Quirky romantic cottage in French medieval village

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  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1 bathrooms
  • Sleeps 7
  • Cottage

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1

Sleeps: 7

Type: Cottage

Quirky romantic cottage in French medieval village

A quaint higgledy-piggledy little French house in a medieval village square directly opposite a fortified XIVth Century church. 5 minutes walk down the hill is a swimming lake with a sandy beach set in stunning countryside. A real French getaway.

Downstairs is open from the kitchen with its big old French table to the living room. Up the crooked staircase you reach 2 surprisingly large bedrooms, 1 x double and 1 x twin. The double has an extra sink, the twin has an extra shower. There is also a modern bathroom with a tub (shower over it), a wc and a sink.

If you turn back on yourself from the first landing, you follow a little corridor which ...Read more

About the owner

Loveday S.

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Quirky romantic cottage in French medieval village
Saint Germain les Belles, Limousin, France

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LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Where to start?? There's lots of water, lots of countryside and there are lots of lovely small towns in and around the area with varying degrees of historical importance/prettiness/gastronomic enjoyment/shopping potential. I shall list the ones I've actually visited and give you the benefit of my impressions but it's a very subjective view and the list is by no means comprehensive.

WATER
There are lakes everywhere. The Limousin is known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes. "Land of a thousand lakes?" - maybe a small exaggeration but actually not far short of the mark. There are loads of them! From the small local swimming lake in the village to the massive Lac Vassiviere and Lac Pardoux with just about every water-sport you can think of on offer. If you like kayaking, head for the Vézère Valley, nearest hopping on point Uzerche. La Minoterie water sports centre offers canoe excursions in on the Vézère river. (website: hidden)

WALKING
The Limousin is one of the least populated areas of France. This means lots of unspoilt countryside and lots of great walking. (website: hidden) is a good place to start. It doesn't list St. Germain les Belles itself but the communes of Meuzac and La Croisille sur Briance are very nearby. Lots of woods, lakes and in the autumn they're great places to find ceps and other edible mushrooms!

LIMOGES
There's a lot to discover in Limoges itself. It's the biggest city in the area for a start. It's mainly famous for porcelain, but parts of the city are beautiful. Check out the butchers quarter. Here's a link to trip advisors top 25 things to do... http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g187159-Activities-Limoges_Haute_Vienne_Limousin.html.

ARNAC-POMPADOUR
City of the horse and former home to Madame Pompadour, Louis XV's chief mistress. Don't be fooled by the 'city' tag, it's really a small town with a large chateau, a race-track and a stud farm. Very pretty, lots of nice cafes with tables outside. (website: hidden)

EYMOUTIERS
Right on the Mille Vaches plateau. Unfeasibly cold in winter, unfeasibly pretty in summer. My mate Helen once rescued a dog from here. I once sobbed my heart out in the Sports cafe. Here's what the tourist board say: (website: hidden) I say head for Le Monde Allant Vers for great second hand bargains. (website: hidden)

CHATEAUNEUF-LA-FORET
Wikipedia has very little to say about this pleasant little town beyond informing us that the inhabitants are known as 'Castelneuviens'. I would go further and say that it is worth heading up through the town past Super U (stop off if you need provisions, it's a good supermarket) and keep going into the old centre. There's a mini statue of liberty in front of the church and if you're really lucky, Anna's shop will be open (website: hidden) Anna sells impossibly pretty bric-a-brac and does fabulous Viennese coffee and cake for nuppence.

ST LEONARD DE NOBLAT
It's pretty. It's ancient. It has a fun swimming pool, restaurants and over-priced antique shops. Save your money for the chocolate shop. It's on the Rue de la Revolution in the old centre. (website: hidden) éonard-de-Noblat

LA CROISILLE SUR BRIANCE
This is a pretty little village with a market on the 18th of every month. It is also home to Chez Kevin. Don't let the name put you off, his fish and chips on a Friday night are amazing. Up in the square is a lovely little shop called Chic et Unique that sells and eclectic mix of jewellery, 2nd hand clothes, toys and cards (website: hidden)

MARKETS
Here is a handy little web page that lets you know about all the local markets. I say local, it covers the whole of the Haute Vienne (87), which is the department in which St Germain-les-Belles is situated. It's big. Think Yorkshire. We're also close to the border of the Correze (19), so it might be worth a search on there if you can't find what you're looking for. (website: hidden) The nearest market is down the road in La Croisille sur Briance, but it's only once a month, on the 18th.

On the subject of markets, the French are really into car-boot sales, which over here go by the slightly more up-market title of 'Vide Greniers'. All the main ones for the department are listed here: (website: hidden) This site includes the 'brocantes' which are flea markets. I once sold a fair proportion of my worldly goods at a Vide Grenier tacked onto a Horse Fair. Always interesting for bargain hunting and people spotting.

MONT GARGAN
This is an amazing view-point and picnic spot, with an old ruined chapel. Steeped in history, legends abound. You won't have to walk all the way up, there's a car-park quite near the top. Top tip: Don't go when it's raining or cloudy. (website: hidden) For the more robust visitors, there's the "Tour Of Mont Gargan", a 25KM walk that takes in Mont Gargan and lots of the surrounding countryside. It starts at La Croisille sur Briance.

TARZ-EN-ARBRE
I hated this, but then I'm terrified of heights and had a horrific hangover at the time. Everyone else LOVED it. Swinging about in trees like Tarzan with a harness to catch you if you fall. If only life were like this... (website: hidden)

ORADURE SUR GLANE
I haven't visited this place but it's on my list. I think you have to be in the right frame of mind for this one. It's a WWII village where all the inhabitants were randomly massacred by the Nazis. The village has been left untouched as a memorial. Read about it here: (website: hidden)

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Lake nearby, Rural retreats

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