Photo of Chateau du Lude

Visit Chateau du Lude

The Chateau du Lude is in the Sarthe department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region of north-west France.

This lovely chateau, the Chateau du Lude, which is on a more human scale than some of those in the Loire valley has a lovely garden and grounds attached to it. The garden is labelled as a "Remarkable garden" of France.

Explore the Chateau du Lude gardens

The Chateau du Lude was built as a fortress in the 10th centuary. It was converted into an elegant residence in the 15th century and renovated in a beautiful Italian Renaissance style. In the 18th century a classicla wing which faces the river was added.

During the 17th century the dry moat was terraced and edged with a 200 meter long stone balustrade and a suspended garden was created in the old fortifications in the 18th century.

Chateau du Lude garden

Built on the banks of the River Loir the river adds an extra dimension to the garden. The river runs alongside a long formal, landscaped park. In the distance is a chinese pavillion and the Jardin de la Source.

This lower garden was once the vegetable garden but this was moved further away in the 19th century and the garden was designed by Edouard André, the famous designer of the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles.

Parterres full of roses and flowers fill the area in front of the chateau and lead to the view of the park and river below. I am not usually a big fan of these formal parterre gardens but this one is a little different.

Whilst the box hedging is all very traditional the shapes are filled in with a much more exuberant planting than normal giving it a much more informal air.


Near the castle the parterres are filled with plants with colours mostly of white and yellow. Golden oregano is used to good effect here as ground cover. Further away lots of pinks and purples including an enormous number of alliums, one of my personal favourites.

There was also a lovely purple rose 'Rhapsody in blue'. This rose won the 'rose of the year competition' in 2003 and I can see why. Other plants include nepeta, lavender and geraniums. There is a miniature maize beyond this garden.

The long riverside garden has long straight lawns and paths and clipped shrubs. Next to a wall that borders the garden on the opposite side to the river a long border of scented flowering shrubs has been planted. These include lilacs, philadelphus, chimonanthus and calycanthus.

A collection of rare trees and shrubs have been planted in the gardens and also a lot of winter-flowering shrubs including daphne and mahonia.

The 'Eperon garden' in front of the Louis XVI facade has been planted with a collection of Chinese, tea and hybrid roses including 'Mutablis', 'Old Blush' and 'Irene Watts'.

Chateau du Lude garden

For those of you who like vegetable gardens there is also a large and very impressive kitchen garden. This was also originally designed by Edouard André and covers 2 hectares.

Chateau du Lude garden guide

The Chateau du Lude can be found south of Le-Mans.

The gardens of the chateau are open from the 1st April to 30 September except Wednesdays in September. 10.00 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 18.30, and all day from 10.00-18.30 in July and August.

Address: Chateau du Lude, 4 rue Jehan de Daillon, 72800 Le Lude

Gardens to visit nearby

To the north of here is the lovely Jardin d'Atmosphere du Petit Bordeaux, a charming country garden. Whilst to the south east are the magnificent ornamental vegetable gardens of the Chateau de Villandry.

On a visit to the castles of the Loire Valley the Chateau d'Amboise and its gardens was one of our favourites. Like the Chateau du Lude it is not the biggest and most imposing but it is very charming as are its gardens and it offers some lovely views over the town.

You can find more local travel ideas in the North West France guide,

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Photos of Chateau du Lude

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Map of Chateau du Lude and places to visit


Chateau du Lude places to visit

Jardin d Atmosphere du Petit Bordeaux

Jardin d Atmosphere du Petit Bordeaux

The Jardin d'Atmosphere du Petit Bordeaux is a prize winning garden in the Sarthe department near to Le Mans.

Jardin d Atmosphere du Petit Bordeaux guide
Parc Maupassant de bois Savary

Parc Maupassant de bois Savary

Sadly this park has closed.

Parc Maupassant de bois Savary guide
Gardens of the Chateau de Villandry

Gardens of the Chateau de Villandry

The Chateau de Villandry has a world famous formal vegetable garden as well as parterres full of flowers.

Gardens of the Chateau de Villandry guide
Chateau d'Amboise

Chateau d'Amboise

The charming gardens of the Chateau d'Amboise contain a mass of box balls and more informal planting.

Chateau d'Amboise guide
Chateau de Chenonceau Gardens

Chateau de Chenonceau Gardens

The Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the most beautiful and its formal gardens set it off to perfection.

Chateau de Chenonceau Gardens guide
Garden Festival of Chaumant sur Loire

Garden Festival of Chaumant sur Loire

The International Garden Festival of Chaumont with new show gardens created every year.

Garden Festival of Chaumant sur Loire guide