Half of Britain it seems, is glued to the TV series Escape to the Chateau featuring the lovely Angel and Dick who bought a castle and have been doing it up before our eyes. They’ve also taken starring roles in Escape to the Chateau DIY, a TV series in which we get to see the realities of chateau life – warts and all. (Read our interview with Dick and Angel in The Good Life France ezine)
Owning a chateau can be challenging and sometimes downright painful. But the saying “An English man’s home is his castle” is never truer than when the proud owners stand before their glorious turreted homes and get inspired to roll their sleeves up, dig into their savings and create a legacy.
It seems that the chateau TV series have inspired many of us to consider the chateau lifestyle for ourselves, and why not when a castle can cost less than a one bedroom flat in the suburbs of London!
I’ve been day dreaming of owning a chateau for years and always keep an eye for a bargain, so here are a few of my current favourites (April 2018).
Escape to the Chateau in Merdrignac, Cotes d Armor, Brittany
I have fallen head over heels for this fairy tale looking castle in lovely Brittany (top photo). “Stunning walled chateau, at an incredible price. Surrounded by an impressive walled garden, with stables, a hunting lodge and numerous outbuildings” says the estate agent Carol Curtis.
At €339,200 this is so tempting. The price reflect that it needs renovation inside but there are loads of original features like marble fireplaces and oak flooring and even a roll top bath. It has seven bedrooms, high speed internet (really important to consider if you’re thinking of this as a rental project), mains drains and electricity so, unlike some of the TV projects we’ve seen, this one isn’t a wrecker.
The tiled floors are beautiful, the main staircase to the front door is wonderful – this place has bucket loads of character and it’s so pretty. Add in the fact that Rennes and Vannes are only 45 minutes away, as are the beaches and that its only 20 minutes to the fabulous medieval town of Josselin and I reckon this is a perfect escape to the chateau opportunity. More details here.
Escape to the Chateau in Royere de Vassiviere, Creuse , Limousin
Just reduced from €575,000 to €399,000 this historic castle is a stunner. It was built for a member of the French nobility and was formerly a hunting lodge. With four bedrooms and four bathrooms – this one is ready to move into and just start living the good life chateau style.
Gorgeous and huge reception rooms, wonderful formal dining room, fire places, beamed ceilings, fitted kitchen, luxury bathrooms, huge bedrooms one of which has a roof terrace where breakfast can be enjoyed. The second floor has scope for renovation and would be perfect for more bedrooms, cinema, games room – whatever you fancy. “This place” says agent Michael Dunion “has real wow factor”.
It’s just 15km from Lake Vassiviere which is one of the biggest man-made lakes in Europe where you can enjoy all kinds of sporting activities or just lie on one of the numerous beaches. More details here.
Escape to the Chateau in Ferce, Loire Atlantique , Pays de la Loire
This 5-bedroom chateau has just been reduced by 25% from €598,900 to €450,000 and is so beautiful that you can hardly believe your eyes. Agent David Searle says “It comes with 8 hectares of land, 6 hectares of which is forest sitting within a 300-hectare forest at the end of a 1km private drive. Perfect as a family home, country retreat or as a Chambre d’Hotes. Situated so close to Chateaubriant and to the road networks linking Rennes, Angers and Nantes this is in a great position to enjoy the diversity of this wonderful part of the Loire Atlantique.”
Imagine approaching your home via a 1km drive (oh the thought of it). You arrive at your castle overlooking its own private lake complete with a small island. The oak stairs are original, there is a gorgeous grand salon, original open stone fireplace, reception rooms, fully fitted kitchen and stunningly decorated rooms that are truly in keeping with chateau style – just move in and love it. More details here.
If you’ve escaped to the chateau I’d love to know… I do love a great expat chateau story
Expats with Chateaux in France
The Chateau de Gudanes, in the Ariege department, Occitanie. This stunning, once neglected castle in being restored by an Australian couple who saw it on the internet!
The Chateau de Mung in Poitou-Charentes being restored by a family who are doing everything themselves