Loire Gite Holidays in Mayenne
The Mayenne department in the north west of France, is also named after the river which runs through it. And with a town in the department also called Mayenne, it’s easy to get confused as to which area you are talking about!
The major departmental town of Laval boasts a chateau originating back to the 11th century and now housing an art museum. Whilst there why not visit the Milk museum – the largest in the world dedicated to milk and milk production, with a special section on cheese.
Chateau Gontier appears in a guide to the ‘most beautiful destinations in France’. One of only 100 towns included in the guide. Littered with religous and cultural buildings, gardens and the unique Ark animal refuge where you can see over 1,500 species of animals rescued from injury, abandonment or ill treatment.
Mayenne (the town) is an old feudal town built on hills on both sides of the Mayenne river. The chateau dates back to the 9th and 12th centuries and has retained a conical roof on one of its towers. An excellent museum opened at the chateau in 2008 and has lifts for easy access and has lots of information translated into English. Other historical sites to see include the Church of Notre-Dame, with its statue of Joan of Arc, which dates partly from the 12th century.
Riverside walks are also popular from the town. There’s a towpath heading south to Laval (30kms) and beyond. The locks are often manned by students in the summer months and some of the old lock keepers cottages en route have been turned into little shops.