièr beurre (apple preserve) and cabbage loaf (bread baked wrapped in cabbage leaves). We visit the Royal Square, where at its centre a stone commemorates the Battle of Jersey, which took place in 1781. We also visit the pink granite Church of St Helier, the largest of the parish churches. The seafront used to come right up to the church, and the square tower served as a useful observation post. The stretch of land between here and the sea was reclaimed from the end of the 18th century for town housing and warehouses.

We then travel by coach to the Eric Young Orchid Foundation. Nestled in the heart of the beautiful parish of Trinity and sitting within its own wonderful landscaped garden, this nursery and display complex houses one of the world’s finest collections of orchids. Jersey orchid breeders are considered amongst the best and this collection has won many awards.

We next turn our attention to a medieval site, Mont Orgueil Castle. This iconic landmark commands a prime position overlooking the picturesque harbour at Gorey and the Royal Bay of Grouville. Blue Badge Guide Sue Hardy will guide our visit here, explaining how construction of the castle was begun in the 13th century after King John lost control of Normandy and how for 600 years Mont Orgueil Castle protected the island against French invasion. Although Elizabeth Castle replaced Mont Orgueil as the island’s premier defence station when it was decided an inland setting was safer to protect, Mont Orgueil remained the island’s secondary defence until it was decommissioned in 1907.

This evening we will have a special lecture by Mike Stentiford MBE that introduces the unique ecology of the Channel Islands. This will be followed by a welcome dinner at the hotel, where we will enjoy a taste of Jersey’s marvellous local produce. (Overnight St Helier) BD

Day 3: Sunday 25 May, Jersey
  • Woodlands Court, Grouville (subject to confirmation in 2025)
  • Jersey War Tunnels, St Lawrence
  • Les Aix, private garden of Mrs Ariel Whatmore (subject to confirmation in 2025)

This morning we travel to Grouville to visit Woodlands Court, the private garden of Mrs Fiona Christensen and Jurat Robert Christensen MBE. In the thirty years they have lived at Woodlands Court, they have transformed a rather run-down garden into a series of garden rooms with sculptures, seating areas, fountains and walkways. Hedges, climbing roses and flowering shrubs frame the spaces in this ever-evolving garden.

The five-year German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II has had a significant impact on islander psyche. This, along with the material legacies left by the German occupation, is now reflected in tourism on the islands. During their occupation the Germans built hundreds of reinforced concrete bunkers and gun emplacements, anti-tank walls and tunnels – all constructed for an invasion that never came. Such was Hitler’s belief that England would try to regain the islands, he sent to the Channel Islands over 20 percent of the material allocated to the so-called ‘Atlantic Wall’ – a line of massive defence works which stretched from the Baltic to the Spanish frontier – to turn them into ‘impregnable fortresses’. Following Germany’s defeat, islanders began the job of decommissioning and destroying this legacy, but now they are recognised as important heritage sites and considerable energy and money has been expended on conserving and interpreting them.

We visit the Jersey War Tunnels, originally constructed as an ammunition store and artillery barracks, but were converted into a casualty clearing station known as Hohlgangsanlage 8 (often abbreviated to Ho8) or the German Underground Hospital. A huge workforce was needed to build the 1-kilometre network of tunnels and this was supplied by the Organisation Todt. More than 5000 slave labourers were brought over to Jersey – Russians, Poles, Frenchmen and Spaniards. Conditions were terrible, although Russian and Ukrainian POWs were treated the worst, with cases of malnutrition, death by exhaustion and disease among them becoming common. Today the site is a museum, which through interactive displays tells the story of the Occupation.

We finish the day with a visit to the charming garden of Mrs Ariel Whatmore, who works as a garden artist by the name Ariel Luke. The garden is built around a traditional granite house, with an orchard, nut and camellia trees, a yew and bush maze, and borders with old English roses, the various areas divided by stone walls. (Overnight St Helier) B

Day 4: Monday 26 May, Jersey
  • Wildlife walk with Mike Stentiford: Le Noir Pré Orchid Field
  • Private garden of Judith Queree at St Ouen
  • La Maison des Près, St Peter (subject to confirmation in 2025)

The favourable climate of the islands, warmed all year around by the Gulf Stream, ensures that the Channel Islands have dynamic ecosystems, and each provides a sanctuary for a rich variety of flora and fauna. This morning we take an environmental wildlife walk with the ‘Birdman of Jersey’, naturalist Mike Stentiford, who will introduce you to some of Jersey’s abundant flora and fauna. Mike was awarded an MBE in 2000 in recognition of the work he has done in promoting and introducing Jersey’s natural heritage to visitors to the island.

