From England you can easily travel Europe. On the Eurostar train you can yourself in Paris in a little over two hours (from London). In my time there I did many things you can classify as ‘nerdy.’ I hung out with the Gargoyles at Notre Dame, wandered the Jardin de Luxemburg for the Statue of Liberty, walked the grand staircase of the Opera House, and like many marveled at the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.
Paris is a wonderful city, but quite frankly everyone goes to Paris. It is for this reason I travelled an hour and a half outside of Paris to Pierrefonds, a small French town near the forest of Forest of Compiègne.
Pierrefonds is home to the Château de Pierrefonds, a 15th century castle that was restored in the 19th century and the reason for my trip. Being outside of Paris there are not many visitors to the castle, meaning you are free to explore the castle without crowds or feeling rushed. Some parts of it were closed for additional restoration, but there were still plenty of rooms to visit and nice views of the surrounding forest and village.
But how is this nerdy? The Château has been used in many films, such as The Man in the Iron Mask, but may be best known as Camelot in BBC’s Merlin. All exterior shots in the series are of the Château, and the courtyard was extensively used, especially the entrance stairs and statue. Other rooms and passageways were also used, though the external areas are the most recognizable.
The village next to the Château is also a treat and shows the beauty of small towns versus large cities. While here I caught lunch at Le Commerce, one of the few restaurants open that day, and met a British waiter who I swear could have been a relative of Michael Fassbender but with a mustache. He was excited to talk to someone in English, for Pierrefonds gets very few English visitors or tourists in general.
I won’t lie, without a car it can be a little expensive visiting the Château, but is well worth the trip, if only to say you have been to Camelot.