Loire Valley

We decided to return to the Loire Valley in 2019, having visited the area back in 2004. A group of 10 of us rented two adjoining gites at Le Haut Gué in Parçay-les-Pins near Saumur. As we were all coming from different areas in the UK and Ian was already in France having been to Le Mans, we travelled in separate groups. Brent & Tricia and Steve & Jenny took the Eurotunnel, Crudders travelled via P&O from Dover and we travelled via DFDS from Newhaven to Dieppe. Tim & Laura drove down as they were only able to join us for the weekend.

On the ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe
En route we stayed at Le Gaudin a beautiful B&B in
Suisse Normande...
...serving amazing food and great hospitality
We all met for lunch at the Hotel de France,
La Chartre-sur-le-Loir
which is used by cars taking part at events such as Le Mans, Le Mans Classic, Chinon Classic etc, with this area used for parking classic cars during their stay
The Farmhouse
The Cottage
A wonderful Bentley Blower driven by the owner of
the Hotel de France, Martin Overington
We all visited a wonderful street market in Bourgueil
At the gite we played a game of pétanque, which Maggie won!
Ian had arranged with Julian, a Series 2 owner from Tours,
to join us for a blat and lunch
Julian's father, who also has a Series 2,
came along and was accompanied by Julian's nephew
En route to lunch, Julian showed us the beautiful
Château de Gizeux
and then took us via the Château de Langeais
We all had lunch together at the Musée Maurice Dufresne (with the help of Google Translate!) and then Julian and his family returned home and we visited the Museum's vast collection
Monoplane Type XI flown by Louis Blériot, French aviator who was the first to cross the Channel on 25th July 1909 (restored by Les Ailes Anciennes, Paris)
Madame La Guillotine!
A piece of wreckage from a Lancaster bomber which crashed with another aircraft on the night of 16th July 1944 in the hamlet of Marnay
- all 15 occupants from both aircraft were sadly killed
La Sablière was excavated in the early 20th Century to extract Falun Sand and was then used as a troglodyte dwelling and an underground refuge. The remaining sand is now used by local sculptors to sculpt works of art on site.
Everyone wracking their brains during a game of 'Albert Tatlock'
organised by Tricia
Dinner at the gite on the last night to celebrate Maggie's forthcoming 60th Birthday!
Ian taking the lead en route to Dieppe Port
A couple of 'likely lads' I found taking in the view on the return crossing!