Out and About
From Cognac to Bordeaux… from the architectural splendour of Limoges to the heart-pounding fun of Futuroscope… you’ll find a treasure trove days to remember within easy travelling distance.
Here we list some of the most popular attractions, along with links to websites for further information.
There’s plenty to enjoy right on your doorstep
Country lanes, farms and small hamlets make up the surrounding area with larger villages and towns further afield. There is much to explore on the many marked cycle routes and footpaths.
The local town has a selection of shops, supermarkets and places to eat and an outdoor beach pool which is open in the summer months with a café/snack bar.
A velorail and tourist train run through the picturesque countryside to the medieval town of Confolens, an architectural delight on the banks of the river Vienne.
Cycle hire is available from www.bikehiredirect.com
Favourite things to do and places to visit
Le Château de la Rochefoucauld
The chateau is an architectural delight and ranks amongst the most beautiful chateaux in France. It overlooks the town of La Rochefoucauld with its selection of shops, bars and restaurants and a very good chocolate shop. Open throughout the year the chateau has daily tours where you can see the libraries and historic documents of the family of La Rochefoucauld whose descendants still reside at the chateau. www.chateau-la-rochefoucauld.com
Le Château de Rochechouart
Le Château de Rochechouart
The impressive Château de Rochechouart overlooks the Graine and Vayres valleys. Rich in architecture, history and geological importance, the chateau is now home to a contemporary art museum. The museum has a collection that includes around 300 works by international artists and has regular exhibitions. Well worth a visit. For more info www.musee-rochechouart.com
The town of Confolens is situated on the banks of the river Vienne; Confolens is a quaint town with a selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. There is a wealth of medieval architecture and the rambling streets are a delight to wander through and offer great examples of timber-framed houses dating back to the fifteenth century. Well known for its yearly folk music festival in August that attracts musicians and dancers from around the world a treat for the creative and artistic. www.festivaldeconfolens.com
Les Lacs de Haute Charente
A twenty minute drive to Les Lacs de Haute Charente offering a wide range of activities from horse riding to adventure park, swimming, sailing and fishing and much more, there is something for all the family to do. For somewhere to eat there are waterside restaurants and cafés, all details can be found on the tourist board website. www.lacs-de-haute-charente.com
One of France’s most popular amusement parks and the only one of its kind in Europe, Futuroscope is a little over an hour away near Poitiers the region’s capital city. “Absorb the fantastic, fun and fairy-tale Futuroscope atmosphere with over 25 original experiences waiting for you in our stunning attraction theatres, as heart-thumping adventures, outrageous thrills, mind-blowing journeys, the fairy-tale evening show and fascinating attractions deliver delights to suit all tastes and ages!” www.futuroscope.com
La Vallée des Singes (Monkey Valley)
A wildlife park that extends to more than 16 hectares where shaded paths meander through streams and waterfalls. There are over 30 species of primates from around the world to discover. The lemurs being particular favourites, you can walk freely amongst them and at feeding time they all gather around creating quite an attraction. Only 45 minutes by car. www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr
Art, architecture, culture and cognac – the three local cities of Angoulême, Limoges and Cognac.
A 45 minute drive to Angoulême, home to the international comic-strip festival and museum, vintage car racing around the ramparts in September and wall art. Angoulême is a city with a difference; full of rich architecture, museums and festivals, attracting artists and visitors from around the world. For more info visit www.angouleme-tourisme.co.uk
Limoges is just under an hour by car, world famous for its Limoges porcelain, museums and galleries. Limoges is a city of creativity and culture. There is much to explore from the small narrow lanes of Le Rue de la Boucherie to the grand art-deco Gare des Bénédictins, Limoges’ diverse architecture spans the centuries of the city. www.limoges-tourisme.com
No visit to the region would be complete without a tour at one of the great Cognac houses, Hennessy, Remi Martin, Martel and Courvoisier to name a few. www.tourism-cognac.com. At a little over an hour and a half drive to Cognac through the beautiful Charente countryside and vineyards, a trip is well worth it to explore such a unique city.
The history of La Rochelle dates back to the 13th century, the old port and ancient town centre have a rich architectural heritage. The arcaded streets are now home to many shops and restaurants. To soak up the ambience sit back and relax on one of the many terraces overlooking the port and enjoy a seafood platter with oysters, prawns, common whelk, crayfish and crab, accompanied by a glass of fresh white wine. For more info www.holidays-la-rochelle.co.uk
A UNESCO world heritage site, Bordeaux has much to offer, great food, great architecture, great beaches and of course great wine.
There are many must-sees on the official tourism website; the water mirror at the Place de la Bourse, the Opera house, the CAPC modern art museum, to name but a few. The tourism website is full of info and has details of the park and ride to the metropole for easy access into the centre of Bordeaux www.bordeaux-tourism.co.uk
The ancient, mystical and sacred town of Brantôme in the Dordogne is an hour and a half away. Considered by many to be one of the world’s most sacred sites that can heal the body, enlighten the mind, and awaken the soul.
Natural beauty, bubbling spring, and the well-stocked river attracted its earliest inhabitants over forty thousand years ago. Brantôme market, held on Friday mornings, is easily one of the nicest and largest in the area
With some of the most beautiful villages in France and breath taking scenery, the villages and countryside around the city of Sarlat and the Perigord Noir Region are a tourist haven.
There is much to see and do here, a visit to the prehistoric grottos and caves, a 12th century castle, kayaking or a boat trip on the River Dordogne, or a leisurely drive through the spectacular countryside with its unique landscape formed into the rock face.
The city of Sarlat itself is a delight in characterful medieval architecture; the cobbled streets are buzzing with activity and are home to many unique shops, restaurants and museums. www.sarlat-tourisme.com