Self-catering holiday rentals in the Dordogne Valley. Gîtes and glamping nestled in 12 acres of woodland only 5km away from Sarlat-La-Canéda

Tag: Château

Château de Castelnaud


Having not already done so, as our godson and his brother were visiting we took the opportunity to go to the Château de Castelnaud, a perfect recommendation for younger visitors. Out of season the queues were a lot less busy too!

It’s a great afternoon, especially for younger tourists (and middle-aged boys!) This mediaeval fortress displays the art of warfare in the Middle Ages. There is a private collection of arms and armours inside; outside, you will find reconstructions of war machines, siege catapults all the actual size that the original ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ would have been! It really is a fantastic array of gory instruments of warfare, perfect for our younger students of ‘horrible histories’!

From the ramparts you will see the river winding through the Dordogne valley, and magnificent views of the châteaux of Beynac and Marqueyssac and the medieval village of La Roque-Gageac.

According to the website (which can be found here : Château de Castelnaud) the castle attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year, so we recommend an early visit in the morning or early afternoon (when everyone is lunching!) during the months of July and August. The village has many great restaurants, both on the banks of the Dordogne and half way up the short walk to the castle itself.

Another good idea (as the bridge at Castelnaud is a pickup point for our canoe trips) is to add an extra few hours on to your canoe paddle to visit the castle prior to your collection.

Château des Milandes


Although we visited on a drizzly day, we really enjoyed spending a morning here. This 15th century château can be found just outside Castelnaud on the Southern side of the Dordogne. It is a very well kept château but it’s draw is that it was rented and subsequently owned by Josephine Baker, the famous American dancer who took Paris by storm in the early 20th century.

The castle dedicates itself to the history of her life, which was a very adventurous one – celebrated dancer, society girl, secret agent, civil rights activist and eventually bankrupted by her love of the chateau.

The grounds have stunning gardens and there is also a bird show daily. There is also a nice brasserie in the outbuildings. However the life of Ms Baker is the real attraction with many of her costumes on show as well as the story of her renovations of the estate and her amazing life.

More information on opening times and tariffs can be found on the Château des Milandes website.

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