Fourteen kilometres west of Azay-le-Rideau, as the Indre approaches its confluence with the Loire, is the Château d’Ussé in Rigny-Ussé. With its shimmering white towers and terraced gardens, this is the ultimate fairy-tale château – so much so that it’s supposed to have inspired Charles Perrault’s classic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth. The exterior resembles nothing so much as a Disney fantasy; you half expect to see Beauty and the Beast emerge. Inside, things are more restrained, apart from the rather kitsch tableaux telling the story of Sleeping Beauty. The most recent renovations are the attic areas, which are now open to visitors where you can see antiques and paintings. The château’s vineyards are also now producing wine, a sparkling Cuvée Prestige Brut, which is for sale in the grounds. The gardens, designed by Le Nôtre, are pleasant to wander in. The loveliest feature of all is the Renaissance chapel in the grounds, shaded by ancient cedars.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

All the clichés about Paris are true – stylish, romantic, glamorous and utterly compelling – yet it retains surprises that continue to delight even the mos…

26 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

The ingredients for a great European weekend break are simple. You’ll need a walkable city centre, a handful of excellent restaurants, some cool bars, afforda…

26 Aug 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
22 incredible pictures of Corsica

22 incredible pictures of Corsica

Just off the south of France, and closer to the coast of Italy, the small, mountainous island of Corsica lies in wait for the three million tourists that visit …

14 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month