On Our Door Step
Saint Séverin is a 15 minute walk from the property, and there is a local SPAR supermarket, bar & restaurants, bakery, pharmacy, bank with cash machine, Post Office, hairdressers, newsagent and public tennis courts. In the Summer there is also a snack bar “La Guingette” and picnic area by the river and an 18-hole crazy golf course just outside the village.
The countryside surrounding the property is covered with paths and quiet country lanes. Close by is a public footpath running alongside a river with an abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. The river is popular with the local fisherman, and can be fished with a licence. There are also numerous other footpaths and cycle routes around the village and the nearby villages. The Charente has a website featuring walking and cycling routes from across the department which you can download: www.lacharente.fr/vos-besoins/pour-mes-loisirs/decouvrir-les-differents-types-de-randonnees/.
Just a short 10 minute drive away is Moulin de Poltrot, at Nabinaud. This is an old Mill which has been restored and is now a base of outdoor recreation. It is open access and offers family walks beside the River Dronne, space for picnics and relaxation, fishing spots, tree-top zipwires, canoeing and a snack bar.
Aubeterre-sur-Dronne: The hillside village of Aubeterre (15mins) is designated as one of the most beautiful villages of France. It is well worth a visit for its famous monolithic church (the largest underground Church in Europe), and a beautiful tree-lined square with several cafés and restaurants. There are also many craft shops including potteries, jewellery and art galleries. It also has a riverside beach with childrens’ play area, snack bar and canoeing.
The market towns of Ribérac (20mins), Verteillac (20mins) and Chalais (30mins) are interesting places to visit, especially on market day when you can join the hustle and bustle, or enjoy a coffee and simply soak in the atmosphere. The market in Ribérac is on a Friday morning, and is one of the biggest markets in the Perigord region. Chalais market is on a Monday morning, and also worth a visit is its Chateau perched high on a hill, offering fantastic views of the region.
The picturesque bastide town of Saint-Aulaye (25mins) has a riverside beach and snack bar, Arbor Parc (tree top zip wires) and canoeing. Relax on the beach, enjoy an ice-cream or crêpe, and if you’re lucky there may be a game of pétanque in progress.
Villebois-Lavalette (25mins) is located on a prominent hill which has a chateau dating back to Roman times. In the centre of town, there is an old wooden covered market that dates back to the 16th century which is now a historic monument. Nearby in the village of Magnac Lavalette is the stunning Château de la Mercerie known as the “Small Versailles of the Charentes”. Its dazzling white-stone facade extends over 220 metres set in beautiful grounds and parkland.
Popular with locals and guests alike is the beautiful river beach at Grand Etang de la Jemaye (30mins). There are fenced play areas for children, canoes and pedaloes for hire, a snack bar/restaurant and a walk/cycle route all around the lake (approx 4.5km), with a wildlife observatory half way round.
Brantôme (50mins): nicknamed the ‘Venice of Perigord’ has a magnificent Benedictine Abbey, cobbled pedestrian streets and numerous restaurants and bars with a beautiful river running right through it. Nearby there are marvellous “Grotte de Villars” (underground caves) and prehistoric gardens.
The capital towns of Angoulême (45mins) and Périgueux (55mins) offer a wide range of shops in a typically French setting. Angoulême, along with paper and printing, has long been associated with animation, illustration and the graphic arts. There are several museums including: La Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image (comic strip museum) and Le Musée du Papier “Le Nil” (paper museum). Just outside Angoulême is Nautilus, an indoor leisure centre with slides and swimming pools and a great Summer outdoor area with wave pools, slides and rapids run. A few minutes away at St Yrieix, you will find Aquajump 16, a fun course of inflatables on the water. Périgueux with its magnificent 12th Century Saint Front Cathedral, medieval streets and half-timbered houses, makes for an interesting day out. There are lots of quaint side streets and secluded squares to explore with cafés, restaurants and boutique shops. A popular attraction is the Roman ruins at the Versunna Gallo-Roman Museum, where two balconies offer a spectacular view onto the archaeological site.
Bergerac (1hr): the ‘old town’ of Bergerac is full of charm with its narrow cobbled streets and half-timbered houses and a small square with many gift shops and cafés. Perhaps take an hour long boat trip on an old ‘gabarres’ (flat bottomed boat), this includes a tour on the river where you’ll also go through a natural bird sanctuary.
A little further away but also within easy reach are the towns of Saint-Émilion (1hr10), Cognac (1hr15) and Bordeaux (1hr30), all famous for their wines and spirits and equally beautiful places to visit.
Lascaux cave, Vézère valley (1hr30) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains one of the most outstanding displays of prehistoric art ever found.
The nearest coast is at Royan and Saint-George-de-Didonne which is about a 1 hr45 min drive.
La Vallée des Singes at Romagne (1hr45) makes for a good day out with over 350 primates, 30 species, in a natural setting. There is a shop, café, children’s farm and a play area with zip wire.
Futuroscope at Poitiers (2hrs) is well worth a visit for older children – with its brilliant exposition of 3D Imax cinematography and many rides and scary simulators.