History lovers will be happy in this beautiful, listed château dating back to the 16th century and inherited by the famous historian, writer and political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1800s. All is on a luxurious scale, from the handsome Renaissance façade to the surrounding English garden, lake and parkland. Rooms are awash with chandeliers, antiques and ancestral portraits. There’s a grand salon with rich red walls, sofas, vast stone fireplace and polished dining table. A bright-white contemporary kitchen has all you need to whip up a feast. Stone spiral stairs, and a well-concealed lift, lead to the unexpected: a top-floor home cinema sprawling beneath open rafters. Spacious bedrooms, ranging across the upper three floors, are elegantly country-house with lavish wallpapers, thick curtains, rugs on polished floors and family antiques. Grand touches include four-poster beds, carved fireplaces, huge mirrors and a tapestry. Roomy bathrooms are traditionally comfortable. The coast and Barfleur’s pretty port are 10 minutes’ drive, Bayeux and D-Day sites nearby. This is a country retreat par excellence!