Attractions in the Loire Valley
The Number 1 tourist destination in France, situated near Poitiers, this is a kind of high-tech Disneyland. We advise to buy tickets on the internet and give yourself a full day by starting early to get good value for money.
To explore one of the top 5 zoo’s in the world, Parc de Beauval is about an hour away. We liked it so much the first time, we bought an annual pass. It has the only Panda’s in France. Another great zoo is Bioparc Doue La Fontaine which is situated in a quarry and set amongst troglodyte caves (about an hour away).
Diversifying from chateau, but still a beautiful location is Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, a former monastery and prison which houses the reclining effigies of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her husband Henry 2nd and of their son Richard the Lionheart. Within walking distance, less than 1km, is Abbey of Bois Aubry, where you can find the grave of Yul Brynner.
Some of these caves were used in the Stone Age, some are still lived in today ! "La Goupilliere" is a good place to visit a troglodyte farm that was still used into the 1950's and now a museum. Great for kids.
Walking and cycling
We are surrounded by fields alternating with sun flowers, wheat and barley. About 200 metres from the house is an extensive forest with many marked and unmarked paths. It is not unusual to come across a deer, even though they are a bit shy. Even walking on the roads is a pleasure because we get so little traffic. We can recommend some circular walks/jogs of varying lengths. Because of the low traffic and the gently undulating landscape this is a delightful region for cycling, both on and off-road. Cycle to our nearby ruined château at Marmande or our prehistoric standing stones or our relic of the French mechanical telegraph system, or just find a village cafe for a coffee break.
We are in a Regional Nature Park (Parc Naturel Régional Loire-Anjou-Touraine) and we often see deer, occasionally wild boar at night as well as many birds considered at risk elsewhere. Owls nest in our barn and we even had a Montagu's harrier nesting last year. Astronomers should be prepared for dark skies and a brilliant display of stars.
Our village 2kms away has a small supermarket, a cafe with lunchtime meals and a post office. Nearby is a stable (La gouronnière) offering pony rides.