Glasses at the ready for the Sancerre Wine Festival! A really great group made for a brilliant tour – thanks to everyone for making it such fun!
“Jen, John and everyone, for me this was my first group tour of any kind and the only word I can use to summarise it was BRILLIANT. Superbly organised, a great group of people and excellent daily routes and visits. Even the rain on the first day didn’t damp the enthusiasm and as the tour progressed the weather improved showing that the sun does shine on the righteous! For anyone who has not thought about a tour especially with BN put it on your bucket list and just do it !!!! Worth every minute. Even the 7 hours on the bike in the rain on the way home gave me time to reflect on a great week. Thanks again to all involved – next question for me is which one next ?? Safe and enjoyable riding to you all”
Dave Walker, 1st tour, KTM 1090 Adventure, County Durham
A rainy arrival in France
We start with breakfast & a briefing
“Hi John, Jen and all others, What can we say? A fabulous time was had by ourselves. Everything worked beautifully. Hotels were all excellent, chateaux and wine festival as memorable as the previous tour. Successfully managed to get wine glasses home without breaking them! A great mix of like minded riders riding brilliant roads. What more can we say apart from looking at next year and planning. Thank you again for the well organised tour, company and great settings. See you soon, ride safe.”
Clare Lovett, 4th tour, BMW F800 & Adrian Lovett, 4th tour, Honda Crossrunner, Leics (& 2nd time of doing this tour!)
Jen’s leading today
Gerald’s Explorer has self-adjusting suspension!
We ALWAYS re-group before & after any stretch of motorway
“Hi John and Jen, thanks for yet another brilliant tour! As always great riding, hotels and food. A fun group as well – you never disappoint and I look forward to making another trip with you. Thanks also to everyone in the group and hope you all returned home OK (mine was a grind up the M1 in heavy rain and traffic so can’t wait for another chance to ride European roads!) Best regards”
“Back-marker” Bob Eve, 8th tour, BMW F800, Yorkshire
And following the live review – “Hi John and Jen, what a brilliant resume of the trip! A great reminder of how good riding in Europe can be. Can’t wait to make another trip with BN. All the best Bob”
Setting off after lunch stop
“Completely agree with Bob, brilliant trip, great organisers, great company, great roads, good food & good hotels, what more can we wish for. Until we get back in the U.K…we find the M25 is closed in both directions…absolute nightmare, but we all got home eventually.”
Chris Pryke & members from the Maldon British Motorbike Owners Club, 1st tour, Triumph Sprint, Essex
Helmets in the van for our first visit
The Clos Luce at Amboise
“Great trip ❤️ fabulous Châteaux, tasty wine and lovely group of people, thanks John & Jen xx”
Jackie Watson, 2nd tour, pillion on BMW K1300S, Berkshire
“Had a great time and lots of laughs, thanks to everyone for making it a fun trip.”
Jon Watson, 2nd tour, BMW K1300S, Berkshire
Sandra & John climb the watchtower
J&S again !
