“ Address: St Martin / Guernsey „
Sausmerez Manor is a beautiful house in St Martins of which its grounds is open to the public. The house was built in the late 12th to 13th century and in 1748 was owned by the De Sausmerez family.
The manor itself has tours of the house for those who want to see inside. This gives you the opportunity to spend 40 minutes looking around at the paintings and learn the history. A tour guide will show you around and all of them have different areas of interest making each tour unique. I personally have not been around the inside of the house but I have heard how much others have enjoyed it. The tour costs £7 for an adult which sounds quite reasonable for the length of time. Children are welcome to come along as well.
Sometimes throughout the year there are Ghost Tours as well as regular tours. I definitely will not be going to one of these but if you're not scared this may be of interest. They happen on Wednesday to Friday evenings and are usually booked in groups but if you prefer to go alone they can add you too a group. The ghosts have been around for 800 years and some are only 30 years old. The Ghost tour is £10 but if you wish to add a three course meal at Saints Bay Hotel it costs £25 for both. Surprisingly, children are also aloud on this tour but I probably wouldn't advise it.
The Sculpture Park has a wide variety of sculptures from 54 sculptors. Some of them are available to buy at different price ranges but I don't have a garden big enough. The sculptures are spread around the land of Sausmerez Manor and some look strange and as if they took five minutes to make but there are some nice ones. There are quite a few that are people shaped and for some reasons these sculptures never seem to have clothes on, I don't know why you'd want that in your garden. Others just look like a stick or a ball, something anyone could have done! These sculptures change every year so there is always new ones to look at.
The Subtropical Gardens are a display of beautiful flowers which change each season. As I know very little about gardening, when I have been around I have had to say for example, 'thats a pretty pink flower' but have no idea what i'm talking about. Therefore it makes it very difficult to write about these gardens when I know what I mean in my head but have no idea what to call it so you understand. Because of that I am going to say that it is full of stunning flowers and is definitely worth the £6 it costs to enter. It is also a Sculpture Park so you get two for the price of one! These sculptures are not available to buy like the others but are just as interesting.
My favourite part of Sausmerez Manor is the train. This is the only train we have on Guernsey but it wouldn't help you get to work as it is a little ride on train which takes you on a quarter of a mile journey through the woods and grounds of Sausmerez Manor. This train is fantastic to take children on. The journey starts at a little area made to look like a train station and has a small play area for children waiting to get on. When you are on the train it takes you through the trees and if you look up there may be some things for the children to spot hanging off the trees. Children love to go on this train and I did as well as a child. This train however is not only for children so adults can come along for the ride. It costs £2 for an adult and £1 for children but you can get family tickets. Unfortunately it only runs in the school holidays in good weather.
The Copper Tin and Silversmiths make many items in the traditional way. There shop is full of copper jugs and milk cans and anything else they can think of. I have bought a few nice things from here and even if I don't want to buy something I look around anyway.
Mon Petit Mondi is a unique little gift shop which sells gifts and souvenirs and some fairtrade items. I found this an interesting shop to look around but in the summer when they leave the door open there have been the odd bird that wanders in and that I don't like.
Pitch and Putt is great fun for families and I go quite a lot with my mum. I am no good at golf but this putting green is not so much for those who play regularly as it is only a short 9 hole game. I say that but it takes us a good few hours to get the balls in 9 holes. After two or three misses of the ball altogether I usually hit it into a muddy patch or into the pond. All that matters is that everyone having fun though. It costs £6 for 9 holes and you can borrow all the equipment needed. If you lose a ball they will make you pay but there are a lot of balls out there which have been lost. My mum and I always make sure we take two balls back and if we find any other balls we keep them somewhere safe in case we lose one next time. We have always had great fun here but we will never be professionals.
The Tearoom is next to a lovely pond and sells homemade food and drinks. These include delicious cakes, quiches, soups and in the summer there are ice creams. They are good prices and have good views of the garden. One thing that is popular with the customers is bird food which can be bought for feeding the chickens and ducks outside. I have been with my cousins before and they have loved feeding the birds but I absolutely hate it, I really do not like the birds all around me. I regretfully put up with it for them but prefer to watch from a distance (a very very long one!)
Every Saturday Sausmerez Manor hosts a Farmers Market which is very popular with locals. Local growers all come together to sell their produce to others. When I have been they have had everything you could think of, from big juicy red strawberries to carrots (my fave veg) and potatoes. They make there own prices up so they vary but most are cheap. A lot of people in Guernsey sell their flowers and fruit and veg on the hedge but with a farmers market it means you dont have to drive around the island to get everything as it is all in one place.
Inside the Manor there are two flats which can be rented for holiday accommodation and the manor and gardens can be rented for a wedding reception.
Sausmerez Manor is open daily and has a free car park. It is wheel chair and push chair accessible around most areas. It is a fantastic place to visit for a day out with the family, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. The beautiful gardens and many activities will keep all ages occupied for hours.