2018 May – Isle of Flowers and Churchill’s retreat

What a surprise, an island in the beautiful Lac d’Aureilhan near Mimizan with an astonishing display of nearly 400 varieties of trees, bushes and especially varieties of flowers, mainly labelled and all lovingly tended, and also free to visit.

Even more surprising, a stone’s throw away is the lakeside Tudor hunting lodge frequently visited by Winston Churchill in the inter-war years, to which 20 of his paintings attest.  Other visitors included the elite of the British Government, famous artists and designers as well as Royalty of this period.

After exploring the gardens and lakeside, and having lunch nearby, we shall also optionally drive 5km and explore Mimizan beach and harbour.

Agenda for the day

10:45 – We should embark promptly on our tour of the island to allow time for the ‘Oohing and Aahing’ en route !

Our meeting point is in the car park at end of Avenue du Lac, 40200 MIMIZAN. The car park is next to the short bridge onto the island. Please click for a map showing meeting point

There are also loos in the car park

Early arrivals may take a coffee in the adjacent ‘Hotel du Lac’.

When we reach the end of the island on our walk, we can see Chateau Woolsack (Churchill’s Retreat).

Optionally we can cross another bridge and take a lovely 40 minute return walk along the lakeside footpath to the Chateau.

OR keen gardeners/less keen walkers may prefer to stay on the island. Their return walk turns right at the ‘bug hotel’ and then you can take in the aquatic plants, whilst completing the island circuit.

13:00 – Lunch in the Hotel du Lac, next to our parking, beautifully situated, and Janet, the English owner will be catering specially for us.

A delicious 3-course lunch with choice of starter, main course and desert for 18.50€  (please select your choices on the booking form below) For more information please see www.hoteldulacmimizan.com

14:30 – For those who would like to venture further after lunch, we shall drive a further 5km to walk at Mimizan Plage, which boasts one of the few harbours on this coast.

Further Information

Garden and Walk:

For more information on the beautiful garden island and walk please click here

Chateau Woolsack:

The chateau was built for Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, in 1911. It was based on the Capetown ‘Tudor’ lodge where Rudyard Kipling lived. The Duke was among Britain’s richest people, and gave lavish hunting parties at Woolsack, his many guests included Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel, King Alfonso of Spain, Lloyd George, Anthony Eden, Salvador Dali, and frequently Winston Churchill.

The Chateau is currently privately owned, there is a prominent classic red English postbox on the approach road!

For more information please click here


To register, please contact Phil direct or book online before the 17th May.  Phil’s contact details are here

When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:

  • Click ‘Submit’ only once and then wait for your booking details to be re-displayed on your screen.
    • This may take a little time while your details are being noted and registered.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation.


For those not using GPS:

  • Take A63 from Bordeaux, take exit west at Labouheyre on D626 through Lue, Pontenx les Forges, and St Paul en Born to Aureilhan.
  • Skirt the town going west on Route des Lacs, branching right at traffic lights, on Avenue de Vignon, signed to le Lac.
  • Continue north on Avenue de Woolsack, following signs for Promenade Fleurie.
  • Shortly after crossing the river bridge, turn right at the mini roundabout into Avenue du Lac and park in the car park at the end of the road which is next to the short bridge onto the island. Please click for a map showing meeting point

Map of Car Park Meeting Point