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    The splendid gardens of the Abbaye de Valloires
Special Interest - Gardens
Gardens

Gardens of Picardy

French Waterways

from £1,549 per person
2 passengers 6 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £20 if not required
  • New New holiday
  • VIP travel service included on selected European tours VIP on selected river cruises
  • Full Board Full board

Explore the beautiful gardens of Picardy

Visit Picardy’s finest gardens at the most beautiful time of year, when flowers will be in full bloom. This unique holiday combines a six-night hotel stay in the heart of Amiens with three leisurely cruises on the scenic River Somme aboard an award-winning day-cruiser. Your experience is enhanced even further with an immersive programme of included excursions to some of the most beautiful gardens in the Somme.

Including...

6 nights in a hotel

17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners

  • Included travel insurance
  • Return coach travel from Folkestone by Eurotunnel or ferry, and transfers
  • Welcome drink
  • Included drinks on board
  • Three half-day cruises along the canalised River Somme
  • Expert gardens host
  • Saga Cruise Assistant

Included excursions and visits

  • Guided visit to Amiens cathedral
  • Electric punt ride through the Hortillonnages Island Gardens in Amiens
  • Visit to the gardens of the Bois des Moutiers in Varengeville
  • Visit to the gardens of the Château de Digeon
  • Guided visit to the Château de Long and riverside gardens
  • Visit to the gardens of the Moulin Ventin in Paillart
  • Time at leisure in Beauvais
  • Visit to the gardens of painter André Van Beek in Saint-Paul
  • Visit to the gardens of the Abbaye de Valloires
  • Time at leisure in Amiens

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Amiens, France

Amiens in Northern France

Travel by coach from Folkestone to Amiens via Eurotunnel or ferry.

On arrival in Amiens you will check into the locally rated 3-star Holiday Inn Express on the edge of the Old Town where you will stay for the next six nights. This afternoon you can visit the city’s UNESCO-listed cathedral on an included guided visit. The cathedral is one of the largest ‘classic’ Gothic churches of the 13th century and has a splendid display of sculptures on its principal facade and a beautiful three-tier interior elevation.

This evening you’ll enjoy a welcome drink and dinner at the neighbouring brasserie, where seafood is a speciality.


Day 2 Amiens to Picquigny and the Hortillonnages

Hortillonnages in Amiens, France

After breakfast, make the short walk from your hotel to the Port d’Amont where you will board the Backwaters Cruiser for the first river cruise of your holiday.

Descend through Amiens Lock and leave the city behind as your barge sails towards Montiéres. After negotiating the double-chambered lock here, you will notice that the waterway becomes more rural, with greater opportunities to spot the abundance of birdlife. While on board, enjoy a light lunch and complimentary bar service. You’ll arrive back in Amiens in the early afternoon, ready to set off on an included trip through the city’s famous Hortillonnages island gardens by electric punt. Glide through the enchanting maze of floating gardens, many of which have been cultivated since the Middle Ages.

This evening you can dine when you choose, as vouchers will be provided for use in the neighbouring brasserie. Perhaps enjoy an evening stroll along the river’s towpath or head into Amiens after your meal.


Day 3 Gardens of the Bois des Moutiers in Varengeville and the gardens of the Château de Digeon

Azaleas

Today you’ll journey by coach to the gardens of the Bois des Moutiers in the village of Varengeville, near Dieppe. This splendid 30 acre estate was designed and modified by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll and is renowned for its rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias. Enjoy a picnic lunch here before visiting the gardens of the Château de Digeon. The garden is divided into three parts: a pretty rose garden, a large English-style landscaped garden and a fascinating French-style vegetable plot. 

Return to Amiens and use your vouchers for the neighbouring brasserie to dine when you choose.


Day 4 Château de Long and riverside gardens

Public garden at Abbeville

This morning you’ll travel by coach to the nearby village of Long for a private guided tour of the 18th-century château and stroll through its grounds. Overlooking the river valley, the château boasts striking facades and an elegant interior, which features a magnificent lounge decorated with the signs of the zodiac, a Golden Room and a dining room with a music corner. Outside you’ll discover an orangery and glass houses, an impressive courtyard with a fountain and hundreds of rose bushes, and extensive lawns with views of the Somme.

Departing at midday you’ll walk down to the river to board the Backwaters Cruiser for lunch on board and a gentle cruise past the village of Pont-Remy to Abbeville.

Enjoy the company of your fellow travellers this evening during dinner at a restaurant on the Auxerre riverfront, coach transfers to and from the hotel are included.


Day 5 Moulin Ventin gardens in Paillart

Cathedral of Saint Peter in Beauvais

This morning, enjoy a scenic drive through lovely countryside south of Amiens to the Gardens of the Moulin Ventin in Paillart. The River Noye passes through this charming garden, set in the grounds of an old mill. From Paillart, continue to Beauvais where there will be free time to purchase lunch from a nearby boulangerie and perhaps visit another of the region’s great Gothic Cathedrals.

This afternoon, the coach continues to the outskirts of Beauvais to the village of Saint-Paul where you can visit the enchanting garden of the post-impressionist painter André Van Beek. The cascading waterfalls and colourful clumps of dahlias, hydrangeas and perennials have been carefully positioned to inspire the artist. Return to Amiens and use your vouchers for the neighbouring brasserie to dine when you choose.


Day 6 Cruise from Long to Picquigny

Explore Amiens

After breakfast travel by coach to Long where you’ll board the Backwaters Cruiser for a relaxing cruise upstream to Picquigny. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on board before driving back to Amiens where you can spend the afternoon exploring independently.

Enjoy the last dinner of your holiday with your fellow travellers at the neighbouring brasserie in Amiens.


Day 7 Amiens to the gardens of the Abbaye de Valloires to UK

Abbaye de Valloires

Check out after breakfast and head to the gardens of the Abbaye de Valloires, another great garden of the Somme. Explore six hectares of multi-themed park and gardens set within the grounds of a Cistercian Abbey.

Take the opportunity to purchase some lunch in the tea room or restaurant before continuing your return journey to the UK via Eurotunnel or ferry.


Your hotel

A few details about your hotel

The locally rated 3-star Holiday Inn Express is a comfortable hotel located on the edge of Amiens’ Old Town, adjacent to the Gare d’Amiens train station. Facilities at the hotel include a fitness centre, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout, and breakfast room. Breakfast at the hotel is buffet-style and you can enjoy regional cuisine for dinner in a nearby restaurant. There are 66 rooms, all with satellite television, free wireless internet access, hairdryer, safety deposit box, and tea and coffee-making facilities. Accommodation is arranged over three floors. There is a lift.

Accommodation contact details

In case you need to leave contact details with a friend or relative…
Holiday Inn Express
10 Boulevard D’Alsace Lorraine
Amiens, 80000
France
0033 322 223 850

Gardens of Picardy

French Waterways

from £1,549 per person
2 passengers
6 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £20 if not required
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Gardens of Picardy

French Waterways

from £1,549 per person
2 passengers
6 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £20 if not required