**JUST NAMED ONE OF THE TIMES' TOP 20 CHATEAUX HOLIDAYS! Live a fairytale dream in this 19th century romantic castle (sleeps up to 12 -- Please inquire for the possibility of extra guests) with its own private lake, swimming pool set within a formal rose garden, and even a gym and cinema/media room. Your senses will be dazzled with stunning views, gentle sounds of birds and rippling water, and the rich scents of roses and lavender. You will luxuriate in the privacy of 29 secluded acres, but only travel 2 km to reach all amenities. Whether you are a family, corporate group, or reunion of friends, the chateau offers pampering, fun and relaxation in a sublime setting.
The chateau is an historically listed property, once open to the public, and now privately owned and operated. Featuring a motte (mound) from the time of Henry II surrounded by a moat, spectacular parkland, ancient trees, a private spring-fed fishing lake, and a Renaissance-inspired swimming pool within a secluded walled rose garden, the chateau is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Here one can bask in the glorious French countryside, or discover the riches of the surrounding areas of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy from this central location. Children and adults alike will delight in visits to the famous Loire chateaux, Mont St. Michel, D-Day Beaches, the fabulous Puy de Fou theme park and Zoo de la Fleche, all within a 1.5 hour drive. Within 15 minutes drive, one can experience beautiful gardens, golf, riding, nature-activity parks, river cruises, museums, stately homes and more. Or, you may simply never wish to leave the grounds of your very own chateau...
(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO BOTTOM TO SEE OUR REDUCED RATES FOR SMALLER GROUPS)
The chateau offers extremely spacious bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms; reception rooms comfortably yet elegantly renovated in keeping with the romantic style; and wonderful facilities for self-catering, such as a recently renovated designer kitchen with granite and marble-mosaic finishes, as well as three outdoor BBQs. Enjoy all seasons with the fully-equipped gym and cinema/media room. Special amenities include: Nespresso Machine, Bathrobes, Slippers, Large Welcome Basket, Champagne Reception on Arrival, Toiletry Kits in Bathrooms
There is also a lovely stone Pavillon available (sleeps 6 + baby) if additional space is needed. (See property reference 222404). PLEASE NOTE: the Pavillon is NEVER let to paying guests if the chateau has been rented unless part of the same group. However, it may be occupied by very discreet English proprietors.
|Size||Sleeps up to 14, 6 bedrooms|
|Rooms||6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms of which 6 en suites and 1 toilet only|
|Check in time:||16:00|
|Check out time:||10:00|
|Nearest beach||Mont St. Michel 150 km|
|Nearest Amenities||2 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Rennes 100 km, Nearest railway: Laval (TGV High Speed to Paris Montparnasse & 15 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Private outdoor pool (heated), Fireplace, Internet access, DVD player, Staffed property, Boat available|
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (heated), Children's pool|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Table tennis, Games room, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (3), Bunk Beds (1), Single Beds (6), Dining seats for 12, Lounge seats for 12|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (heated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Trampoline, Private fishing lake or river|
|Access||Secure parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
Feel like you are deep in the countryside yet also in the middle of everything. Quiet rolling countryside for that get-away-from-it-all holiday yet easy access to the Channel ports, low-cost airlines and the best Normandy, Brittany and the Loire have to offer.
To the northwest, the Normandy beaches, the Bayeux Tapestry, and the magnificent Mont Saint-Michel, second only to the Eiffel Tower as France's best-known landmark. There's Rennes, Brittany's capital and captivating city of art and history. Look east and there is the Loire Valley in all its splendour, with rivers and gorges, châteaux and vineyards, while to the northeast lies the Plantagenet city of Le Mans and its famous 24-hour car races. All of these are within 1-1.5 hours drive of the chateau.
Or, if you wish to stay closer to the chateau, whether you're on foot, on a bike or on horseback, the immediate region awaits you –especially on the 85kms of towpath alongside the river Mayenne. Starting in Mayenne town and running south to Daon, it's one of the most beautiful public footpaths in France. Protected wildlife areas rich in flora and fauna, pretty lock-keepers' cottages, gourmet restaurants, ancient water mills and châteaux, nearby tourist sites and numerous leisure activities on or close by the water. Sail at the Lac de Haute Mayenne, canoe in Laval or water-ski near Château-Gontier. Or perhaps just a gentle stroll and a picnic at the water's edge.
