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Château living

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Burgundy – and in particular the area to the east and south of the Morvan – is one of the prime château regions in France. Whether still in the hands of old families like the château Bazoches du Morvan (wchateau-de-vauban.com) whose current owner is related to Vauban, the great French fortification builder, or state-owned and -maintained like the château de Castellux (wchateaudechastellux.com), their remoteness and association with a feudal aristocratic class places them several steps above a simple stately mansion.

As the upkeep of such massive structures becomes more and more expensive, many château owners rent their properties to large families or groups. Depending on numbers, costs can be as low as £300 per week, but take note: wi-fi may not penetrate the thick stone walls, and you will almost invariably need your own car; some places come with a cook and a maid, and occasionally the owners may still live on the premises (though you might never even bump into them). The range of experiences is broad, however, and you should be able to find something to suit your tastes – from Château de Missery near Saulieu (wchateaudemissery.com), who offer weekend cookery courses and wine tastings for about a dozen people, to Château de Tailly (wchateaudetailly.com), which is split into three buildings and can accommodate smaller parties of guests. Check wsimplychateau.com for a selection of options.

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