Things to do and see
The Charente is full of interesting places to visit and has lots of activities for children. We have mentioned a few places below to give you some ideas but for more information visit the website www.lacharente.com. There is a tourist information centre in the nearest town, (Confolens) for when you arrive and we also keep our houses well stocked with local site brochures. Each house also has a selection of books, games, DVDs and CDS . If you wish to come here and paint please ask about borrowing an easel.
There are swings in our garden and an area for playing badminton or football plus in the summer we install an outdoor table tennis set. Our woods are a fun place for children to explore and just a stroll around our gardens and fields is a good 20 minute walk. We have also designed a treasure trail for children which takes them on a walk around the garden looking for clues.
A selection of our nearest restaurants:
- L’Estaminet :Esse, 2km. Excellent food, an outdoor eating area, not too pricey. Bar next door is a micro brewery and a depot de pain
- L’Rnaissance : Lessac, 2km. Good food, only a small outdoor eating area, not too pricey. Has a bar and small shop as well
- La Chatellerie, Availles Limousine, 5km. A bit more upmarket, interior courtyard.
- Les Tilleuls, Lesterps, 5km. Good traditional French food
- La Crepe Lutine, St Germain de Confolens, mobile catering, drink and stuffed pancakes, summers only
- Mere Michelet: Confolens, 4km, part of local hotel. Traditional french food.
- L’Emeraud: Confolens , 4km, part of local hotel. As well as main eating area has a terrace overlooking the river
- The Fish and Chip shop, Confolens, yes believe it or not we have our own local chippie.
- Chateau de Nieul, further afield and very posh, for a special occasion
- Le Moulin, Chabanais, not too far and not quiet as posh but good for a special occasion
There are many others worth a visit but if it is just a cup of tea and a cake you are after there is a small charity shop in St Germain which is worth a browse and a stop for a cuppa. They have the most amazing selection of secondhand books so no need to bring reading material with you!
- Canoeing is available on the river Vienne starting in Confolens. A fun trip is to canoe back to St Germain and then the organisers pick you up and take the canoes back to Confolens.
- Water ski-ing and bungey jumping are organised in the summer months at L’Isle Jourdain (30 mins)
- Les Lacs du Haute Charente offers canoeing, sailing and wind surfing
If the pool at La Grange Terrou is not enough, there is an outdoor pool in Confolens with slides or a lake with beach where you can swim at Etagnac (20 mins) , not to mention a huge water complex at Angouleme (45 mins). For fishermen there are many rivers and lakes and licenses are available from the local Marie.
Walking and bike riding
The local area is cris-crossed by foot paths for you to explore the beautiful countryside either on foot or by bike. The VTT routes are off road tracks for bikes and are well signposted. If you wish to bring your own bikes we have secure parking in our barn. Alternatively, you could choose to rent a bike and a guide for a day or even several days out. See details for Keith Carman, I guide your ride.
If you are feeling fit, try the Velo-rail in Confolens for a fun family day out. Railway “carts” are propelled by cycling. The track runs for about 10km with a cafe at the end. (You’ll need it!)
There are lots of local theme parks in the area. Visit the adventure park at Massignac and try walking in the tree canopy or there is the animal village at Hiesse or the Monkey sanctuary at Ruffec. Popular with children and adults alike is Futuroscope at Poitiers.
Just around the corner at Esse, an ancient Gaulois village has been recreated, whilst further afield at Chassenon you can visit the Roman remains of Cassinomagus.
The village of Oradour sur Glane where the whole population was murdered in World War II, has been preserved as a monument to those who died.
At Montrol Sennard a classroom has been preserved from the 1890’s and there are several craft shops also to visit in the village. The next village of Mortemart classifies as one of France’s most beautiful villages.
Our local village homes the remains of a castle dating back to the 15th century. In summer months there are often falconry display from the ramparts. Other castles to visit include Rochechouart (20 mins) and La Rochefoucauld (20 mins). If you would like a longer day out the castle and town at Chauvigny 50 mins) are well worth a visit and in the summer months there are medieval displays and tournaments.
Towns and villages
The whole area is full of picturesque villages for you to explore. Our own village, Saint Germain de Confolens is a site classe which means no new build can take place and all renovations, including here at La Grange Terrou, must be sympathetic to the village’s heritage.
For major towns, Limoges, about 45 minutes away, is famous for its porcelain. Angouleme is known for its annual tour des ramparts classic motor race.
Our local town of Confolens hosts an annual music festival in August and during the summer months there is always a festival, vide genier or something happening that is worth a visit