“Hi John & Jen, thanks for an amazing holiday. To be honest we didn’t know what to expect but certainly we weren’t disappointed. We all had a great time and can’t wait for the next one. Our trip home wasn’t great – the M25 was closed so Ruth and her boys got home in three separate groups, but that’s a story for another time! Thanks again to everyone for making us feel so welcome. Cheers the Essex chapter “
Gerald & Ruth Jolly with the MBMOC, 1st tour, Triumph Tiger Explorer, Essex
Leonardo da Vinci’s bedroom
Marguerite de Navarre’s bedroom
“Hi John & Jen & All, thanks again for another enjoyable tour with BN European Tours. We both had a great time with good hotels, food, wine and lots of Chateaux and best of all a great group of like minded people. Everything organised for us so we don’t need to worry about anything except riding our bike. Superb roads too. What more could we ask for. For anyone new to touring this is an excellent taster tour (in more ways than one ). Once you have been on a tour with BN you are hooked. Their tours are superb. You only have to look at the number of people who return each year to know that they really do know how to organise a motorbike tour…We are both looking forward to joining you again in July for the Picos, Pyrenees & Volcanos Tour when we can do it all again. Can’t wait. Thanks again to everyone for making this a most enjoyable holiday and I am sure we will see some of you again soon on another BN tour. Ride safely”
Alan & Julie Grieves, 5th tour, Ducati Multistrada, Leicestershire
Tony & Chris M
See Leonardo’s workshops
“Hello all, thanks for a brilliant 5 days, apart from the first morning’s weather it got better and better. Wonderful hotels, great food and a great bunch of lads and lasses who were really good company. The roads were to die for and I enjoyed trying to keep up with Jon & Jackie Watson, sharpened my riding no end. Thanks finally to John and Jeanette for organising a great trip”
Chris McIlroy with the MBMOC, 1st tour, Triumph Thruxton, Essex
“Hi John & Jen, what awful weather on the first day, wind & rain, soaked through & not even out of the port! Going across the Loire at a 45 degree angle with trees down & debris in the road! Next day weather better, sun comes out, everyone’s smiling – only getting wet in the pool (except us!) Great trip, great people, hope we’re still riding at age 79!”
John & Sandra Shepherd, 9th tour, Honda Deauville, Hertfordshire (also 2nd time of doing this tour)
Dave with a model of the first tank
L da V invented gearing
The first motorised vehicle
Please explain the Archimedes Screw to Jen !!
Due to the storms the gardens are closed
You can see the model of the first helicopter
“Hi both, looking forward to the Rhine in Flames tour in August already as we thoroughly enjoyed the Chateaux & Sancerre tour with what transpired to be a lovely group of people: it was also good to meet up with some friends again from previous tours not to mention Jen and yourself. See you in August”
Peter Wright, 9th tour, FJR 1300 & Sally Hurman, 8th tour, Fazer 60, Leicestershire (& also 2nd time of doing this tour!)
Adrian & Clare
David & Amanda
“Hi John and Jen, thanks for another great tour, lovely roads, great hotels, chateaux, food (& wine!) and so nice to have it all planned for you. A really good group of people, we had great fun. A very damp journey back to Suffolk for us and we were missing the French roads 10 minutes in! Thanks to everyone on the tour for making it so enjoyable. Look forward to our next tour with you. Kind regards”
David & Amanda Hovells, 2nd tour, Triumph Tiger Explorer, Suffolk
Daryl & Jane
Josie & Gavin
Visit over, John leads the way back to the van
At our hotel Daryl has his priorities right!
Don’t forget Jane!
Time for drinks before dinner
Josie & Gavin
Josie with Clare
Dinner is included tonight
It’s Adrian’s birthday – just 1 candle!
He doesn’t want to be reminded!
So which table can sing the loudest..?
The winner – Josie’s – no surprise there !!
Outside our bedroom window
Chris M – hereinafter a.k.a. Romeo !
The next morning – with blue skies – we visit the Chateau of Chenonceau
The group (minus John & Sandra)
Such a fabulous setting over the River Cher
Beautiful flower displays
Diane de Poitiers’ bedroom
The Gallery – a hospital during WW1
Alan & Julie
Head down to the kitchens
Josie would love to make Cornish pasties!
Then head upstairs
The Five Queens’ Bedroom
Katherine Briconnet’s Hall
Diane de Poitiers’ garden
Catherine de Medici’s bedroom
The second floor hallway
Louise of Lorraine’s bedroom
Visit the Medici Gallery
See more exhibitions
The Carriage Gallery
Newly opened walled garden
John’s missing his sheep in France !
Josie & Gavin
A bit fishy…
Russian Crested Shelduck
Quick talk before we leave the hotel
Chris P & Chris M set off without John !
Gerald & Ruth on their Triumph Explorer
Clare on her BMW F800
Peter on his Yamaha FJR 1300
Sally on her Yamaha Fazer 600
Dave on his KTM 1050 Adventure
Adrian on his Honda Crossrunner
Jon & Jackie – BMW K1300S
John & Sandra – Honda Deauville
Back-marker Bob – BMW F800
An unplanned visit to Valencay Chateau
Some visit the Chateau…
The Dining Room
The wine cellar
Amanda & David
Beautiful peacocks in the gardens
Others choose to visit the Automobile Museum…
Sandra with her first car – a Renault 17 !
