Accommodation Review

A Perfect Castle to Visit with Kids in France

Elizabeth Thorpe of Poshbrood shared her exciting plans to go to Dordogne over Spring Break with me last night; our conversation reminded me how much I adore this region of France. It’s not widely known as a tourist destination — surprising, as the Dordogne is brimming with wonderful attractions and scenic villages to explore.

Our last visit was with three boys under 11. In addition to our fantastic farmhouse dinners and zip-line adventure, we all adored the village and castle of Beynac above the Dordogne River.

Beynac Fortress Dordogne France

We’ve visited many castles in Europe and the Fortress of Beynac is one of my absolute favorites for kids and adults alike.

Beynac Fortress Dordogne View

The views of the surrounding countryside and Dordogne River are exceptional.

Boys Visiting Beynac Fortress Dordogne France

The castle is well-maintained and atmospheric. It’s easy to imagine what it was like to live here hundreds of years ago. It’s staged just enough to make the castle come to life, but not enough to make it feel contrived.

Boy in Front of Beynac Castle Dordogne

Big doors, dark and dank spaces — all the castle essentials are here.

Chapel at Beynac Fortress Dordogne

The 12th century chapel, Notre-Dame de Beynac, is a mesmerizing sight perched on the edge of a cliff.

If you are dreaming of the Dordogne be sure and catch Budget Travel’s feature about where we stayed as part of their Best Places You’ve Never Heard Of report. Kristi vacationed in the Dordogne last summer and fell in love with the seriously kid-friendly Le Chevrefeuille.

Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy

Relevant Links:

Ciao Bambino recommended family hotels in France

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  • I’ve actually been reading more and more about Dordogne lately and have become intrigued. There’s nothing I like more than untouristy regions and villages. And medieval castles. Dordogne is edging nearer and nearer to the top of my travel list.

  • That castle looks lovely, as do the views. There’s something about castles perched on the top of a hill that make them so much more impressive than say the Tower of London pressed in amongst all the other buildings.

  • I think one of the biggest surprises to many first time visitors to France is how untouristy most of the regions of the country are. Paris is Paris and a place everyone should visit but special places which you feel as though you share with no-one are pretty much everywhere otuside the big cities.
    We live in the Touraine du Sud also known as the Loire Valley countryside and interesting historic places to visit medieval through renaissance to the second world war number too many to visit on any vacation stay…we are still trying to get to visit all our ‘must see’ and we have lived here over 5 years!
    Our favourites in the Loire Valley are:
    Loches, Chauvigny & Chinon for fantastic castles/palais, medieval towns & donjons perched on hills with snaking mazes of medieval streets leading up to them.
    & le Grand Pressigny for Prehistory and Medieval towns.
    La Guerche (open in summer) for authentic family owned centuries old chateau with fascinating history during occupation in WW2.
    Montresor, Angles-sur-Anglin, Azay-le-Ferron for places where you won’t feel you are sharing with anyone, lazy villages by beautiful rivers, enabling you to blend in & enjoy the authentically french village, chateaux & gardens all for yourselves.
    I have yet to explore too much in the Dordogne having briefly visited in 2009 and aged 5 in 1976! but I was tickled to read the above article & comments & see it describd as ‘untouristy’ when as a native Brit, this region of France is often described as ‘Dordogneshire’ as a reference to how ‘British’ it has become….. bon weekend

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