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Why Holiday in a Chateau?

In the UK, the dream of renting your very own castle for a holiday is considered to be the preserve of the rich and famous. In France, however, it is possible to holiday in your very own chateau at a surprisingly affordable rate.

Chateau Bessones

Chateau de Cource

Chateau Dove

Choose Your Style of Chateau To Stay In

Chateaux adorn the French countryside. There are literally thousands of stunning examples scattered throughout France, many which have been there for centuries. Their beautiful settings, elegant charm and superb architecture are just some of the characteristics that will likely have you falling in love as soon as you catch your first glimpse of your extra-special, luxury holiday home.

Chateaux have been built in France for over a millennium. Often, they reflect the wide variety of building styles which illustrate the evolution of the chateau over time. Originally the homes of French nobility, many chateaux enjoy enviable positions in the towns and villages in which they stand and they are often accompanied by acres of beautifully-manicured grounds which give them an added aura of exclusivity.

A holiday in a chateau is the perfect way to mark an extra special occasion. Whether you are celebrating a wedding, significant birthday or simply gathering your loved ones together for a family event, a chateau will be large enough to accommodate a number of families and still provide plenty of space.

As you approach your chateau for the first time, you will likely be awestruck by the vision before you. Some chateaux are approached by tree-lined avenues and are hidden from view to all but those who reside there. Others benefit from high cliff-top positions which afford stunning views from almost every room in the house. There are chateaux which feature impressive entrances with moats and portcullises and others set inside ancient walled gardens.  What are guaranteed to take your breath away are the fairy-tale towers and Juliet balconies that grace so many French chateaux.

Although many chateaux have been ravaged by periods of unrest over the centuries - the French revolution, the Hundred Years' War and the Second World War, in particular, saw many chateaux damaged or even destroyed - most have been rebuilt and restored to their former glory.

In the last two centuries, chateaux have once again become highly popular and more modern examples, which still offer all of the charm and character of their long-standing counterparts, can be found nestling in vast swathes of land in the French countryside.

Many of the larger chateaux are perfect for weddings. Whether you choose to hold the ceremony in the chateau itself or outside in the stunning grounds, there are facilities to accommodate you and your French hosts will often be on hand to help you with the arrangements.

Chateaux were built to afford the highest possible standards of living to their inhabitants, often adapted over time. High-ceilinged rooms with exposed beams, which were initially only used in the summer because they were too costly to heat in the winter, are now available for use all year round.  Today period features blend with modern home comforts and, whilst you will never be in any doubt of the history of the place in which you are staying, the advent of modern and discrete heating systems mean you will also be warm and comfortable.

Many chateaux have stunning ornate fireplaces, where you can enjoy a roaring log fire in the winter. Rich tapestries and stunning old paintings grace wood-panelled libraries and music rooms, bringing to life the essence of days gone by. Modern amenities, such as Wi-fi, satellite TV and well-equipped kitchens, bring with them the convenience of the present.

Often there is more than one seating area so, if you are meeting up with friends or family, you can easily have your own space, whether it be as families or as adults away from the children. Alternatively, in larger chateaux, there are large halls where the entire family can relax together.

Of course, as you are experiencing a luxury lifestyle, you may enjoy having your own chef to cook for you. This can be arranged and some chateaux even come with their own maid service.

Bedrooms with four poster beds remind you of an age when the drapes were pulled tight around the bed to keep in the warm. Now a four poster adds character and charm to an age-old house. There are chateaux which even have their own chapel within the grounds, some in the towers themselves.

Outside, many chateaux have large grounds in which you can wander, as well as swimming pools and tennis courts, which mean that you can have a relaxing and enjoyable day without ever leaving the grounds. What could feel more French than enjoying croissants on the terrace in the sunshine and then heading off for a refreshing swim in the pool?

One of the most enchanting things about staying in a chateau is the way in which your mind never stops attempting to determine which architectural feature is contemporary with another. You will find yourself calculating which section of the house was added to which and trying to guess whether the stunning tower or the gatehouse was built first.

If you are travelling on your own, or as part of a smaller group, it is possible to holiday in a wing of a larger chateau. This gives you all of the benefits of staying in a chateau, whilst maintaining the intimate feel of being together in a smaller space.

Selecting the perfect chateau for your holiday is an enjoyable and exciting experience. There are those that were once used by the Knights Templar, those where kings and queens are known to have stayed and others which enjoy quiet and secluded locations high on the cliffs. Wherever you choose to stay and whatever size of chateaux you choose, you can guarantee that a holiday in a French chateau will be unlike any other you have ever experienced.

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