Chris M & Gerald
Panhard Dynamic 1937
Peugeot 402 Legere 1938
Bugati 57 Cabriolet Stelvio 1957
David & friend!
Bob fancies this one…
Chris M & Gerald admire a Turcat-Mery 1906
Chris P fancies the Renault Primaquatre Cabriolet 1937 – or rather the dolly bird!!
Not just cars, there are bicycles & motorcycles to see there as well
Gerald, John & Chris P enjoy ice creams
Romeo thought he’d lost his key !
David & Amanda – Triumph Tiger Explorer
Gavin & Josie – Triumph Tiger Explorer
Alan & Julie – Ducati Multistrada
Daryl & Jane – KTM 1290 Adventure
John’s in the lead today
Chris P – Triumph Sprint
Chris M – Triumph Thruxton
Tony – Triumph Tiger 800
Bob bringing up the rear
Empty country roads
Arriving at Sancerre
We stop at the viewing area
For a fab view of Sancerre surrounded by vineyards
Alain & Evelyn – the Mayor of Coudehard & his wife – join us
Time for pre-dinner drinks in the newly refurbished bar area
Jon, Josie, Jackie & Amanda
Gerald & Ruth
David’s getting the drinks
Taking in the fab view from the balcony
Peter & Sally with Clare & Adrian
We stop to admire the view
The River Loire
It’s a short stroll into town
We enjoy pizzas with the Mayor !
Jon’s being ribbed by Josie!
The swimming pool at our hotel
Jen braves it – and Josie too!
John hosts a lesson on Basecamp
Hotel bar area
It’s a day off the bikes so after lunch and with glasses at the ready we head off to the Wine Festival
A short walk down to the caves
John tells everyone what to do
They won’t be shy !
Jane & Daryl
Gerald & Ruth
Sally & Peter
Alan & Julie are knocking it back !
Evelyn, Alain & John wine tasting
It’s Bob !
Now just what have Amanda & Josie been doing ???
The cheese was NOT a free sample !!
We think Jackie was guilty too!!
Delicious nougat but very expensive!
Jon & Jackie
John & Sandra
Josie with Amanda & David
Chris P’s bought some wine
All the reds lined up in order for tasting !!
We join in with the locals
John tries to negotiate a discount!
We get full glasses of rose too!
The next day we’re ready for the off
John’s in the lead again
With Bob Eve at the back!
Morning coffee stop
Helmets & jackets in the van for our next visit
Adrian & Clare are used to doing this
The group at the Chateau of Cheverny
The Dining Room
The Arms room
The Birth Chamber
The Nursery with lego models
“Scoubidou” has 17,000 bricks
The Bridal Chamber
More lego models
The Grand Salon
Lovely gardens too
Adrian & Clare have a pic-nic
Walk through the wisteria
Have lunch at the Orangerie
Picture postcard !
The hounds are snoozing
Visit the Trophy room
Peter & Sally enjoy ice creams
As do Sandra & John
Our final visit is the stunning Chateau of Chambord
Famous for its’ double-helix staircase
David & Amanda
Tony & Romeo make it to the top
Lots to see inside
Jen’s bell ringing !!
Fab views from the ramparts
The main entrance
Local produce stalls
David & Amanda enjoy ice creams
We cross the Loire
En-route to our final hotel
The lovely setting of our hotel
With a heated pool
Lots of us enjoy a swim
The new BN synchronised swimmers!
Aperitifs before dinner
Real holiday shirts! The MBMOC crew (minus Tony)
Dinner is included tonight
Romeo’s made new friends!
John thanks everyone for a great tour
And Bob as a great “back-marker”
Thanks Bob !
buys a Penguin !!
No really she has a new sweatshirt!
Jen’s in the lead on the last day
We ride past the new stadium at Le Havre
And that’s it – everyone back in good time for the ferry