Frankfurt: gateway to a host of ‘fairy tale’ castles.

Frankfurt is not only a historic city in itself (the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned here), but it also makes a great base for visiting the ‘Land’ of Hesse with its Märchenstrasse, or ‘fairy castle route’.

There are a whopping number of 350 castles in this German region, so you have plenty to choose from and it’s something that the kids are sure to enjoy. While you won’t want to go into ‘castle overkill’, let us suggest some of the best.

Head for Hanau, twenty minutes drive from Frankfurt, where brothers Grimm, creators of the magical characters Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (amongst others) were born, and where you can choose between Philipsruhe and Steinheim castles.

If you’re into antiques, try the Fasanerie, summer residence to the Bishop-Princes of Fulda, and if you want something spectacular, try Lowenburg Castle in Wilhelmshöhe park, Kassel in the north of the ‘Land’. The castle, built in the 18th century, stands in a fabulous park created by Italians brought over especially for the purpose.

Regular airlines British Airways (www.ba.com) and Lufthansa (www.lufthansa.com) fly to Frankfurt and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies to Frankfurt Hahn.

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