The Limousin region.
Limousin is a land of lakes and mountains, valleys and forests, crashing rivers and traditional villages. Made up of three departments Creuse, Correze and Haute Vienne, it is one of the least populated regions in France. Limousin derives its name from the town of Limoges in the Haute Vienne, and is the capital of the 'Fire arts," porcelain, stained glass and enamel. The name has also been taken to describe a famous breed of cattle and a type of motor car. The cattle originate from this region, the cars do not.
The local gastronomy can be found in the markets and fairs that take place in many of the villages. There are plenty of flavours to savour with more than eighty varieties of apple. Specialities like cherry clafoutis and pate de pomme de terre can be sampled throughout the region along with chestnuts, cepes, duck and fois gras. Numerous festivals in celebration of food are held throughout the year.
Limousin 's cultural heritage combines with a rich religious and military past. Richard the first known as Lion Heart waged war in the region against Philip Augustus, king of France and there survives to this day many fine examples of castles, medieval churches and abbeys.
For enthusiasts of the outdoors the region is a gem. There is a range of activities available including walking, fishing, cycling, golf, canoeing and sailing. The region is heavily wooded and contains a massive network of rivers and lakes. Roe deer are frequently seen whilst on the quiet country roads and you can find wild boar, red squirrels and pine martins.
Local towns and villages
Bussiere Poitevine. Our nearest little town provides for all of your needs. You will find a bakery, grocery, butchers/charcuterie, bar/ cafe, post office, bank and pharmacy. There is a twice weekly market with stalls boasting delicious cheeses, fruit and vegetables and fresh fish. Bussiere Poitevine is conveniently placed for discovering the peaceful French countryside on foot, cycle or car and perhaps for a little excitement, the nearby river Gartempe provides kayaking and white water rafting.
Le Dorat. Close by is the attractive, collegiate town of Le Dorat with the church Saint-Pierre du Dorat dating from the 11th century. Here you will find a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants. There is also a cinema showing French and English movies. During the summer the local producers market is held every other week on a Thursday evening. A real treat, this features local produce which you can buy and then after being cooked to perfection for you on the bbq, can be enjoyed with a glass of wine all accompanied by musical entertainment and dancing.
Montmorrillon. Well known for its macarons with the traditional recipe remaining unchanged for 150 years, Montmorrillon is a tranquil town located on the river Gartempe in the east of La Vienne (86). It is known as La Cite de L'ecrit et des metiers du livre, or the City of Writing and Bookmaking. This is centred on the medieval area of the town and it is here you will find a fascinating selection of shops and enterprises to browse in. Calligraphy, bookbinding, and antique book shops are all to be found here. The restaurants and cafes provide good traditional cuisine served up in a relaxed and hospitable atmosphere. Every two years in June a book fair is held with exhibitions, teach-ins, readings etc.
Mortemart. Set at the foot of the Blond hills is a pretty granite village with a reputation of being one of the most beautiful villages in France. It has preserved the remains of the dukes of Mortemarts chateau, two former convents and the picturesque 16th century wooden covered market halls. Next to la place Royale square you can wander through peaceful gardens bordered by a tranquil moat. Take coffee in the little café in the square.
Lake Saint-Pardoux and Lake Vassiviere. Both are huge lakes set in beautiful surroundings with man-made beaches. There are a range of cafes, restaurants and picnic areas around the shoreline. Apart from the scenery, both lakes offer a wide range of water sports including water-skiing, wind surfing, canoeing and kayaking. There are sailing schools and also boat hire and boat trips are available.
Golf de Saint Junien. An 18 hole golf course located halfway between Limoges and Angouleme.
Val de Vienne. For motor-sport lovers forty-five minutes away is the circuit of Val de Vienne, providing exciting race action throughout the summer.
Futuroscope - Poitiers. Located just outside of Poitiers , Futuroscope is one of France 's popular theme parks.
Circuit des Remparts d'Angouleme. The beautiful city of Angouleme hosts for 3 days each September an astonishing classic and vintage sports car event culminating in a race for honours around the city centre's street circuit. Spectators line the ramparts to cheer on their favourite Bugatti, Ferrari, or Porsche.