We begin early this morning with a visit to Le Noir Pré Orchid Field, whose meadows fringing St Ouen’s Pond burst into colour at the end of May with over 90,000 blooming orchids. Often known simply as ‘the Orchid Field’, this unique site is one of the last remaining strongholds of the Jersey or loose-flowered Orchid (Orchis laxiflora), which also occurs in Guernsey, but is absent from the rest of the British Isles. In addition, three other species, the southern marsh (Dactylorhiza praetermissa), common spotted and heath spotted orchids (Dactylorhiza maculata), occur at the site. The meadows also contain a wide variety of other plant species, many of which have become increasingly uncommon in Jersey. During May and June, the meadows are a riot of colour, with the stunning deep purple of the Jersey Orchids contrasting with the various shades of pink, through to white, of the remaining species. Other notable wildflowers include the ragged robin, yellow bartsia, parsley water-dropwort, common knapweed, square-stalked St. John’s-wort and tufted vetch. A wide range of insects can also be seen in the meadows, especially butterflies of various species, such as the orange tip, whose caterpillars feed on cuckooflower, and dragonflies, including the spectacular emperor dragonfly. Small mammals such as voles, mice and shrews attract the kestrel, the barn owl and other predatory birds, and the rare marsh harrier can sometimes be observed hunting over the site.

We drive to St Ouen to visit the garden of Judith Queree. This small garden is filled with many rare and unusual plants from around the world. There is a bog garden with irises, primulas and lobelias, and woodland with species from China, Japan and North America. In front of the cottage is a meadow, sown with ornamental wildflowers to attract bumble bees and other insects, and throughout the garden over 200 different varieties of clematis provide year-round colour.

We then make a visit to La Maison des Près, the private garden of Lady Brownlow. Its fine selection of trees includes a tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, and a Metasequoia (dawn redwood).  A walk through the wildflower meadow allows us to note the lime trees around the border and the different windbreaks.  After the informality of the meadow and orchard, there is a complete change as you enter the more formal garden.  Here we find a giant Romneya coulteri (Californian tree poppy) and a delightful semi-circular summerhouse leading into Lady Brownlow’s ‘secret garden’, guarded by two actual-size reproductions of the celebrated terracotta warriors which were excavated in Xi’an, China. (Overnight St Helier) B

Day 5: Tuesday 27 May, Jersey
  • Introduction to Jersey’s Prehistoric Sites by archaeologist Olga Finch
  • La Hougue Bie: prehistoric mound and dolmen
  • La Hougue Bie Museum & the ‘Jersey Hoard’
  • La Pouquelaye de Faldouet, Neolithic Passage Grave
  • Rozel Valley and Lunch
  • Jersey Zoo (The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust)

This morning archaeologist Olga Finch joins us at the hotel for a lecture to explain what the various Neolithic sites on Jersey signified to the indigenous population. Jersey became an island at the end of the second Ice Age as the land that once linked it to France was flooded. Neolithic people from the Mediterranean started to move north through France up to the coast of Brittany and eventually settlements appeared around the coast of Jersey. These early settlers brought with them a megalithic tradition of erecting stone monuments, known as dolmens or menhirs. They also introduced ‘passage’ graves, where a narrow entrance and passageway led to a burial chamber providing a focus for spiritual beliefs.

We then spend the morning visiting some of the extraordinary prehistoric sites on the island, visiting the La Hougue Bie Museum to see one of the newest and most important discoveries to be made in the Channel Islands – the Grouville Hoard. More commonly known as the ‘Jersey Hoard’, this is a collection of over 10,000 Celtic and Roman coins that was found in 2012 by two metal detectorists. Work on the find is ongoing, but at this stage it is believed that the hoard belonged to the Curiosolitae tribe from Brittany, who came to Jersey fleeing the armies of Julius Caesar in approximately 50 BC.

We also visit the 6000-year-old burial site at La Hougue Bie. This prehistoric mound and dolmen is one of Europe’s finest Neolithic passage graves. Particularly significant at La Hougue Bie is the placement of its entrance; it points directly east and during the Equinox sunlight penetrates the passageway illuminating the chamber deep in the mound. The discovery of the Equinox alignment demonstrates how important this time of year was to this past farming community and how critical cycles of nature were to its survival.

