So you’re looking for a Paris day trip? The Château de Sceaux is one of the lesser known castles in Paris yet is so breathtakingly beautiful that we thought it time to change that. It’s conveniently located and can be reached in less than 30 minutes from central Paris and being so close you needn’t dedicate a whole day but could easily get away with giving up only an afternoon of your precious time in Paris to this castle.
The château de Sceaux is a grand country house, it differs from other castles in that it invites and welcomes you in rather than overwhelms you. It has an intimate and cosy feel for a castle yet is no less grand once you enter its doors. After all it was grand enough for Louis XI to come and dine here in the 15th century.
The grounds were designed by Le Nôtre; the landscape architect who designed the gardens at Versailles and they are worth a visit in their own right. They are expansive and contain within them an orangery, a lake and a canal. The views from the gardens are breathtaking and span across the entire grounds stretching out to the surrounding landscape.
The interior of the castle is the prettiest I’ve ever seen, but that is perhaps because it matches my own aesthetic so perfectly. The downstairs is a multitude of pastel hues with highlights of mint green, pink and gold. Upstairs looks more like a traditional castle with deep reds and showcases pieces of art from the castle’s collection.
There are plenty of rewards for all explorers of the grounds from the views to the orangery to the beautiful Pavillon de l’Aurore. This Italianesque pavilion is a must visit not only for its stunning exterior but also for its equally stunning interior and dome ceiling painted by Le Brun.
Best time to go
Whilst the grounds are beautiful any time of year, spring and summer are the most prolific seasons. The best month to go is May when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.
How to get there
The castle is easily accessible by car, taxi, bus or train but the most convenient way to get there is by taking RER B which links many central Paris stations to the Sceaux station which is then a 5 minute walk to the castle.
As with most of France’s castles, the opening times vary depending on the time of year so take a look on the website here to find out.
Photography and words by Faye Bullock