6 dreamy French châteaux you may not have heard of

PUBLISHED: 09:35 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:35 21 April 2020

The Chateau de Ratilly is one of many enchanting, lesser-known French chateaux. Pic: Unvoyageenmob/Wiki

The Chateau de Ratilly is one of many enchanting, lesser-known French chateaux. Pic: Unvoyageenmob/Wiki


These châteaux in the Loire and beyond are well worth a visit

Château de la Buissière, Loiret

Nicknamed the Château des Pecheurs, or the Fishermen’s Castle, this stunning estate boasts an unusual collection dedicated to fishing paraphernalia. But you don’t have to be into la pêche to fall hook, line and sinker for the château’s charms; a visit offers something for all the family. Tour ten furnished rooms, explore the gardens, go berry-picking or enjoy a picnic in the park.

The Chateau de la Buissiere. Pic: MFSG/WikimediaThe Chateau de la Buissiere. Pic: MFSG/Wikimedia

Château de Ratilly, Yonne

This ochre castle towers over the surrounding Yonne countryside like a stately guardian. It’s home to a magnificent collection of contemporary art, as well as hosting regular concerts, classes and workshops. Its claim to fame, however, is its pottery; visit Nathalie Pierlot’s Grès de Ratilly atelier, where the beautiful designs are stamped with a distinctive owl logo.

The Chateau de Ratilly. Pic: Unvoyageenmob/WikimediaThe Chateau de Ratilly. Pic: Unvoyageenmob/Wikimedia

Château de Candé, Indre-et-Loire

Fans of UK royal history may well know of Candé as the location of the wedding of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson. Other famous visitors include the writer Honoré de Balzac. The château has been open to the public since 2000; highlights include spotting the signatures of Wallis and Edward etched in the library, plus a small collection of Simpson’s clothes.

The Chateau de Cande. Pic: Gilbert Bochenek/WikimediaThe Chateau de Cande. Pic: Gilbert Bochenek/Wikimedia

Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre, Loir-et-Cher

Dating from the late Middle Ages, this unpretentious yet imposing castle is quite unlike its fairy-tale Loire counterparts in looks, but equally worth a visit. Setting foot inside transports you back to the building’s heyday, while the garden outside is also deserving of a stroll.

The Chateau de Fougeres-sur-Bievre. Pic: Patrick Clenet/WikimediaThe Chateau de Fougeres-sur-Bievre. Pic: Patrick Clenet/Wikimedia

Château de Troussay, Loir-et-Cher

The accolade of being the tiniest chateau in the Loire Valley goes to this small but perfectly formed manor. It’s located in Cheverny, where many visitors head to the town’s eponymous château but unknowingly skip this one. There’s a gorgeous English-style park to explore, a winemaking museum plus you can take a guided tour of the beautiful interior. You could even stay the night in the estate cottages or in one of the castle’s very own suites.

The Chateau de Troussay. Pic: Calame/WikimediaThe Chateau de Troussay. Pic: Calame/Wikimedia

Château de Villesavin, Loir-et-Cher

Built by Francois I’s secretary of taxes, Jean le Breton, this authentic château has seemingly remained untouched for centuries. Jean le Breton oversaw the construction of the world-renowned Chateau de Chambord, and while this chateau may be on a lesser scale, it makes for a wonderful day out. Take part in the popular treasure hunt or visit the museums dedicated to weddings and carriages respectively.

The Chateau de Villesavin. Pic: Manfred Heyde/WikimediaThe Chateau de Villesavin. Pic: Manfred Heyde/Wikimedia

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