We are a small, specialist family-run business which was set up in 1992 by Tony Sissons from England and Beth Layton from New Zealand. Beth retired from the business in 2010 and Tony sadly died in 2015.
We, (Fran – Tony’s daughter-in-law and Colette – close family friend) took over the business in 2011. We love running Sisley Garden Tours tours and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting all our clients to date. We are also blessed with some of the best gardens in the world, on our doorstep!
Before taking the reins at Sisley, Fran was a property manager for the NHS Trust in Leeds and is a qualified Surveyor. More recently she qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Fran was brought up on a farm in rural North Yorkshire and now lives in a gorgeous, rural village nearby with her husband and two children. She’s a keen gardener, traveller and cook.
Colette has worked in tourism all her working life, starting out in destination marketing & PR for northern England. She ran her own consultancy for seven years before joining Sisley. Colette has lived overseas and travelled extensively, but now resides, close to Fran, in North Yorkshire, with her husband and two boys. She is also a qualifies Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Colette’s husband is a landscape architect so they spend their free time gardening (or discussing gardening) and travelling with the children.
We inherited a great deal of knowledge and expertise from Tony, and have developed and built on that over recent years. We have long-standing relationships with the garden owners, hotels and coach companies and pride ourselves on the meticulous planning of our tours. As a result we are able to offer many private and exclusive garden visits to our clients where you’re able to meet the garden owners or head gardeners.
We are not able to travel with every group so we have some wonderful tour directors that we work with, who very much share our ethos – we believe every clients is an individual, travelling with a small group of like-minded companions. There is nothing about a Sisley Garden Tour that feels like ‘group travel’.
We really look forward to welcoming you and please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can help with.
Fran & Colette, Sisley Garden Tours