France

Visiting the Chateau de Castelnaud? Read our Insider’s Guide

Dungeons, trébuchets and medieval weaponry – what more could you ask for?

Put this medieval fortress at the top of your must-visit list! It’s one of the best known and most visited chateaux in the region, if not in France. It stands proudly above the picturesque village of Castelnaud and the Dordogne river with a view to match. It was at the heart of much conflict with its neighbour, the Chateau of Beynac, and was involved in a tug-of-war between the English and the French during the 100 year war. The French eventually regained control in 1442 following a 3 week siege. Read more about its fascinating history.

Chateau of Castelnaud

Top Tips

  • Don’t miss the Museum of War and the Middle Ages or the medieval workshops which take place during school holidays. How do you fancy taking part in a sword fighting lesson or coming face to face with a crossbow man from the Hundred Years War?
  • If you’re visiting in the summer, make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds!
  • Free entrance for children under 10 and if you’re planning on visiting the fabulous Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac, make sure you buy the special discount ticket for both sites.
  • It’s not very ‘pushchair friendly so if possible, take a baby carrier if you have very little ones. You will actually find that you have to leave your buggy in a designated pushchair parking area next to the tower.
  • You can park up next to the castle, however, if you fancy a challenge, we recommend parking in the free public car park at the foot of the village and travelling back in time as you wind your way up the cobbled streets.
  • Once you’ve visited the Chateau, head back down to the village, park yourself on a picnic bench by the river and enjoy a delicious baguette from the local bakery.
  • Don’t miss the swing rope at the river! Our two love it. Just make sure you have a spare set of clothing, lol.

Rope Swing at Castelnaud

And here are some of our kids’ favourite books on knights, castles and princesses!

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