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The Château de la Roche Courbon is a really rather spectacular historic monument just over an hour’s drive south of La Rochelle. We set off fairly early in the morning to make our way down there. It’s mainly motorway with 20 minutes of Route Nationale at the end.

There are a number of things to do when you’re there, including tours inside the castle (which we didn’t do), walks around the gardens, and a slightly longer walk to the grottoes. The walk to the grottoes was good because it was partly in the shade.

The Château is privately owned and has limited facilities inside (i.e. there isn’t a massive cafe with a selection of fine foods and some clean toilets) but there’s some passable mobile food just by the entrance gate.

Of all the days on this holiday I remember this as being the hottest, although that may just be because we chose to go somewhere that afforded very little respite from the heat, and I remember we had to keep stopping for drinks and ice creams, and at one point we just had to sit down or lie down in the shade under some trees to let Ami cool off a bit. She was suffering more than the rest of us, seemingly.

We were quite glad to get back into the car and the air-conditioning for the drive home again.