Monday, 10 October 2011

Le Chateau de la Roche Courbon

Le Chateau de la RocheCourbon is a great day out from White Shutters.  It’s near the hamlet of Saint-Porchaire, the easiest way is to get there is via Saint-Jean d’Angély and then on to Saint-Savinien, a gentle run of about 40 minutes or so.

Before you set out make a nice picnic lunch, the grounds are lovely and as always there are picnic tables, and children can run around.  You can buy a chateau lunch, a delicious looking plate of charcuterie, cheeses, salad and a glass of wine to eat al fresco, but at €11 I thought a little expensive.  Ubiquitous saucisse frites, croquet monsuier etc are around €5.  In contrast the entrance fee to all the attractions (except chateau interior) was reasonable at €6 for adults or €9 to include a guided tour of the château as well, in September 2011.
The landscaping is magnificent, with a lot of renovation work on the waterways in recent years, but walk across opposite the chateau and climb the escaliers for a magnificent view back across the lake. There is a small archaeology museum but the “Jeu” room had lots of traditional wooden games that you could play which was much more fun than an amusement arcade, and interesting working out the rules!  I don’t think it’s called “shove ha’penny” in France!  You can also walk the pleasant 1km tree lined avenue down to the original habitation, the prehistoric grottes.

If you want to do the tour of the chateau check the times on arrival, as in September there was only one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Refreshingly you can arrive at any time; the ticket office isn’t shut at lunch time.

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