Everything for the active and the lazy and the perfect French holiday
Excellent swimming in the Charente for all ages and abilities
Ruffec market is open on Wednesday at Saturdays
The cycle path at the top of the hill runs between Nanteuil and Champagne Mouton
It's high, be brave.
The piscine municipale at St Cloud
You can do a days pottery workshop with local artistes.
You can also hire canoes at Condac for day trips
On the front lawn
Cycling, wild swimming, canoeing, shopping in the local food and flea markets, and visiting the local villages.
Nanteuil is a 20 minute cycle ride down the old railway, a perfect family jaunt with simple lunch or fine dining at the Auberge de l'Argentor. There are nine working bikes of various sizes in the garage at the Mill for your use.
If cycling takes your fancy, then get on your road bike for some of the best roads in Europe. Very few hills above 8% and you can ride 100 km and only encounter the odd tractor or stray cow.
For an energetic family trip you can hire canoes for a few hours or a few days and disappear for as long as you want along the river, wild swimming and picnicking as you go.
Before or after canoeing you can exhaust the kids by sending them up into the terrifying city of nets up in the trees at Taizé Aize. Or you can all leap into the depths of the beautiful, cool and wide river at Condac for some of the best wild swimming France has to offer.
There is horse riding at Champagne Mouton and walks of any distance around the roads and woods.
Excellent markets are everywhere. Ruffec on Wednesday and Saturday, Civray on Tuesday and Friday. Keep a look out for the night markets through the summer months with their big barbecues and communal eating at long trestle tables by the light of paraffin lamps. Together with the famous French flea markets called Brocantes, there is usually something every weekend. There is a very entertaining and extensive outdoor collections of monkeys and large apes at the Vallée des Singes between Ruffec and Poitiers.
Excellent Museums in Angouleme also the home of France’s animation industry and houses a wonderful animation Museum. There are distillery tours in Cognac, as well as the overwhelming World War Two Museum at Oradour sur Glane.
Limoges is a centre for ceramics - a good place to stock up. Poitiers has some great restaurants around its fine city centre. Not far beyond is Cognac - home of the great Hennessey distillery and others. The wonders of La Rochelle and nearby beaches are also just an hour away.
The weather is usually between 25 and 35 degrees in the summer and 20-25 degrees at Easter and until the end of October.