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There’s not much more that can be said about Paris that hasn’t already been noted. As the world’s most visited destination the city is synonymous with romance, beauty and good taste. The location for countless stories, the inspiration for many an artist and most likely the site of more marriage proposals than anywhere else, Paris enjoys a unique gravitational pull.

Each street of the city consists of long sweeping terraces of tall limestone buildings, the moment you step through the ambience just screams “Paris!” With no other city holding as much iconic and recognisable architecture, for example, the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc De Triomphe, the city just screams memories.

Imagine an apartment in the centre of Paris and everyone paints the same picture: tall French doors leading to wide stone balconies; high plaster ceilings and wooden parquet floors; panelled double doors and airy connecting rooms. Whichever neighbourhood anyone chooses, that is their vision of a Parisian lifestyle.

Pont Neuf, Île de la Cité

Palais du Louvre and Tuileries Gardens

Pont Alexandre III, and Les Invalides

Île De France

What the Home Counties are to London, Ile de France is to Paris, only rather more glamorous. A mass of French history from William the Conqueror to Mickey Mouse, the region forms a loop around the capital roughly the size of Yorkshire.

The Ile de France can boast: the epitome of lavish magnificence at Versailles; the equestrian capital of the world at Chantilly; the places where William the Conqueror and Van Gogh died; an UNESCO world heritage site and the biggest rose window in the country. It’s also the home of Brie cheese.

Almost everywhere in Ile de France is within an hour of Paris making it an ideal region for anyone looking for an outdoor existence – from horse riding and hunting, rock climbing and cycling, and much more besides – that offers a home life away from the hustle of Paris with the convenience of being able to dip into it whenever the desire strikes.

Picturesque waterfall in Moret-sur-Loing

Beautiful gardens of Château de Sceaux

Château de Sceaux