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Further Afield

Further Afield

Ile de Re

Ile de Ré is an island, reached by a long modern bridge, north of La Rochelle in the Charente-Maritime department. Quite a large island – about 30 kilometres long – Ile de Ré is a very popular holiday destination on this sunny coast of western France that attracts families looking to relax in a peaceful environment where the children will enjoy themselves. It has two distinct characteristics – sandy beaches along the south-western side, and salt and oyster beds along the north-eastern coastline. The more important towns and villages are found along the northern edge, and ‘seaside resorts’ along the southern edge.



Aubusson is in the upper valley of the Creuse is famous for tapestries, which have been made there since the 14th century. In the 1930s a new style of tapestry was created by Jean Lurçat and won such great popularity that a museum and cultural centre has now been devoted to this art.



Nexon has a famous garden for the senses, and is really spectacular, and there is also a chateau to visit nearby, Chateau de Lastours, which has medieval festivals in Easter, the second weekend in August and the third weekend in September. There is also a hands-on museum where you can see tile making  and other activities in July and August. 


Saint Junien

This is a lovely place to visit, known for its glove making and paper industry, but with lovely medieval churches, abbeys, and bridges.



Well-know for its beautiful houses, littered with turrets, bell-towers, and encircled by the River Vézère this is a charming town with an interesting history that is worth investigating.


Oradour sur Glane

There is a centre here devoted to the memory of those who perished at the hands of a German Panzer division on the 10 June 1944. Oradour was chosen, it is thought, because of its very insignificance, as an example to terrorise the French. The entire population of the village, 642 people was massacred.

It is a powerful symbol in a region with a proud history of resistance during World War II.



Bourges is one of the loveliest towns in the area, and its history stretches back to 52BC in the Gallic wars, and it resisted Roman occupation. Recent excavations have uncovered a 2BC fountain and gateway. The cathedral is a world heritage site, and the charming medieval centre has an atmosphere.


Saint Leonard de Noblat

St Leonard is a stunning medieval town with so many charming touches reminiscent of the age, that it is hard not to keep going back there.  The church is famous for its Romanesque architecture, and once you have completed the walking tour of the town there are several great restaurants and patisseries in which to refuel. There is a tiny cinema with huge velvet plush seats (very Cinema Paradiso) called the Rex and several bars. The Tourist Office in town is very good, and it is always worth popping in.


Saint Léonard was a 6th century hermit who made his home in nearby woods, and became the patron saint of prisoners. In November the Quintaine is celebrated here by a reenactment of a medieval style jail-break. The town is also famous for Guy-Lussac, the scientist, and there is a museum in his honour here.

There is also a mill nearby that is a paper mini museum, and is interesting for children.


The drive to St Leonard is very beautiful and takes in several panoramic views. 

A lovely beach after a long drive to the Atlantic

A lovely beach after a long drive to the Atlantic

Last light in Aubusson

Last light in Aubusson

Sit back and watch the world go by in Saint Martin de Re

Sit back and watch the world go by in Saint Martin de Re

The church at Oradour Sur Glane where so many lost their lives

The church at Oradour Sur Glane where so many lost their lives

The Romanesque church at Saint Leonard de Noblat

The Romanesque church at Saint Leonard de Noblat