We then travel by coach to Rozel Valley on the north coast of the island where we enjoy a pub lunch before continuing on to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Jersey Zoo. The Trust’s focus is on conservation and they work with local communities around the world to rebuild damaged ecosystems and restoring key native species. At the Jersey Zoo they aim to reconnect people with nature to help bring about the societal change needed to restore the natural world. Within 32 acres of parkland visitors can see over 100 animal species that the Trust is working to protect in the wild. (Overnight St Helier) BL

Day 6: Wednesday 28 May, Jersey
  • St Matthew’s Church, (Glass Church), Millbrook
  • Seafield House, Millbrook (subject to confirmation in 2025)
  • Parish Church and Fishermen’s Chapel of St Brelade’s Bay
  • Noirmont Point Battery

We begin today with a visit to St Matthew’s Church at Millbrook. While the exterior of this church scarcely merits a second look, its interior is a work of such beauty that even the Germans took care not to damage it during their occupation of the island. Often referred to as the Glass Church, St Matthew’s has wonderful Art Deco glass fixtures and fittings designed in 1934 by René Lalique (1860-1945). The work was commissioned by Florence Boot, Lady Trent, Lalique’s neighbour in the South of France. Lady Trent’s principle residence, however, was in Millbrook on the island of Jersey and the work was commissioned to honour her late husband Jesse Boot, founder of Boots the Chemist. Opalescent panels, a magnificent altar cross, a glass font – perhaps the only one to be found anywhere – the Jersey lily motif, and Art Deco angels make the church one of the Island’s treasures and arguably some of the finest work Lalique ever produced.

A short drive away is Seafield House, the home of Mr and Mrs Richard Miles. The house is a Regency Greek revival building that dates to 1808, and is surrounded by exquisite formal gardens. ‘Island flower beds’ bordered by clipped box hedges are presumed to date back to the construction of the house. Of particular interest are the diverse and rare plants from around the world, including a wollemia, the so-called ‘dinosaur tree’ – a plant that was presumed to have become extinct two million years ago and known only through the fossil records until 1994 when it was discovered by a climber in Australia’s Blue Mountains!

St Brelade’s Bay is located to the south west of the island. Here we visit the Parish Church and La Chapelle des Pecheurs (locally known as the Fishermen’s Chapel), which occupy the site of an original wooden church built by St Brelade in the 6th century.  In the early centuries of Christianity it was common for a community, or a wealthy local family, to fund a chantry chapel. Here a priest could be paid to say prayers to keep the devil at bay and guarantee a path to heaven for the righteous. While the chapel appears older than the adjacent church, recent archaeological work suggests that it was constructed afterwards, probably during the 12th century. Until the 19th century, when the military fortifications were built in Jersey, it housed cannon for the local militia. It therefore survived the destruction of chapels at the time of the Reformation and today we can still admire the traces of fresco on the walls and vaulted ceiling.

Ian Ronayne, an occupation historian and author, will meet us at St Brelade’s Bay and share with us the story of the German occupation of the area in 1940, from the St Brelade’s Bay Hotel commandeered for soldiers’ rest and recreation, the section of the graveyard for Germans and their allies, and the gun battery at Noirmont Point. (Overnight St Helier) B

St Peter Port, Guernsey - 7 nights

Day 7: Thursday 29 May, Jersey – Guernsey
  • Maritime Museum & Occupation Tapestry Gallery
  • Ferry from Jersey to Guernsey
  • Dinner at the Conservatory Restaurant

This morning we visit the Maritime Museum and Occupation Tapestry Gallery in St Helier. The small interactive museum tells the story of how Jersey has been shaped by its maritime environment and seafaring history. The Occupation Tapestry Gallery within the museum was established to celebrate 50 years since the island’s liberation after World War Two. The 12 tapestry panels were made by the local people and tell the tale of life during the German Occupation, drawing on personal memories.

In the early afternoon we depart Jersey and take a ferry to Guernsey, where we will be based for the next six days. From 933 AD Guernsey was part of Normandy, forging a link between Britain and France that survives locally on the island in Norman Law, surnames and D’gernésiais, the local language. When in 1066 William of Normandy (‘William the Conqueror’) became King of England, Guernsey was linked to the English Crown. Guernsey remained an English possession after King Philippe Augustus of France took back the mainland of Normandy from King John in 1204. Guernsey prospered particularly from the 18th century when its port became free from British import duties. Wine and brandy were stockpiled here and taken to Britain in small quantities when prices were good. Referred to as ‘Free Trade’, the practice legitimated what was in effect little more than smuggling.

