Rather than ruin all that relaxation by dashing back through France in one go, we tend to take our time and have a couple of overnight stops on the way home, which also enables us to do a bit of sightseeing.

On the Sunday morning, we went to the château at Chenonceau, just east of Tours – actually on the Cher river rather than the Loire, which is where you tend to think the famous châteaux are.
As well as being the one with the arches over the river, it has two excellent formal gardens. And on top of that, it also has a magnificent vegetable, herb and flower garden, which it would be easy to miss – and which you really shouldn’t!

On the Monday, we were further north and visited Arromanches, Gold Beach on D-Day and where the Mulberry Harbour was – and where bits of it still are.
We were lucky that the tide was out, so we were able to walk around some of the remains – it’s hard to imagine just how big it actually was.
As always with wartime sites, particularly with 2014 being the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 100th anniversary of WWI, it makes you stop and think…

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