Things To See & Do


The Twinning Charter was signed by Westbury Town Council and Chateau du Loir, a quaint town in the Sarthe region of France in 2000.  A framed copy of the charter can be seen in The Laverton.

Chateau du Loir is situated between Le Mans and Tours in the region of Sarthe and is in a beautiful rural area about the same size as Westbury.  The town doesn’t have a chateau and is not on the Loir but there are lots of interesting places close by to visit. 

Twinning is open to all ages for which there is an annual subscription and we distribute our newsletter “Gemini” on a regular basis to all our members.

While the town twinning is an official partnership of the two communities, the Westbury Twinning Association is a voluntary body separate from Westbury Town Council and run through its own fundraising. The twinning association, like many other organisation within our town, has received grants from the town council. Details of all the grants we award can be found here

Chateau du Loir

The aim is to be an open and friendly association that hopes all people will feel welcome by:

  • Encouraging contact and friendship between individuals, groups and civic leaders in both towns;
  • Encouraging educational, cultural and commercial and social contacts and visits of all kinds;
  • Encouraging the use of the French language, especially by young people, by visiting and staying with families in Chateau du Loir;
  • Promoting Westbury and its surrounding areas to the people in Chateau du Loir and making visitors from there welcome in our town and homes.

Throughout the year, the association holds fundraising events to raise money to welcome visitors from our twin town.  We visit Chateau du Loir and they visit us on alternate years; the visitors stay with host families and usually become very good friends.

We have recently managed to forge a link between a Westbury primary school with a similar school in Chateau du Loir.  

We are always pleased to welcome new members, simply contact Jean or Michael (details below).

Jean  on 864935 email:
Mike on 302956 email:


Latest News

The year 2020 should have been our twentieth anniversary of twinning with Chateau du Loir but it was postponed because of the pandemic, and again in 2021. In 2022 it was postponed for the third time but the week before last a delegation of 21 members and two councillors went to Chateau du Loir to celebrate our 20 years of twinning even though it is now 23 years from the signing of the charters.

We were greeted on arrival at the reception by a fanfare provided by a local group playing traditional French hunting horns and introduced to the mayor of Montval and other members of the council. You might wonder why it was the mayor of Montval . This is because the communes of Chateau du Loir, Vouvray sur Loir and Montabon have joined together to for administration purposes and formed Montval sur Loir.

It was good to meet old friends again after four years and to make new acquaintances. I, personally think it is important to keep ties with our friends abroad even though we are now out of Europe. After the reception we went back with our hosts for the night.

On Friday our friends had hired a 56 seat coach to take everyone out for the day as they didn’t want anybody to drive, the reason became clear later. We went to the Abbey at Frontenvraud for a tour with an English speaking guide. It’s where the tombs of Richard the Lionheart and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and the other Plantagenats are. We were then back on the coach and off to Doue la Fontaine to a troglodyte restaurant. It used to be an underground quarry where they removed blocks of stone to build the chateaux, churches etc. We were wined and dined with an excellent five course meal in amazing surroundings and after that, back on the coach and off to a wine cave for a tour of the cellars and a sample of one or two wines.

Saturday was spent with hosts with an optional tour of the museum in Chateau du Loir which has large collection of tea and coffee pots.

Sunday, again was spent with hosts with different groups of people joining up together and visiting various places. In the afternoon another optional tour was organised at the old steam railway works in Montabon. This building was derelict 10 years ago but has been saved and now being turned into a railway museum. It has the only working turntable left in France.

On Monday we returned home after being waved a tearful goodbye after an action-packed weekend. It was so good to meet our old friends again. An excellent time was had by all and it will be a difficult act to follow next year when they come here.

As this was the twentieth anniversary of the twinning between Westbury and Chateau du Loir, on the Saturday night we had a celebratory dinner with the mayor, councillors and members of both twinning groups. This was another five-course meal and as it was the 20th anniversary the two towns exchanged gifts during the evening. Westbury gave Chateau du Loir a painting commissioned by the council and painted by local artist Helen Chester. It was a collage of Westbury and Chateau landmarks. And I would now like the mayor Shelia Kimmins to step forward and accept this small gift of friendship from Monsieur Ronciere, Mayor of Montval.

And now On behalf of Monsieur Ronciere and Chateau du Loir I have been asked to present this gift of a ceramic clock to the town of Westbury.

Mayor Cllr Kimmins with Clock gift - May 2023