Guernsey has a rich horticultural heritage and this is reflected in many of its parks and gardens. The Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Service looks after over 30 sites island-wide, including Saumarez Park, Candie Gardens and many of the town gardens and plantations. Further information on Candie Gardens and Saumarez Park can be found below.
- Saumarez Park is the largest public park in Guernsey and is managed by the States of Guernsey Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Service. The park is attractive all year round with many fine trees planted around open green areas and formal gardens. It is very popular with families, with many facilities for young and old. Attractions include:
- - an adventure playground and outdoor gym
- - the National Trust of Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum
- - Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden (a restoration project being carried out by the Guernsey Botanical Trust)
- - formal gardens including a rose garden
- - a Japanese Fishing Hut and pond
- - Café
- - collections of plants from the Far East including camellia and bamboo
- As well as being an important social venue, the Park and nearby Saumarez Nature Trail also provide valuable habitats for wildlife, particularly birds, and are sympathetically managed to maintain their rich biodiversity.
- The Park is open all year round from dawn until dusk and there is no charge for entry (except when certain events are held). It is located centrally on Guernsey in the Castel Parish (Perry's Guide reference page 15, G1/2). The National Trust's Folk and Costume Museum is open daily from March to October. Admission is free to members of the National Trust; for others there is a modest entry fee. For further information please the visit the National Trust's website. The Victorian Walled Gardens situated within Saumarez Park are currently being restored. Access is permitted at certain times when volunteers are working within the garden. Please visit the Guernsey Botanical Trust's website for opening times and further information on the restoration project. Saumarez Park Manor (also known as St John's Residential Home) is situated within the Park. The house was formerly occupied by the de Saumarez family.
- Refreshments are available from the Saumarez Park Tearooms which are located within the park near the National Trust Folk Museum. Public toilets are located near the tearooms. There is a RADAR toilet available and ramps into the tearooms for wheelchair and pushchair access.
- Two car parks are situated within Saumarez Park. These can be accessed from Route de Saumarez and Saumarez Lane. Access should not pose a problem for wheelchair or pushchair users as the Park has tarmac pathways with gentle gradients. There are gravelled pathways through the formal gardens.
- Candie Gardens are a green oasis set in the heart of St. Peter Port and the town's best floral attraction. The upper lawns offer excellent panoramic views over the rooftops of St. Peter Port to the neighbouring islands. Candie comprises the historic Upper and Lower Gardens (established in 1894), the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery, and the Priaulx Library, named after the former owners of the house that it occupies. The Lower Gardens were sympathetically refurbished and restored in 1998/1999 and are a rare surviving example of a Victorian pleasure garden.
- Visitors to the gardens can discover a wide variety of plants from all over the world. Guernsey's mild climate and Candie's sheltered position mean that less hardy varieties can be grown relatively easily. There are a number of specimen trees including an oriental Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo Biloba) with its beautiful fan-shaped leaves. Striking geometric designs form the centre piece of the Lower Gardens, whilst elsewhere the plantings are more subtle, with herbaceous and fern borders. Each spring visitors can enjoy a display of old-fashioned varieties of Daffodils and Narcissi, many of which were grown commercially in Guernsey in the 19th century. A sub-tropical garden includes varieties such as the giant gunneras, fatsias, and tree ferns. The garden's three ponds provide an area for quiet reflection with their water lilies, koi and goldfish.
- In October, one of Candie's restored historic greenhouses (dating c. 1792/93) hosts the annual Nerine Festival, which is one of the highlights in Guernsey's floral calendar. Here visitors can admire many of the Nerine Collection's 300 varieties, including Guernsey's own Nerine Sarniensis. The gardens also afford an important habitat for wildlife and are carefully managed to reflect this.
- Candie Gardens are open until dusk and admission to the gardens is free. The gardens are situated 5 minutes walk from the centre of St. Peter Port, Perry's Guide reference page 3, H5 & J5.
- Refreshments are available from Café Victoria which is situated within the gardens. There are no public toilets within the gardens however toilets are available for visitors to the Café and the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery.
- There is no public parking within the gardens. On street parking (disc zone) is available around the gardens. The closest public car park is at Monument Gardens, about 5 minutes walk away, Perry's Guide reference page 5, H6. Blue badge holders may be able to park in the grounds by prior arrangement with the Guernsey Museum. Access to the gardens is from Candie Road, St. Julian's Avenue, or Vauxlaurens lane. Candie Gardens have a number of steep gradients and there are pedestrian ramps to the Lower Gardens. Care should be taken by users of wheelchairs and pushchairs.