Garden Party – Jardins de Marqueyssac   7 comments

And so came the final act of our French holiday. After the morning at Chateau de Castelnaud we drove over the bridge and up to the Jardins de Marqueyssac on the opposite bank of the river. You can buy a combined family ticket to both attractions so it was good value.

Jardins de Marquesyssac, Beynac et Cazenac

Beynac et Cazenac from the gardens

There is actually a chateau but the main reasons for visiting are the gardens which are lovely. They are perched up above the limestone cliffs we’d canoed past the previous day and like Castelnaud the views across the Dordogne to Beynac et Cazenac and La Roque Gageac were superb.

Jardins de Marquesyssac, Beynac et Cazenac

Beynac et Cazenac

The gardens date fom the 17th century but fell into disrepair and looking at the photographs dotted around it was pretty much a neglected wilderness. As the agricultural activity on the estate declined so did the state of the chateau and gardens. The same people responsible for the museum of warfare and restoration of Castelnaud took on the restoration work that started in 1996 and completed the following year. Today its the most visited garden in the region

Jardins de Marquesyssac

The Chateau

Jardins de Marquesyssac

The Topiary

The whole place is designed for walking and there are several routes and trails around the gardens. We strolled leisurely about, mainly due to the fact that it was pretty hot.

Jardins de Marquesyssac, Chateau de Castelnaud

Across the river to the Chateau de Castelnaud

The castle was just an empty shell but the topiary and the gardens around it are excellent. We walked along the edge of the cliffs and watched the flotilla of canoes and kayaks on the Dordogne and admired the views.

Jardins de Marquesyssac, Dordogne, canoe, kayak

View across the Dordogne

Jardins de Marquesyssac

Relaxing on the terrace

There is even a little Via Ferrata along the cliff face but it was extra cash and I wasn’t feeling charitable. L was feeling the heat a little so I cheered her up by chucking water at her from a small trickle of water that was running alongside and under the path. It worked so well that I decided to “cheer up” TBF and D as well 🙂

The path worked its way along the edge to the kids play area complete with tree-house.

Jardins de Marquesyssac

Tree House

From there it wends its way to the highlight, a lookout point right on the edge of the cliffs with a sheer drop down to the valley floor below. The view was tremendous taking in all the sights.

Jardins de Marquesyssac, La Roque Gageac, Dordogne

La Roque Gageac

The whole valley is very reminiscent of the Wye Valley where I live. Combination of wide lazy river for canoeing, wooded hills, limestone cliffs, farmland, gardens and castles. It was helping with the transition back to home.

We wandered past another play area and out to the poets hut and a slow wander back that took us on a slightly higher route through a kiddy scramble, a sort of maze in the trees and a long archway walk

Jardins de Marquesyssac

The long walk from the Poets Hut

Jardins de Marquesyssac

The Esplanade

Jardins de Marquesyssac

Last lingering look

And that was the end of the line for this trip. All that was left was a long drive back home via an overnight in Orleans and a return trip through the Eurotunnel. We’d had another awesome 3 weeks with pretty much unbroken sunshine (with a few storms here and there), seen some great sights, done some fun and cool stuff and I’d climbed a big mountain. As if to welcome us back to reality, within 20 minutes of driving off Le Shuttle, the skies had darkened and it was pishing it down. It was good to be back 😦

I’m already planning next summer’s trip, nothing like a holiday planning session to cheer you up on a cold, wet and miserable Sunday in mid-Wales!


7 responses to “Garden Party – Jardins de Marqueyssac

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  1. I like a good garden, and this one looks pretty cool. What a trip you had. I’ll have to work on Mister Sport for our next continental meet-up. (Likely to be a few years down the line I think).



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