together with the departments of Haute Vienne and Coreze make up the
vast area known as the Limousin . The three department capitals are
Gueret, Tulle and Limoges, Limoges is also the regional capital.
This is a little known area of France even for the
French; if it is known at all it is mostly for the distinctive
reddi-brown cattle that thrive here. It has remained almost unchanged
for the last 25 years, an area that has escaped the stress of modern
living, where old-fashioned cultures still abound. This imparts to any
visitor who should happen here the perfect environment for relaxation
and the chance to enjoy a stress free holiday and sample the good life.
As well as many countryside activities, such as walking,
fishing, cycling, horse riding, sailing, canoeing to name but a few,
also offers many varied attractions.
The Crozant School of painting situated between the
rivers Creuse and Sedelle, the ruins of Crozant, made famous by Claude
Monet, Armand Guillaumin and other postimpressionist and cubist, who
painted famous landscapes. Here you will find outstanding views - bring
your art materials and join in the fame.
Tapestry, lace and enamel work and porcelain all abound
in this beautiful area, and of course found in abundance at the local
markets. Aubusson became the home of tapestry, when in the early 16th
century Flemish craftsmen settled ther after the Count of the Marche
Louis I Bourbon married Marie de Hainaut. Visit the tapestry houses at
Aubusson; there must be at least 20, as well as a museum.
There are many museums many of which are specialist. At
Gueret there is the magnificent museum of decorative arts, history and
archaeology, as well as an unusual electricity museum at Bourganeuf.
Many château and castles are to be found in the
area. Visit the rooms the George Sands occupied when she stayed at
Boussac. Where she received support and inspiration for some of her
greatest novels. Other chateau include Château de Villemonteix at
Chenerailles, Château de Mazeau at Perfat-La-Narriere at at
Levaufranch Commarderie des Templiers et des Hospitalier. Many more can
found further a field.
The pilgrim road of Santiago de Compostella runs through
the region on its way South. Pilgrims and monks from all over Northern
Europe crossed through two villages, Benivent C'Abbay and Leonard de
Noblats heading for the shrine of Santiago de Compostella on the
northwestern tip of Spain. The route is marked by the emblem of
Saint-Jacques (a scallop shell), today pilgrims walk, ride and cycle
this famous route, visiting the numerous churches and abbeys that have
sprung up along the way.
A route dedicated to Richard the Lionheart links the
castle and sites, which formed the backdrop to his life in the
Limousin, a time when England rules much of France. Most lost of course
by his brother John of Magna Carta fame.
The Limousin boats a thermal baths at D'Evaux-les-Bains,
the baths date back to roman times, people vist for all manner of
reasons, therapeutic, relaxation and to drink the waters to effect a
cure or to improve general well being.
For water sports there are many rivers and lakes one of
the biggest is Lac Vassiviere, which is man made and supports anything
from water skiing to, pleasure boat rides.
Wolves were once the natural inhabitants of the Creuse
and are now being reintroduced, visit Les Loups de Chabieres the parc
dedicated to wolves and learn more about this very different animal;
prepare to be amazed.
Gueret approximately 15 - 20 mins distance from us, with
its many shops and restaurants and charming old fashioned shop fronts
line the street, browse in the ironmongers, haberdasheries and craft
Visit the giant maze for a day; follow the clues (takes
about two hours). Relax with a picnic lunch afterwards.
If it is the food that attracts you to France, then in
the Creuse you will be in for a treat. Some of the specialities include
Limousin beef, pate de pommes de terre a layered potato cake wrapped in
a delicate wafer of pastry, galetous a griddlecake and clarfoutis a
black cherry dessert. Fresh fish from the rivers, chestnuts and
mushrooms from the woodlands as well as truffles and foie gras, fresh
myrtle tart and gateaux Creusois, have dinner with us to sample a few.