We will be driving from Amboise to Beaune (May-June, 2014) which I believe is about a 4 hour drive. Would a detour to see Guedelon be worth the time, if so, how much time is recommended to tour the castle?
In my opinion, yes, if you are interested in medieval life. It's not just the castle, but the farm and supporting crafts, all using period tools and techniques. The castle is a little over half-way completed and should take about another 20 years. You should allow two to three hours for everything.
Sue we stopped by and saw it 5 years ago and yes, I thought it was very educational ,, the guides are very knowledable and I think we all found it very interesting. At that time there was definitely enough built to walk through a few rooms , a great hall , some ramparts etc. If you have kids I think its especially interesting, but even without anyone with a real interest in how things were done in medival times would enjoy it. Its not for people in a rush to tick off major sites though.. so if you only have a short trip to France and no particular interest in seeing how things were done,then I suppose for some it would be skippable. I look forward to visiting it again. I suggest you read reviews on it, there are many , simply google "tripadvisor.com reviews Guedelon"..
It depends upon what you are interested in. Do you like history? Architecture? If yes, it is definitely worth the time. Our kids (15, 12 and 11) said Guedelon was a high point. Plan on 3 hours to see everything. There is very little English but even with some basic French and gestures you can communicate with the artisans easily.
I was there in 2011 as part of a RS tour. I had not expected to like it as much as I did. We were there about 3 hours I think. How far out of your way would it be? If only an hour or two I would say definitely go. The castle in progress was fascinating, but the out buildings and animals are important not to miss. It really gives you a glimpse at what life in the 12th century must have been like for the 'wealthier' folks.
Thanks everyone! I think I'll plan on taking the detour to see Guedelon. I know my husband and I will both enjoy it very much from what everyone has described. From what I can tell, it's not much of a detour from our route and it would probably a perfect stop for a break.