This evening we will have a group dinner at the Conservatory Restaurant at the hotel as we embark on the next part of our exploration of the Channel Islands. (Overnight St Peter Port) BD

 Day 8: Friday 30 May, Guernsey
  • Archaeological tour of Guernsey with Phillip de Jersey, including Le Dehus passage grave
  • Guernsey Tapestry
  • Guernsey Museum
  • Victoria Tower (optional)
  • Candie Gardens

Today we spend the morning with Phillip de Jersey (Archaeologist, States of Guernsey). Our tour starts at the parish church of St Marie de Castel, a 13th century church noted for its medieval frescos. In the churchyard is a Neolithic menhir dating from 2500-1800 BC. It is carved to represent a woman and was discovered under the church floor in 1878. Evidence of Roman occupation have also been found at this site. We will visit the Dehus Dolmen, a well-preserved prehistoric passage grave with remarkable stonework. Archaeologists have discovered finds here dating from 3500-2000 BC, making this one of the oldest known sites on the island.

We then visit the Guernsey Tapestry in St Peter Port. The gallery houses ten panels that illustrate 1000 years of local history, with each covering a century. The project to create the panels involved the whole community and stitched by local residents, and each panel bears the crest of the parish that created it.

At the Guernsey Museum houses a small but excellent exhibition of the island’s history. The collections are divided into themes that include archaeology, folklore, and Guernesiais, the island’s Norman French patois. The museum is within the grounds of the historic Candie Gardens. These public gardens include a rare surviving Victorian Public Flower Garden, and greenhouses that date to the late 18th century. In addition to a statue of Queen Victoria we will see a statue of Victor Hugo, presented to Guernsey by the French Government in 1914 as an acknowledgement of the hospitality shown to the author during his time in exile on the island.

Nearby is the Victoria Tower, one of St Peter Port’s more notable landmarks. Built in 1848 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s visit to Guernsey, the tower is over 30 meters tall; visitors who wish to climb the 99 steps to the top can enjoy spectacular views over the town and out to sea. (Overnight St Peter Port) B

Day 9: Saturday 31 May, Day Excursion to Sark
  • Ferry to and from Sark
  • Carriage ride to La Coupée
  • Lecture on the history of Sark by Mrs Jan Guy
  • Lecture by the Seneschal of Sark, Victoria Stamps  (subject to confirmation in 2025)
  • Sark ‘Lobster and Strawberry Lunch’
  • Guided tour of La Seigneurie Garden and House

This morning we take a 45-minute ferry ride to Sark. The island is only 5 kilometres long and a little over 1.5 kilometres wide, but boasts 64 kilometres of picturesque coastline. Although it has a population of just 600, Sark is a self-governing Crown Dependency and was the last European territory to abolish feudalism in 2008. The Head of Government is the Seigneur, a hereditary position dating back to 1565 and currently held by Christopher Beaumont.

Sark consists of two main parts, Greater Sark and Little Sark to the south: they are connected by a narrow, razor-edged isthmus called La Coupée, which is 90 metres long and has a drop of 100 metres on each side. Two bays flank the isthmus: La Grand Grêve to the west and Convanche Bay, part of Baleine Bay, to the east.

We first make our way to the fascinating La Coupée to cross the narrow isthmus to Little Sark.  As there are no cars on Sark, our journey will be made the old-fashioned way – by horse and carriage.

On our return to the village we will be met by Jan Guy, former head teacher of Sark School who will present a talk on the history of this fascinating and unique island, and then by Victoria Stamps, the Seneschal of Sark (President of Chief Pleas and Chief Judge), who will explain the history and politics of the island.

After a delicious lunch of Sark’s famous lobster and salad, followed by fresh strawberries, we will visit La Seigneurie, the home of the Seigneurs of Sark. With its colourful borders and stone walls, La Seigneurie has one of the finest gardens in the Channel Islands. There is also a potager, a pond, a restored Victorian greenhouse and a recently extended fruit and vegetable garden. The walled garden dates to the mid-19th century, complete with some of its original Victorian lay out. The high walls give protection from the wind and the island’s almost frost-free climate allows many tender and half hardy plants to thrive.  (Overnight St Peter Port) BL

Day 10: Sunday 1 June, Day Excursion to Herm
  • Ferry to and from Herm
  • Wildlife and seabird boat tour around the island
  • St Tugual’s Chapel

The tiny Island of Herm covers just 550 acres and is a 20-minute ferry ride from St Peter Port. Like Sark, it has no cars, and visitors tour the island on foot.

