If you can drag yourself away from relaxing in the garden there is plenty to do and see. Here are a few suggestions:
We are surrounded by vineyards and a trip to a wine-tasting is a very popular pastime for many of our visitors. There are excellent wines at excellent prices. Hugh is happy to accompany you if you feel your French isn’t up to scratch………… or even if it is!
Anjou boasts over 600 miles of subterranean passages burrowing into the rock on the hillsides above the Loire where complete villages can be found beneath the limestone plain.
Local Chateaux of the Loire
You may want to visit a chateau or two and there is plenty of choice.
Brissac Quincé, Saumur, Angers and Montreuil-Bellay are all well within an hour from us. Le Lude, Ussé, Chinon, Azay-le Rideau are about an hour and a half. Chenonceau, Amboise, Chaumont and others are a bit further again.
Tallest of all the chateaux in France with it’s seven stories and 204 rooms, is impressive. It has lovely grounds and a lake. Only 25 mins away. Wine tastings in the 11th century cellar and an excellent outdoor market on Thursday morning.
Magnificent panoramic views over the town and river from the gardens. A rare example of 14th century architecture amongst Loire chateaux it marks the end of the middle ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. As well as the Musée d’Arts décoratifs the castle houses the Musée du Cheval. Saumur also has a large tank museum, Le Musé des Blindés.
Proud to display the oldest French medieval tapestry to have survived dating from the late 14th century. Well worth a visit and a little bit unexpected, there is also a medlar tree and vines growing on the ramparts.
The little town of Montreuil-Bellay occupies a very lovely site beside the river Thouet on the border of the Poitou and Anjou regions. Splendid views from the top of imposing walls. Pleasant gardens and remarkable furnishings are the main features of this fairy-tale chateau.
The conservation Zoo at Doué La Fontaine is a must! Everyone who goes loves it!
Puy du Fou
We are fortunate to have this amazing spectacle less than an hour away.
Puy du Fou is a bizarre phenomenon: a rural theme park without any rides. It started in 1978 as an open-air amateur dramatics night where volunteers in the grounds of a ruined castle re-enacted the bloody history of the Vendée in western France. It has become one of the country’s biggest success stories; its trademark is spectacular history extravaganza shows – where thousands of actors and animals recreate high drama, from Roman gladiators to King Arthur, with mind-blowing special effects. Prizes have also been won for the world’s best amusement park, including two US “World’s Best Park” awards. If you live in Britain, the chances are you’ve never heard of it, but in France it’s the second most-visited theme-park after Disneyland Paris. In short, it’s France’s antidote to Mickey Mouse.
A French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic fututrescope and audio-visual techniques. It has several 3D and 4D cinemas along with other attractions and shows, some of which are the only examples in the world. It is about 90 minutes south near Poitiers.
Golf Club d’Angers is within 30 mins
There are also golf clubs in Cholet & Saumur within a 30 to 40 mins drive.
The Japanese Garden at Maulévrier
Planned around a peaceful lake to represent the changing seasons and the progression of living things, exotic maples, magnolias, flowering cherries, azaleas. Good Bonsai collection. Raku earthenware workshop.
Rose Gardens of Doué la Fontaine
Le Chemin de la Rose is a super rose garden and well worth a visit. There are many wonderful roses to see, lakes, pleasant sitting areas. Easy parking. Every year Doué La Fontaine hosts the annual Days of the Rose festival. A marvellous spectacle of over a hundred thousand rose buds is displayed in the magnificent troglodyte caves.
Garden of Medicinal Plants at Chemillé
Known as the capital of medicinal plants Chemillée’s herb garden has a collection of about 300 species of medicinal and aromatic herbs.Open all year round.