Heaven for motorsports enthusiasts: a splendid château close to the racing track and museum at Le Mans. Nostalgic photographic prints of ‘24 Heures du Mans’ in its heyday are displayed alongside tapestries and oil paintings at this elegant retreat in the Loire Valley. Park beside the ornamental fountain in front of the white limestone façade and enjoy the peace afforded by staying on a 500-acre estate. Charming owner Paul and his wife have decorated their home with style and creativity; sink into velvet sofas beneath a chandelier in the sumptuous living room, eat around a mahogany table in the panelled dining room. You can chat as you cook up a storm in a big, parquet-floored kitchen with an open fire and low-hanging industrial lamps. Upstairs, nine chic double rooms overlooking the park and surrounding meadows offer plenty of space for groups or large families. Sleep in cosy beds covered with furs and sheepskins; soak in beautiful, claw-footed baths. If you tire of lounging luxuriously inside, why not take a dip in the (unfenced) lake or the sparkling new pool, play tennis or go wildlife spotting in the woods?