History is waiting for you

Like many a good thing, Puy du Fou really does gets better with age. I last visited two years ago, and although it blew my historical socks off I wasn’t emotionally invested. Fast-forward to my stay there last month, and I’m already planning future trips with friends and my unborn children.

Now in their 40th year, it feels like the historical theme park is peaking. In reality, having started from nothing – with no money or experience – to winning the most prestigious awards in the business, they will only continue to evolve, forever striving to create new shows which will entertain and surprise us.

Take the two years since my last visit for example, in that time they have opened a new 360° show, Le Dernier Panache, where an audience of 2,400 rotates as they watch a spectacle of both stage and cinema unfold behind before their eyes. Seeing areas of the stage open up to reveal new sets was magical, immersive and visually stunning. And the really special thing is you won’t see this anywhere else – Puy du Fou had the vision and invented the technology to make it happen!

So what is Puy du Fou?

In a nutshell Puy du Fou is a historical theme park, replacing rides with live performance shows. Visitors can watch a variety of shows depicting periods in history from the 1st to 20th century. In the morning you can watch chariots race and gladiators fight in the colosseum, eat in a medieval castle for lunch and stroll through the period villages (with real craftspeople), gardens, animal sanctuary’s in the afternoon.


[images top to bottom] Les Chevaliers de la Table RondeLes VikingsLe Signe du Triomphe, Holly and I (left) enjoying the chariot racing.

The park is located in Nantes, France, and is a relatively easy to get to from Gatwick. What I will say as an English person visiting, is we don’t really have anything quite like it on our side of the channel. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing, and hasn’t translated over here, or perhaps Puy du Fou just do it better. One of the things you will take away from your visit is their exceptional attention to detail – you can see it everywhere, from the sets all the way to the sign in your hotel bathroom which instead of a piece of laminated card, the notice is carved into the stone, in the same way the medieval masons would’ve done it.

If you’re thinking this is all sounding like somewhere you would like to visit but really struggled with your French GCSE, don’t panic, they offer translation headsets for all the shows (and I know I should say this because we should all try and speak the language of the countries we visit BUT the Puy du Fou staff are so helpful and if they can’t speak English themselves they will always find someone who can).

Should you visit?

If traditional theme parks just don’t do it for you, and you love history and culture then yes, absolutely you should visit. The park caters to adults, children and families – I have visited twice as a single twenty-something woman and loved it.

When planning your trip I would recommend you either include the park as a day trip if your passing through/holidaying in the Bordeaux region, or go for a long weekend and stay in one of their superb themed-hotels (but more on that in another post!).

You can find everything you need to know about this glorious park here.

If you have any questions about the park or would like some advice when planning your trip just let me know in the comments!

Speak soon,

Annabelle

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