If you’re a horse enthusiast in need of holiday ideas the town of Saumur in the Loire Valley would be a great shout.
France’s cavalry has been based in Saumur since the 1700s, and you can come to see how things are done at the eminent riding school, the Cadre Noir.
Horses were retired from the battlefield a century ago, to be replaced by armoured vehicles, and the Musée des Blindés will show you that side of Saumur’s heritage, at one of the best tank museums anywhere.
As you dawdle on the town’s streets you’ll notice the brightness of the stones in the Saumur’s monuments: This is tufa, a soft type of limestone that has a yellow radiance in the sun.
Lets explore the best things to do in Saumur:
1. Musée des Blindés
One of the world’s top tank museums is here in Saumur.
The Musée des Blindés has almost 900 armoured vehicles, only a quarter of which can be shown at any time.
This enormous cache of track vehicles was founded in 1977 and was the brainchild of Michel Aubry, an army colonel whose goal was to keep as many of these tanks in working order as possible.
So more than 200 are drivable, including a Schneider CA1 from 1916, as they’ll demonstrate at the three-day Carrousel military tattoo every July, which has been going for 160 years.