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Dogs just as numerous as people at French chateau weekend visit

The Château d’Ussé is one of the only such attractions in France to allow dogs to walk inside and is keen to encourage canine visitors

Hundreds of visitors to the Château d’Ussé were joined by their dogs last weekend, as the attraction seeks to encourage people to bring their canine companions Pic: SpeedKingz / Shutterstock

The Château d’Ussé – commonly referred to as ‘Sleeping Beauty’s Castle’ – in Centre-Val de Loire, is one of the only French chateaux to welcome dogs not just to its gardens but also inside its rooms. 

The Château d’Ussé is one of the only such attractions in France to allow dogs indoors. Photo credit: Richard Semik / Shutterstock

On Saturday (November 12), there were just as many dogs as people at the chateau, as a large group of ‘toutouriste’ (a blend of ‘toutou’, or ‘doggy’, and ‘touriste’) visitors brought their pets along with them.  

Many of these dog owners are part of a group called ‘Tourisme avec mon chien’ (Tourism with my dog), whose website suggests dog-friendly activity ideas. 

Their visit to the chateau also involved a group walk and a meal in a local dog-friendly restaurant. 

The Château d’Ussé is the only one of its kind in Centre-Val de Loire to allow dogs outside, and one of three in France (with Chenonceau and Langeais) which welcomes them inside on a lead.

Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Clos-Lucé, Montrésor, and Villandry will, however, let dogs come inside if they are being carried.  

“Dogs have access everywhere; we ask only that they are kept on a lead inside, but they can be let off in the gardens,” the chateau’s owner Casimir de Blacas told France 3

“We have always had dogs; they have always been part of the family,” Mr de Blacas added. 

He also said that he would like more people to know about the fact that they can bring their dogs to the chateau. “Maybe we are not doing enough publicity. That is why we thought of organising this special day.”

Another toutouriste visit is planned for February 11, 2023.

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