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Visiting Villandry in France… A Truly Spectacular Chateau of the Loire

Built in 1536 by Jean le Breton but extensively redesigned in the 18th & 19th century, Chateau de Villandry can perhaps lay claim to designing the most impressive gardens of any Chateau in the Loire. It’s one you simply have to visit with kids, they’ll love it! After visiting well over 50+ European Castles, it’s still one of our favourites!

Find all our Castles of Europe posts here
Yet there is much more than first meets the eye.. Bewitched by the geometrically perfect gardens and fairytale turrets….. it’s easier to talk around in a trance as this is simply the most picture-perfect of settings…And dig a little deeper and the sense of Villandry’s history is well documented across the amazing, if eclectic array of rooms..
Having visited on ‘European Heritage Day‘, the Chateau was awash with visitors… all desperate to get that one perfect photo that Villandry tantalisingly offers… perched over the crenellated battlements or crouching in the ‘potage garden’… there is always a different angle to view this stunning chateau..


But dig even deeper still and you realise just what an amazingly detailed place Villandry really is… from the intricate ceiling in the Oriental Drawing Room (which reminded us of our visit to Alhambra) to the sky fresco on Napolean’s younger brother’s bedroom (Prince Jerome)…


Every chateau should have Something special

This does not stop indoors, as we gazed with amazement at the precision of the planting in the bright, colourful  ‘Vegetable Garden’… in the 16th century monastic/italian style of garden design that can be viewed from each window with amazement.

But perhaps the biggest ‘prize’ in terms of level of detail should go to the compelling displays of restoration that adorned each and every room within the Chateau – ranging from lace making, horology, calligraphy to tapestry… if there was ever a chance to inspire both girls.. it was here!.



Moving Libby to add that ‘those ladies truly know what it’s like to be determined….’ Perhaps a great life lesson and one that might inspire the girls to focus further and find a creative outlet themselves….I think we can safely say that this will be a case of ‘nurture’ not ‘nature’ as the creative genes appear to have missed a generation with us… But you never know they might just find the inspiration…. meanwhile we’ll remind them of that visit to the Loire…to the chateau that inspires you to dream big!



so where did we park the bus for the night?

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Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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