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Jardins du manoir d'Eyrignac visitor guide

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Visit Jardins du manoir d'Eyrignac, France

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The Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac are in the rolling countryside to the north-east of Sarlat, in the Dordogne department, a few kilometres south of the small town of Salignac-Evigues. Although Eyrignac is in quite an isolated location, the views as you approach it are very picturesque.

Explore the Gardens of the Manoir d'Eyrignac

France This Way comment: the gardens of the Manoir d'Eyrignac are very lovely and extensive gardens, certainly one of the most beautiful gardens in the Dordogne and among our favourite gardens in France, so we highly recommend you visit when you are in the area.

The Jardins d'Eyrignac cover an area of about 10 hectares (24 acres), which includes a mix of formal gardens with carefully trimmed and shaped trees and hedges - this is the main characteristic for which the gardens are known - and small informal areas with flowers, prairie grass, and vegetables. You will also see numerous sculptures in modern art as you explore.

There is a path through the gardens that allows you to see all the highlights. There are large areas where you are not allowed to walk on the grass, but the principal route allows beautiful views along these 'alleys' of grass and ornamental trees.

Hedges in the courtyard of the Manoir d'Artaban

The first part of the gardens you reach is an informal area of trees with hedges and a Chinese pagoda. Opposite this area is the main formal area of gardens, with three long alleys with hedges along the edges and trees planted in between. Each of these alleys is meticulously maintained and very picturesque.

The main alley is called the Allée des Charmes and has yew trees and hornbeam trees. The alley is 100 metres long and the hornbeams need pruning five times a year, always to very demanding standards and using hand shears and plumblines, so a great deal of work goes into maintaining this row!

Below these there is a broader area of grass and hedges (where you are permitted to walk) and more small ornamental hedges.

At the centre of the gardens you reach the Manoir d'Eyrignac, a charming Perigourdine house and outbuildings called the Manoir d'Artaban. The interior of the house is not part of a visit (it has been a private residence for the last 500 years). Opposite the manor house is a small roman style chapel.

The trees in the formal garden area next to the courtyard of the manor house are quite remarkable, each trimmed into about 10 horizontal segments in a way that you would think impossible: very pretty but I am glad I am not in charge of hedge-trimming at Eyrignac! Behind these ornamental trees there is a part of the gardens with a formal 'French style gardens' layout (but still no flowers!).

Beyond the courtyard you reach an area with a large pond called the Miroir d'Eau. Small trees and hedges as well as pots of plants add interest to this pond, which was my favourite part of the gardens.

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A little further and you reach the flower garden and the vegetable garden. These are both interesting but much less imposing than you might expect, and quite small compared with the main part of the gardens.

From here you pass an area where lots of ornamental trees are growing: this is the nursery with 'spare trees' to replace those in the main gardens when necessary. There is an area here where small bushes have been trimmed into the shape of chickens to give the impression of a farmyard, which was nice to see after the large areas of more formal hedges.

The maintenance of the trees in the nursery is even more involved than the main trees, because the roots need to be pruned as well as the branches, so they have more small branches and are more likely to survive being transplanted to the main gardens.

After passing through a more wild area of flowers and grasses you reach the Jardin des Sources et le Verger with a small pond and rows of trees, leading to a viewpoint across the surrounding Dordogne countryside.

The Jardin Blanc is a beautiful area of the gardens of Eyrignac with rows of white roses planted between small hedges, and a large ornamental pond in the centre. This area is square, divided in four parts by alleys that form a cross and with a small pond in the centre of each quarter. In the centre of the edges of the square there are benches surrounded by plants.

The Jardin Blanc in the gardens at Eyrignac

You have now seen the main areas of the gardens at Eyrignac, and return to the entrance around a large open area with a large statue of a cockerel at one edge.

From the edge of this area you have further scenic views looking down across the alleys of hedges and trees and a view of the Pavillon de Repos, a building from the time of Louis XV with a room for rest on the ground floor and silkworms kept on the first floor.

To complete your visit to the gardens at Eyrignac, there is a restaurant and a large gift shop in the building next to the entrance. Entrance to the gardens costs around 13 euros.

Attractions nearby

The nearby town of Salignac-Eyvigues has a small historic centre of interest, and a few kilometres north-west of Eyrignac the village of Saint-Geniès is rather unknown by visitors but is also very pretty.

You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Jardins du manoir d'Eyrignac

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  • entrance
  • flower-gardens
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Map of Jardins du manoir d'Eyrignac and places nearby

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The French version of this page is at Jardins du manoir d'Eyrignac (Francais)

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