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Chablis to Ancy-le-Franc
Chablis is a good starting off point to discover the gently rolling countryside in northern Burgundy. This little town offers a choice of accommodation and restaurants, and of course you can taste the famous white wines the area is so renowned for. The town has a good Sunday morning market, and boutiques.
There are two châteaux in the near vicinity, Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc. Of the two, Ancy-le-Franc (right) is outstanding and the continuing restoration work goes on apace. This is what you would expect in a grand château – frescos and friezes, marble and gilt – a magnificent Renaissance building set in a large park. Château de Tanlay is an imposing building from the outside, set in extensive parkland. Inside, the highlight is the trompe-l’oeil gallery which is quite magnificent.
The pretty river Armançon flows through this area and at Perrigny-sur-Armançon, Roland Gillot keeps his flock of Angora goats, a rural idyll to be sure. He has a small shop there selling clothes and rugs in vibrant colours. All articles are lightweight but cosy, and ideal for travelling.
Drive through the undulating landscape, in spring ablaze with yellow rape seed and on to Noyers,
one of the best preserved medieval villages in Burgundy. The lavoir, half-timbered
buildings, cobbled streets and ramparts are the things picture books are
made of. Noyers stands on another pretty Burgundian river, the Serein,
a good place to stop for a picnic. Or en route back to Chablis, the at Nitry is well recommended for lunch or
dinner and has nine charming rooms.
Find wineries to visit at a click on the Rue des Vignerons website. This is a free service where you book online, there's information about the visit, prices, map and directions, and you can buy the domaine's wine at a reduced price.
luxury bed and breakfast
It can get pricey when you are visiting a lot of stately homes and places of interest. New for 2014, five places in Burgundy have got together to launch the Pass Touristique 'Les Incontournables en Bourgogne' - five 'must-see' sites. Visit the first free of charge - either Château d'Ancy-le-Franc, L'Abbaye de Fontenay or La Grande Forge de Buffon at Montbard (right). You will receive preferential rates at the other two locations, go on to the medieval town of Noyers-sur-Serein for a guided visit and La Chablisienne in Chablis