Explore The Loire
Inspired by the Château de Cheverny, Hergé created Marlinspike Hall as a country home for Captain Haddock in the Adventures of Tintin. The Hergé Foundation has a small but fascinating permanent exhibition, which is worth a visit.
You can explore the elegant grounds on foot, or take a sedate tour on a little train and by boat (April to mid-Nov; €17.90 including château and museum entry). The kennels near the main entrance are certainly worth a look: a hundred lithe hounds mill and loll about while they wait for the next stag, and feeding time (5pm) is something to be seen. Cheverny’s hunt culls around thirty deer a year, a figure set by the National Forestry Office.