Herm was first settled around 10,000 BCE and Neolithic and Bronze Age tombs have been discovered here. It was a monastic centre from the 6th century when followers of Saint Tugual arrived, with the chapel we see today dating to Norman times. Gradually the monastic life of the island waned and from the mid-16th to mi-18th century the island was used by the Governors of Guernsey as a hunting ground for shooting and fishing.

In the 19th century the island saw a sudden increase to its number of inhabitants, when a number of quarries were established, and with this came the building of a harbour, accommodations, a forge, brewery, bakery and blacksmith’s forge. The population had declined again by 20th Century and the German Occupation of the other Channel Islands had little impact on the landscape of Herm.

After the war the island was purchased by the States of Guernsey and the restoration of the landscape and historic buildings was undertaken by tenants Major Peter and Mrs Jenny Wood, and then by their daughter Pennie. The island is now managed by a charitable trust to maintain the paths, buildings and gardens.

From spring onwards wildflowers take over the island with violets, red campion, primroses and daffodils lining the coastal cliff paths and carpeting the woodland. The fragrance of Burnet rose drifts across the heathland by June whilst the southern cliffs are sprinkled with sea pinks, rock samphire and heather.

We will take a walk around the island to explore the beauty of its coastline, and visit the lovely St Tugual’s Chapel. Here we find a stained glass window depicting Noah’s Arc, with a Guernsey cow and bull included in the animals entering the arc.

A RIB boat will take us on a circuit of the island. From the water we can see the beaches, islets and cliff faces that are nesting grounds for seabirds, a puffin colony, and seals. (Overnight St Peter Port) B

Day 11: Monday 2 June, Guernsey
  • Le Valinguet Garden, Castel
  • Garden of Mark and Liz Downing, L’Islet
  • Rocquette Cider Farm

This morning we drive to Castel to visit the garden of Le Valinguet. Owned by Suzie Dorey, this is a beautiful private garden, which features an acre of rural informal garden with an emphasis on productive trees and vegetables with cottage style planting. We then return to St Peter Port where the evening will be at leisure.

At nearby L’Islet we visit the large garden of Mark and Liz Downing, a beautiful oasis that Liz has spent the past 10 years nurturing alongside her gardener Mark Seabrook. It includes a woodland walk, flowerbeds, secluded seating areas and established trees.

We finish the day with a visit to Roquette Cider Farm, the only cider producer in the Channel Islands. After a tour of the orchards and the cider processing facility, we enjoy a generous sampling of the cider along with platters of local cheese.  (Overnight St Peter Port) BL

Day 12: Tuesday 3 June, Guernsey
  • Hauteville House
  • Les Caches Farm, Les Villets
  • Les Villets garden, Le Gouffre (subject to confirmation in 2025)
  • ‘In the Footsteps of Renoir’ walk, Moulin Huet

Victor Hugo lived in self-imposed exile on Guernsey between 1856 and 1870 and again in 1872-73, having arrived after he was evicted from Jersey, where he had lived for three years, because of his loudly expressed Republican opinions.

We visit Hauteville House, Hugo’s home in St Peter Port. While living here, Hugo saw his most famous work, Les Misérables, published in 1862. His novel, Toilers Of The Sea, written during the author’s stay on the island, is set in the ancient parish churchyard around St Sampsons Harbour. This extraordinary house is a monument to the imaginative vision (and ego!) of the author, and furnished and decorated with tapestries hung on the ceiling, repurposed antiques and repeated references to himself.

In the charming hamlet of Les Villets is Les Caches Farm, a lovely collection of historic farmhouses maintained by the National Trust of Guernsey. The houses and outbuildings date from the 15th century to the mid-19th century. The central feature of the collection is the thatched barn with beautifully preserved stone walls. Here we will enjoy a picnic lunch, surrounded by fields of wildflowers.

We then visit Les Villets, the garden of David and Susie Farnon. This lovingly tended garden has tree-lined paths, bronze garden sculptures, water features and a great diversity of plants.

In 1883 Pierre-Auguste Renoir sent six weeks on Guernsey, sketching the landscape around Moulin Huet. One of the paintings from his time on Guernsey in in the National Gallery, London, and another has recently been acquired by Guernsey Museum. These sketches are lively and spontaneous, with each element created with just a few brush strokes.

