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SOLD OUT- The Oldie invites you for a tour of the châteaux, gardens and gastronomy of the Loire Valley with Huon Mallalieu 8th to 15th May 2025

Tours | May 2025


Come and enjoy la douce France. It’s ten years since we last went to the Loire and we are still keen to ring the changes with some new destinations. So, with the help of Oldie-reader Rose Angas, we have devised this itinerary of the region which she has known for 35 years. She has unveiled some hidden gems for you, and has also chosen all the fabulous restaurants for our lunches.

Huon Mallalieu, a veteran of Oldie trips, and Oldie Publisher James Pembroke will be leading you.

Huon Mallalieu

We have booked the entire Château de Perreux near Amboise. We will have dinner there most evenings.

Better by rail

Those of you who are weary of airports will be delighted to hear that we will be travelling to Tours by train, with G7 taxis taking us from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse. The total journey time is just five hours, during which you can stretch your legs and take in the view. You can even bring back a few bottles of delicious Loire wine.


Thursday 8th May – arrival

11.31 depart St Pancras for Gard du Nord; 2.47pm arrive and take pre-booked G7 taxis to Montparnasse; 4.15pm depart Montparnasse; 5.30pm arrive at Tours station, which is 20 minutes from the château. Talk by Huon and dinner.

Friday 9th May – Tours

Visit to the 12th-century Cathédrale St-Gatien, the Château de Tours and 17th-century Musée de Beaux Arts. Lunch at Le Chien Jaune, followed by a stroll around the picturesque Place Plumereau.

Cathédrale St-Gatien, Tours

Saturday 10th May – Loches and Montrésor

Tour of the town on market day including the Lansyer art museum; lunch at Arbore et Sens; afternoon visit to the pretty château of Montrésor.

Royal City of Loches


Sunday 11th May – Montpoupon and Chaumont

Morning visit to the hidden gem of Château de Montpoupon; lunch at L’Auberge de Montpoupon at Céré-la-Ronde, followed by a visit to Chaumont's international garden festival.

Château de Montpoupon

Monday 12th May – Plantagenet Day

Visit to the magnificent fortress of Chinon; wine-tasting and lunch at Restaurant Ververt, in Montsoreau, followed by visit to Fontevraud-l’Abbaye to see the tombs of Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Fontevraud-l’Abbaye - tomb of Richard the Lionheart


Tuesday 13th May – Saumur and Villandry

Morning tour of the town, including a crémant wine-tasting at Cave Bouvet-Ladubay; lunch at Brasserie la Bourse des Gourmets and visit to the château and world-famous gardens of Villandry.

World-famous gardens of Villandry

Wednesday 14th May – Azay-le-Rideau and Villaines-les-Rochers

Morning visit to Azay; lunch at Pom’Poire; then on to Villaines, a delightful troglodyte village with local artisans’ willow work in their museum – living-willow sculptures as well as baskets etc.


Thursday 15th May – and home

12pm depart from Tours station; 1.15pm arrive Montparnasse; taxis to Gare du Nord to catch the 3.07pm train, which arrives at 4.40pm at St Pancras.


Call 01225 427 311 or please email Katherine at reservations@theoldie.co.uk

Price per person: £3,495, which includes return train fares to Tours, which we at The Oldie will book, all meals, wine with meals, all transport and entrances.

Single supplement: £500.

A non-refundable deposit of £750 will be required, with the full balance due on 1st February 2024.

Booking Request

To make a provisional booking, please fill in the information below. Once we have received it, we will call you to take your payment and confirm your details.

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