Right on your doorstep, very cheap to get in and a lovely way to spend a few hours wandering around the grounds. The kids will love the underground grotto, which brings you up in different parts of the garden.
Chateau de Gizeux
Ten minutes from the gîte - head to Parcay-les-Pins and then on to Gizeaux. Once a 16th-century art school and they are busy restoring the frescos painted onto the walls by the students. A Chateau that is off the beaten track, but one of the most endearing.
A medieval fortress guarding the Loire - so battlements, drawbridge, turrets and the oldest castle keep in France. Children will enjoy the treehouse in the grounds. Nice Cpreperie just around the corner and a lovely chocolate & coffee shop opposite.
Southwest of Saumur, the Chateau is famous because all of the really interesting stuff is underground, with a complex of underground caverns and rooms where the present occupants’ ancestors first lived - before they built the Chateau on top.
If you’ve decided to spend a day in Angers then the Chateau is worth visiting. It’s a medieval fortress overlooking the Maine river and surrounded by winding old streets. Inside is the tapestry of the Apocalypse a large medieval set of tapestries and the oldest medieval tapestry to have survived intact.
A castle overlooking medieval Chinon, with connections to the English Kings (Henry II & Richard the Lionheart) and where Joan of Arc met the French king before taking the war to the English. So lots of Joan of Arc references around the Chateau and the town below!
Chateau du Rivau
Just north of Chinon is Chateau du Rivau which is great, especially if you have younger children. The Chateau is a small fairytale castle and the beautiful grounds continue the theme with giant objects, climbing frames, sculptures and quirky things for the kids to discover. One of the few Chateau that has a restaurant inside the grounds.