Rare plant species, gardens in both French and English styles, romantic parks and rose gardens with their bewitching perfumes (300 varieties on 1300 bushes at La Roseraie at Lassay-les-Châteaux). Whether you're a
novice gardener, a seasoned pro or just someone looking for a special day out, this region offers a range of
stunning visits to gardens bursting with colour and fragrance, in harmony with the seasons. With many gardens having 'extras' like a rural ecomuseum (Les Jardins des Renaudies) and children's play areas and animals
(Le Jardin de la Pellerine) there's fun for all the family.
The nearby towns are definitely worth a visit:
LAVAL: An historic art-filled town with a rich variety of architectural treasures like its château, side streets lined with timber-framed houses and historic 'floating launderettes'. Birthplace of the famous artist Henri Rousseau (also known as 'Le Douanier' after his life as a customs officer), Laval hosts a museum of naïve art in his honour.
JUBLAINS: Remember that classic scene from the Monty Python film Life of Brian when someone asks: 'What did the Romans ever do for us?' Well you canfind out at Jublains, the main Gallo-Roman site in western France. It offers a fascinating insight into the ancient history of the area and its people. Transport yourself back in time with a visit to the museum, the fortress, the public baths, a theatre and a temple.
SAINT-SUZANNE: William the Conqueror didn't lose many battles, but he failed miserably when he tried his luck at tiny Sainte-Suzanne, an 11th century stronghold overlooking the river Erve. Around the tiny cobbled streets it's as if time has stood still. See theatrical groups performing animated guided tours and visit the château and its dungeons.
LA FERTE CLAIRBOIS: Like excitement with your history? Then don't miss La Ferté-Clairbois. It's a reconstruction of a 13th century farm built by Gilles Raab, a man with a passion for the Middle Ages and who
can often be seen roaming around in a knight's regalia with a sword in his hand. Visit a blacksmith's forge, stables, medieval gardens and dungeons. Cross the drawbridge for a jousting tournament and then perhaps round things off with a medieval meal.
The chateau and its dependences, or outbuildings, rest in the perfect isolation of 29 private acres plus further farmlands in every direction. Located only 2 kilometers from the nearest town of Meslay-du-Maine featuring all amenities, and only 15 kilometers from Laval, a very pretty city on the Mayenne River featuring many restaurants (including Michelin-starred Bistro de Paris and several listed in the Bottin Gourmand Guide), museums, nightclubs, bars, a vast aquacentre and river excursions, the chateau can be easily reached via car or train.
Laval is situated on the TGV train line, and is only 1 ½ hours from the Paris Montparnasse train station. For those wishing to drive, the chateau is a 2 ½ hour drive from Paris, two hours from the ferry port of St. Malo, and four hours from the ferry port of Calais. Equally, the airports of Tours and Rennes are both under 1 hour's drive.
ON SITE ACTIVITIES:
Swimming, lake fishing, badminton, croquet, boules, table-tennis, pony-rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, and woodland nature walks.
Within 2 kilometers: French Swin golf, river fishing, tennis, prehistoric cave exploration, cycle trails, activity parks
Within 15 kilometers: 18 hole golf, huge aquacentre with 5 indoor/outdoor activity pools, nature-park activity centre, river cruises, ice-skating pavilion in winter
Within 40 – 180 kilometers: famous chateaux and abbeys of the Loire, Mont St. Michel, Le Mans Racetrack, Normandy Beaches, wine regions of Saumur and Touraine, famed zoo of La Fleche, and so much more…
TOURIST ACTIVITIES IN THE IMMEDIATE REGION:
Contact Golf de Laval, Changé www.laval53-golf.com, This is a beautiful course at a very reasonable price.
