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The Western Loire: Heart of the Plantagenet Empire with Huon Mallalieu 9th to 16th July 2018

Tours | July 2018

Huon Mallalieu, our very own Huguenot, will be escorting you on this tour of the Western Loire. He writes: 'We shall be based in Angers, capital of Anjou and Henry II's Angevin Empire, which stretched from the Pyrenees to Scotland. The chateau has wonderful tapestries and the Cathedral glowing stained glass, and we will visit the Cointreau distillery.

‘At Tours we can enjoy a vibrant market, and Saumur boasts a chateau illustrated in one of the most beautiful mediaeval miniatures, as well as the famous French Cavalry School. At Fontevrault are buried 15 Plantagenets, including Henry II and Richard the Lionheart, and Henry's nearby Chateau de Chinon is also associated with Joan of Arc. Then at Nantes, capital of the dukes of semi-independent Brittany, we lunch in one of the most beautiful art-nouveau restaurants, and ride an elephant created in homage to Jules Verne. On our last day we visit Serrant, most westerly of the great Loire chateaux; from here Bonnie Prince Charlie launched his doomed '45 Rebellion.' 

We will be staying at the charming Hotel du Mail (, in Angers, and having dinner nearby every night at the suitably Francois I-style dining room, La Salamandre. 


Monday 9th July

15.00: depart EasyJet EZY8963 from Gatwick to Nantes; arrive Nantes 17.35. Transfer to the Hotel du Mail in Angers. Talk By Huon Mallalieu


Tuesday 10th July  Angers (and Cointreau)

Tour of the old town, including the Cathedral of St Maurice; lunch and postprandial visit to the Carré Cointreau to have first-hand experience of the famous liqueur, followed by a visit to the chateau and its Tapestry of the Apocalypse.


Wednesday 11th July – Tours

We will be in Tours for market day. Morning visit to the Cathedral of St Gatien and the Chateau de Tours. Lunch and afternoon to explore the half-timbered Place Plumereau and the Basilica of Saint Martin


Thursday 12th July – Saumur and Montsoreau

Morning tour of beautiful Saumur, refuge for the Huguenots, and its chateau. Guided tour of the Cadre Noir, France’s equivalent of Vienna’s Spanish Riding School. Lunch followed by a visit to the beautiful and ancient chateau of Montsoreau


Friday 13th July – Chinon and Fonteverault 

Morning tour of Chateau de Chinon where Joan of Arc first met Charles VII; lunch followed by a tour of Fontevrault Abbey, the mausoleum of the Plantaganet kings with effigies of Henry II, Good King Richard and Bad King John. 

Saturday 14th July – Nantes 

Famed for its edict and home to many French kings, Nantes is an oft-missed town. Morning tour of the old town, including the white Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul whose vaulting is higher than that of St Paul’s Cathedral. After lunch at the famous at La Cigale, we will visit the magnificent Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne and its excellent History Museum.

Sunday 15th July – Chateau Serrant

Built by the architects of Fontainbleau and the chapel of Versailles, Chateau Serrant is up there with Azay-le-Rideau in terms of its setting. Lunch at Le Relais D’Anjou nearby. Relaxing afternoon 


Monday 16th July – return home

Leave after breakfast for Nantes Airport. 1335: depart EasyJet EZY8962 from Nantes; arrive 1350 at Gatwick.

HOW TO BOOK: Call 01225 427311 PRICE PER PERSON: £1,895 for those sharing a double/twin room, including everything apart from flights and drinks before and after lunch and dinner. We need to charge a single supplement of £300. Do book with Katherine to guarantee a place on Her number is 01225 427311. She will require a non-refundable deposit of £750. Final payment will be due by 11th April, 2018. 


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Due to the recent collapse of sterling, The Oldie needs to protect itself against further sudden falls, and, hence, reserves the right to change the price of the holiday. The Oldie is happy to maintain the current price until the euro drops below €1 to £1, using FairFX’s currency rates as the arbiter. The current rate is €1.11 for £1.

We will absorb (and you will not be charged for) any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. You will be charged for the amount over and above that, i.e. if the exchange rate falls below €0.98 to £1 before March 21st, 2018. However there will be no change after 11th April, 2018.

If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you will have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid, except for an admin fee of £100. Should you decide to cancel: 1) you must do so within 14 days from the date on your final invoice of April 11th 2018) We will provide a refund of insurance premiums paid to us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your holiday cost, i.e. if the euro were to reach €1.10 to £1, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection.

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