Dick and Angel Strawbridge, stars of Channel 4 Escape to the Château and Escape to the Château DIY, have created a heretofore overlooked French lifestyle option. To own a Château was for most of us an impossible dream only achievable by the rich and famous. They have made us all realize that with a lot of work, loads of passion and a touch of craziness we could all become Château owners.
I decided to do some research and asked Google the question “how many French Châteaux are there?” to which google had no definitive answer! Results did however show that the Wikipedia result (if you took the time to count them up which I did not) comes nowhere close to the CNN Travel editors who claim that there are currently 9,000 Château owners and that on the Le Figaro Properties website there are currently over 1,100 “castles” for sale, and according to Prestige Property there are over 300 for sale just in the Dordogne.
Suffice it to say that if you want to buy a Château it is definitely accessible. I decided to go “Château hunting” and found a 19th century fully converted château which has been converted into 11 apartments plus 3 hectares of land and a covered swimming pool for €190,000 – talk about a business opportunity, a place to live and work! That’s why many château owners decided to take “le plonge” and have swapped two bed flats in London for a Château in France. These properties offer superb value for money with the land, outbuildings, floor space that the provide. Agreed, they will all require sweat labour but what greater achievement than creating your own version of Versailles?!
You can read about the labours of love which the château owners featured in Escape to the Château DIY have faced in our upcoming series of vlogs (video blogs). We’ll be travelling through France with our roving microphone to interview the owners you have all seen and recognize on Channel 4.
Our first vlog featuring the Château de Basmaignee is ready to view, take a look https://chateauxescapesfrance.com/chateau-de-la-basmaignee and give us your feedback.