If you’re feeling depressed and down in the dumps at the moment, we’ve got a great way of beating the blues for you - book yourself a winter break to give yourself a change of scenery and the chance of a few bracing walks to make the most of what sunshine there is around.
France is famous for its gorgeous châteaux and we’ve got a few suggestions for places to stay where you can banish the blues and enjoy a cosy winter retreat.
The Château de la Marine sits on the hill of Repembert in Wimille, just minutes away from one of our favourite seaside resorts in northern France, the beautiful Belle-Epoque town of Wimereux. If you’re brave enough you can tackle the nearby clifftops of Cap Griz Nez and Cap Blanc Nez, otherwise take a walk along the stylish seafront boardwalk at Wimereux, then head into town for a spot of shopping. The Château de la Marine is a charming boutique hotel with four individually decorated bedrooms, each with its own terrace and view of the sea, parkland or surrounding countryside. The owners, Guy and Catherine, are renowned for their warm hospitality, and Catherine is happy to rustle up a meal with locally sourced ingredients for you, if you arrange it in advance. Each bedroom has a flat screen television with English channels, luxury bedlinen and a Nespresso coffee machine. Perfect!
If you’re a wine buff, then the 18th Century Château de Cocove is the place for you. It’s located in the rolling hills near the village of Recques sur Hem and boasts one of the finest wine cellars in northern France. Just a 20-minute drive from Calais, the château is within easy reach of the charming market town of Saint Omer. We’d recommend the brilliant market at Saint Omer and a visit to the cathedral is a must. The Château de Cocove’s 22 bedrooms and 3 pavillions have been recently refurbished and they’re all individually decorated and full of character. In the evening, enjoy an apéritif in the cosy little bar followed by a gourmet meal in the château’s restaurant, which features organic local produce and freshly caught local seafood.