©Simon Bourcier
Relive the days of Knights and princesses in Brittany Six châteaux to capture the imagination of the whole family

Relive the days of Knights and princesses in Brittany

If tales from the Middle Ages are the stuff of your dreams, bring the family to visit six fortified stately homes and castles in Brittany where you can experience life in another era. Leave the 21st century behind! Costumed tours, escape games and medieval markets are what you’ll find at the châteaux of Bienassis, Fougères, Kerjean, Kergroadez, Suscinio and Le Rocher du Portail. In between treasure hunts and medieval games, the kids can pretend they’re knights and princesses, following in the footsteps of the Breton Lords of long ago…

©Noé C Photography

Château de Bienassis (22)

A carefully guarded treasure

Château Bienassis, on the borders of the Côtes d’Armor, is a stately home with a façade of pink sandstone. Medieval games, a treasure hunt and a calligraphy workshop will be the highlights of this visit for the kids. As you stroll on the castle ramparts, you’re given a commission by a man named François de Quélenec. He’s trying to recover his treasure and is asking your family for help. Be careful, though… The guards are hard on your heels in this escape game that lasts for an hour! In the grounds you’ll find a medieval kitchen garden and French-style gardens where you can try living like a Lord, from the 15th century to the modern day.

Château de Kergroadez (29)

The land of Little Princes

The sentries are keeping watch at Kergroadez-en-Brélès, a stone fortress on the north-western tip of Finistère. The King’s messenger brings a message. Disaster has struck! The marchioness is in danger and is being held prisoner. Dressed as princesses or knights, kids aged 5 to 10 set off on their assignment without their parents to release her from the abductors’ clutches. Hunting for clues that have been planted in the halls of the castle, they have to liberate the marchioness as quickly as possible. Inside the building there’s a secret room where the whole family can try to find the solution to escape games. In ‘The Poisoning of the Marquis’ you have to go and find the antidote that will save him. In ‘The Curse of the Pirate’, the treasure has vanished! A stroll in the gardens reveals unusual corners, with a green maze, the Prairie des Chevelus and the medieval washhouse.

Château Le Rocher Portail (35)

In the privacy of a family home

Just 30 km from the Mont-Saint-Michel, there’s excitement in store for the whole family at the Château Le Rocher Portail. For the kids, there’s a treasure hunt, the mystery of the secret passage, and dressing up for the guided tours. From the unparalleled Renaissance gallery to the harness room, everyone can picture the life of the nobles and servants to background music reminiscent of ‘Downton Abbey’. You’ll pass through 12 furnished rooms, from the servants’ quarters to the cabinet of curiosities, not forgetting your stop-off at the castle’s tearoom to sample local products. In the grounds of the estate, take advantage of the picnic areas and do some more exploration, with a tour of the stables and the exhibition of photographs showing the family in the 19th century.

Château de Suscinio (56)

The Middle Ages beside the sea

The sea breezes blow around Château de Suscinio, in Sarzeau, in the Morbihan. There’s panic in the air as well, and the family is caught up in a hectic visit lasting for 1hr 30mins. Be warned! Nothing’s ready for the imminent arrival of the Duchess, Anne de Bretagne, and her court; your job is to help with the arrangements for the occasion. You will be cast in the role of various characters from the Middle Ages, and you’ll have lots of fun getting into the daily routine of this period. Dressed as Dukes and Duchesses, the little ones try their hand at mediaeval games. On the third floor, you’ll learn about and reproduce the motifs and patterns of medieval paving. Make one last stop on the curtain wall to enjoy the view of the Gulf of Morbihan, and the gates of this former residence of the Dukes of Brittany are closing.

Château de Fougères (35)

Europe's biggest fortress

Welcome to the Year 1000 at Château de Fougères, overlooking the medieval town. There are films to watch, a tactile display, audio-guides for kids… your tour includes lots of tools and historical tableaux. In the museography space, your little knights in shining armour between the ages of 6 and 12 can put on Paladin helmets to watch reconstructions of medieval life. There are also puzzle books with a key, just waiting to be solved. Making your way as a family from the Mélusine Tower to the Surienne Tower, then on to the medieval market, you‘ll uncover the secrets of this fortress that guards the gateway to Brittany.

Château de Kerjean (29)

A stately home on the ‘Chemins du Patrimoine’ heritage trails

Deep in the heart of Finistère, imagine life at the Château de Kerjean. Everyone in the family will learn about the rituals of washing and laying the table at this period of the Middle Ages. Did you know that in the 16th century, the artichoke was regarded as a fruit? ‘Renaissance on your Plate’ tells you more about the eating habits of that era, which were different from our own. The château’s five rooms offer plenty of interest; books of spells, moving models, films and more. In ‘Seigneur and his Château’ the inhabitants of Kerjean, from the Lord to the stable boy, bring the daily routines to life before your eyes. The château’s extensive grounds are open to visitors all year round, allowing you to stroll around the gardens to your heart’s content and play at being great ladies and mistresses for a while longer! There’s a viewing device that allows you to look at the sculptures in the chapel and the pretty fountain.

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Official website of tourism in Brittany