We were in France this weekend visiting Jean’s family in Bourgogne. On Sunday we decided to visit the Parc Floral and Château d’Apremont. When we drove up to the entrance it felt like a scene from a postcard with beautiful buildings, perfect topiary and colourful flowers.
There is a decent amount of parking not far from the ticket office where entry costs €10 per adult and children at free up to the age of 7.
The view when you step into the gardens is stunning and we followed the path through the arches to the right where we saw a huge variety of gorgeous plants and foliage as well as lots of bees and butterflies. The path took us up a hill to the Belvedere which is a small open building with panels depicting the travels of Pulcinelli and interesting to look at. Then on down the hill again and past a beautiful waterfall and a lake complete with lily pads!
We saw a smaller pond as we walked and on closer inspection saw that it was alive with frogs which Jude and Alba really enjoyed. Further on down the gardens we hopped over the stepping stones to a Turkish pavilion to enjoy the view over the lake.
One of the main features of the gardens is an ornate bridge with great views across the lake and beyond and the perfect place to take some pictures. It took us about an hour of gentle strolling to make a full turn of the gardens but if we had more time it would have been nice to have enjoyed looking more closely at the many varieties of plant, sit for a moment and absorb the view from one of the benches and fully appreciate this oasis of calm and perfectly manicured tranquility.
There are a few small steps but most of the garden was accessible for us with the double pushchair although a bit of effort was required up some of the hilly parts.
There are some clean toilets with a wall mounted changing mat if needed and the exit leads you back through the ticket office which sells gifts (things like local honey and mustard as well as toys for the children etc).
This has to be one of the most charming gardens we have ever visited. It’s beautifully tended and full of colour, wonderful aromas and wildlife. Apremont-sur-Allier, one of the “most beautiful villages in France” (an official distinction), and at its heart, the Château and its Parc Floral are a focal point of the region.
It might not be an obvious choice of outing for children but there was space for them to run around (being careful of the unprotected waters edge) and plenty for them to discover and smell. One tip though...a lot of the route around the gardens is across the lawns which were well watered and damp...so don’t wear your best shoes :-)
When we left we saw that there is a cafe next door which had a terrace and looked nice. The same ticket for the gardens also permits entry to visit the tower of the castle from the outside. This part didn’t seem to be accessible to pushchairs so Jean went up to look around and said it was stunning.
Discover the video of the Castle on our Youtube channel.
Parking : Yes
Toilets : Yes
Baby Change Facilities : Yes
Accessibility : Yes suitable for pushchairs
Website : http://www.apremont-sur-allier.com/fr/parc-floral/