A French Château's Surreal Clifftop Garden

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Julien de Cerval, a magistrate from Sarlat, inherited the unremarkable Château de Marqueyssac in 1861, and he proceeded to transform its grounds into one of the most splendid gardens in France. Paths meander through some 150,000 century-old boxwoods, a surreal topiary landscape the likes of which I’ve never seen. From certain viewpoints, you can overlook acres of Seussian tufts, beyond which spreads one of the most spectacular sections of the Dordogne region.

Paths run through 150,000 century-old boxwoods at Les Jardins de Marqueyssac in the Dordogne, France - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
Seating on the terrace of the tearoom, overlooking Beynac, at Les Jardins de Marqueyssac in the Dordogne, France - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
The view of the cliffside town La Roque-Gageac from Les Jardins de Marqueyssac in the Dordogne, France - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
A topiary landscape, featuring boxwoods, outside the Château de Marqueyssac in the Dordogne, France - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

To the northwest, the Château de Beynac looms in the distance, and to the east, the cliffside town of La Roque-Gageac curves along the river far below. In places, the topiary extends right to the edge of the bluff. I do not envy the gardeners who stand on the lip of the cliff, trimming boxwoods hundreds of feet above the Dordogne. A tearoom has outdoor tables overlooking Beynac, and on Thursdays in July and August, candles illuminate the paths throughout the evening.

Read more about our editor’s trip to Dordogne, France

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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