Many first-timers to Mayenne are amazed by this easier, more accessible family alternative to golf. It's cheaper (one three-faced club, a soft ball and one tee), safer (theball doesn't travel so far) and easier
(courses are shorter and the holes are bigger). Swin Club, Meslay-du-Maine. www.swin-club-meslay.com
Do you fancy something for the whole family, especially if it's raining outside? Then try the L'Aquabulle in Laval. Yes, they have swimming pools, but they also have slides, saunas, massages outdoor rides, beach areas, and Jacuzzis - in fact everything to get you feeling on top of the world. www.aquabulle.fr
SAILING, CANOEING & RIVER CRUISES:
•Electric Boats and Pedalos: Ambrières-les-Vallées - Tél. 02 43 04 90 25 -
• Point canoë nature d'Ambrières-les-Vallées - Tél. 02 43 04 90 25
• Sailing of La Haie-Traversaine - Tél. 02 43 04 00 68
• Canoeing Laval - Tél. 02 43 67 03 27
• Port of Château-Gontier - Tél. 02 43 07 61 78 - Rental of electric boats, rowboats and pedalos
• Canoeing at Château-Gontier - Quai Pierre-de-Coubertin - Tél. 02 43 70 90 83
WOODED ACTIVITY PARK: Do you or your children dream of being Robin Hood or Tarzan? Then the Parcours de Bois Accrobranche, only 10 minutes from the chateau, is a perfect day out. Zip-cords, tree-houses and activities for all ages and sizes, plus canoeing, riding, and picnic facilities. http://www.lebois-mayenne.fr
CAVES at SAULGES: Discover the magic and splendour of an underground world over 100,000 years old in two of the 30-plus caves at Saulges. www.grottes-de-saulges.com
ROBERT TATIN MUSEUM: Have you ever seen a museum in the middle of the countryside? When you enter the world of multi-talented artist Robert Tatin you'll find a magical place of giant coloured sculptures, paintings and architecture. www.musee-robert-tatin.fr
LOCAL CASTLES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:
Chateau de Craon (www.chateaudecraon.com)
Chateau de Bourgon (www.chateaudebourgon.com)
EVENTS & FESTIVALS:
• Laval Virtual, April. Europe's No1 virtual reality exhibition. www.laval-virtual.org
• International Jazz Festival. Festival des Ateliers Jazz, Meslay-du-Maine, May. Discover the work of local jazz students, plus national and international artists. May 11-15th
• La Chalibaude, Château-Gontier, last weekend in June. Theatre, dance and street art festival. www.le-carre.org
• Les Grandes Fêtes Médiévales, Sainte-Suzanne, July. Chivalry shows and jousting tournaments every Sunday. www.sainte-suzanne.com
•July 14th, Bastille Day, Fireworks in villages and Laval
• Festival d'Arts Sacrés, Evron, early July. Religious music in beautiful surroundings. www.festival-arts-sacres.com
• La Coëvronne, Evron area, mid-July. Street art and music in a different
venue each year. Tel.: +33 (0)2 43 66 32 16.
• Les Entrelacés, Lassay-les-Châteaux, July 14. Street art and theatre. www.lassay.typepad.com
• La Fête du Pain, Ménil (port), third weekend in July. Traditional village party celebrating everything to do with
• Festival des 3 éléphants, Laval, end of July. Huge rock concert. www.les3elephants.com
• Festival des Nuits de la Mayenne, mid-July to mid-August. Travelling theatre show set in historic sites like
• Les Estivales du Pays de Laval. Free music and entertainment in the Laval area. www.laval-tourisme.com
• L'Eté des 6 Jeudis, Mayenne. Free night-time concerts on six consecutive Thursdays. www.paysdemayenne-tourisme.fr
• Festival de la moisson, Beaulieu-sur-Oudon, first Sunday in August. Ancient crafts and skills. Tel.: +33 (0)2 43 02 11 40.
• Festival du blé noir, Juvigné, September. Buckweat threshing and folklore! Tel.: +33 (0)2 43 68 51 54.
• Les illuminations de Noël, Laval, end of November to early January. Join 300,000 people for the Christmas
lights. Boat tours available. www.laval-tourisme.com
Vide-greniers (which literally means 'empty attics' but are better known as car boot sales)are as popular here as in England. Brocantes and braderies are similar in many ways but are usually more for secondhand household goods, bric-a-brac and collectables sold by tradespeople. Troc and puces are what the English would call flea
markets. But what many people really associate with France are local markets selling everything from Camemberts to caulis, furry toys to furniture. They are at the heart of every French town or little village; but while vide-greniers might go on all day, markets start early in the morning and are usually over by lunchtime. They are often held in the centre of town near the church and, generally, the bigger the town the bigger the market.
Évron (Th), Gorron (W),
Lassay-les-Châteaux (W), ,
Mayenne (M, S),
TOP DATES FOR BARGAIN-HUNTERS / ANTIQUE LOVERS:
• Grande braderie de Laval. Every last Sunday in June or first in July.
City centre closed off for huge clearance sale from 400-plus shopkeepers.
• Foire à la brocante et aux antiquités, Château-Gontier.
Secondhand and antiques market in early March every year. Furniture, paintings and old tools.
• Saint-Denis d'Anjou vide-grenier. Every first Sunday in July.
• Sainte-Suzanne vide-grenier. Every July or August. Plus street acrobats and jugglers.
• Marché aux puces, Villiers-Charlemagne. Every first Sunday in July. 200-plus stalls