France // The Limousin, Dordogne and the Lot //

Jardins de Marqueyssac

The gorgeous Jardins de Marqueyssac, sitting on top of a wooded promontory that rises above a wide meander in the Dordogne, are one of the most magical sights in the region. At times, the gardens feel like a Tim Burton fantasy – quirky, maze-like topiary is the first thing that greets you upon entering – while at others it’s like being in the heart of a forest, with only the rustle of birds in the trees above disturbing the peace. Though the gardens were originally laid out in the seventeenth century, what you see today is the result of extensive restoration work from the late 1990s.

Three paths lead through the grounds to the Belvedere, jutting out from the cliff with stupendous views over the river towards La Roque-Gageac and, in the opposite direction, Castelnaud. The gardens are even more magical during the special candlelit evenings in July and August when you can explore to the accompaniment of a live jazz band.

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