Nantes (the birthplace of Jules Verne) is famed for its shops and rue Crébillon has actually created the local phrase to ‘Crébilloner’; ‘to idly dawdle along the thoroughfare window shopping’.

It will be many hours before the average visitor finally has their fill of the many and various temptations, not to mention the distractions of the beautiful Passage Pommeraye. French cinema enthusiasts will instantly recognise it from several films as the great director Jacques Demy hailed from the Loire Valley and once you have re-enacted scenes from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (should you so wish) and enjoyed crepes at Ile Mystérieuse (where it is traditional to place coins between the bricks to ensure wishes come true) dusk will encroaching.

Nantes cahteau at night

Then you will see the sheer spectacle of the Château illuminated, an experience that rarely fails to mesmerize and during daylight hours, you could easily visit it five times over and still not have experienced the full breadth of its riches. It is the home to the local history museum where a clever arrangement of interactive computer terminals give a virtual tour of the city in medieval times, or you may merely prefer to relax by the side of the moat that surrounds the seven towers of the Château. In either case, come the evening you will certainly be in urgent need of a fortifying slice of Tarte Tatin.