We end our day with a guided walk around Moulin Huet to see the sites where Renoir’s painting were created. A series of picture frames are suspended in the landscape and frame the view that the artist painted. (Overnight St Peter Port) BL

Day 13: Wednesday 4 June, Guernsey
  • Le Beuval, St Peters (subject to confirmation in 2025)
  • Forest Lodge, private garden of Mrs Tattie Thompson (subject to confirmation in 2025)
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant

We begin our day with a visit to Le Beuval, the large landscaped garden of Paul and Claire Winter. Here we stroll the winding paths past tree ferns and herbaceous borders, ponds, sculpture and banks of rhododendrons and azaleas.

We next visit the garden of Mrs Tattie Thompson where we will sample the famous Guernsey gâche (local fruit loaf) with a cup of tea or coffee. The sheltered site of this charming garden allows plants from around the world to survive here. Tattie is constantly making changes to the garden as she tries to accommodate ever more plants!

On our return to St Peter Port there will be time at leisure. This evening we gather at a local restaurant we share a farewell dinner. (Overnight St Peter Port) BD

Day 14: Thursday 5 June, Depart Guernsey
  • Tour concludes in the morning
  • At leisure/Check out

Our tour ends in St Peter Port after breakfast. In the morning you will be required to check out of the hotel. Please contact ASA if you require assistance with a transfer to the Guernsey airport. B



ASA has selected 3- and 4-star hotels that are themselves historical buildings and/or are located in historical centres. All hotels provide rooms with en suite bathroom. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel List’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

  • St Helier, Jersey (6 nights): 4-star Pomme d’Or Hotel – overlooking Liberation Square and the yacht marina, centrally located and within easy walking distance to cafés, restaurants and other sites in town. www.seymourhotels.com/pomme-dor-hotel/
  • St Peter Port, Guernsey (7 nights): 3-star Best Western Moores Hotel – located in the town, close to shops, restaurants and the marina. mooresguernsey.com

Note: Hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double room for single occupancy throughout the tour. The number of rooms available for single use is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

How to book

How to Book


Please complete the ASA RESERVATION APPLICATION and send it to Australians Studying Abroad together with your non-refundable deposit of AUD $1000.00 per person payable to Australians Studying Abroad.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless, all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 14-day Tour of the Channel Islands involves:
  • A moderate amount of walking, often up and down hills and/or flights of stairs, along cobbled streets and uneven terrain, and/or standing, interspersed with short coach travel.
  • Short trips by coach on minor roads. Coaches cannot access several private gardens directly, with participants walking up to 400 meters to reach the property.
  • Tour of Mont Orgueil Castle up steep and winding paths into sections of the castle with narrow staircases leading into small rooms.
  • 2 hour walk through orchid fields. The fields are flat but may be marshy underfoot after rain.
  • 3- to 4-star hotels with one hotel change.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.
  • Ferry transfers between Jersey & Guernsey, Guernsey & Sark, Guernsey & Herm, and a RIB boat tour around Herm.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Plant Identification App

During the tour you may wish to consider using a plant identification app. Prof Tim Entwisle, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, suggests “for a garden tour of Europe two apps [can] be considered. Download Pl@ntNet for free and use its ‘Western Europe’ dataset, then consider investing $1.03 for the Flowerchecker+ app, which gives you three free identifications from an expert then 1USD for any subsequent identification. Pl@ntNet is probably the most useful for someone just curious about a few plants along the way but it won’t help you with all the garden plants that come from outside Europe (although it does have a couple of other datasets – South America, for example – which might be very useful).” For further information see Tim Entwistle’s review at: www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-11/plant-recognition-apps-no-replacement-for-botanists/8251280

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $9990.00 Land Content Only – Early Bird Special: Book before 31 Mar 2024

AUD $10,190.00 Land Content Only

AUD $1790.00 Single Supplement

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in 3- and 4-star hotels
  • Breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals indicated in the tour itinerary, where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=dinner
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach
  • Ferry from Jersey to Guernsey
  • Boat excursion: Guernsey – Herm – Guernsey including wildlife boat trip
  • Boat excursion: Guernsey – Sark – Guernsey
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at hotels (not at airports or ferry terminals)
  • Lecture and site visit program
  • Tour notes
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets during site visits
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals.
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-St Helier, Jersey; St Peter Port, Guernsey-Australia
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Tour Map

Tour Map

Terms & Conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $1000.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on this ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: your initial deposit of $1000.00 is non-refundable.**
  • 75-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**$500.00 of this amount (ie 50% of your deposit) may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply.

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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