There are so many reasons why France is the ultimate holiday destination that it’s hard to know where to start. Its proximity to and easy access from the UK is certainly a plus, especially if you’re travelling with a large family in tow or if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. And there’s no question that the countryside is picture-postcard stunning - think vibrant sunflower fields and verdant vineyards dotted with stone chateaux and sleepy villages. Add to that the cosmopolitan cities, university towns, coastal resorts, river valleys, alpine slopes, blue flag beaches and the general sense of ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes it all so magical and you’ve got the recipe for a wonderful getaway!
Lee and I have owned a holiday cottage in Lower Normandy for 10 years now, so we are quite familiar with all things “French”, including the stunning architecture. One thing newcomers to France may notice is a proliferation of Chateaux. Castles in the UK are few and far between and most are tourist destinations; many are looked after by The National Trust and other similar organisations. Not so in France where many historic beauties are empty, discarded, unloved and some in ruins!
From gothic to fairytale and traditional to contemporary, castles and chateaux might just be the ultimate in self-catering for groups of friends, family gatherings, or big celebrations. Think grandeur, luxury, space and character – what’s not to like?
Last call for booking a One Off Place for New Year’s Eve - here’s a taster of some of the glorious UK One Off Places still available for a get together, or an escape, to welcome in the New Year.
El Tejar is the highest house in a quiet village near Ronda with panoramic views of the beautiful Grazalema mountains. The four bedroom house, which has featured in several design magazines, is decorated in ethnic Andalusian style but has every creature comfort including daily home help, sat TV and fast internet access with desk top iMac and wifi.