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Things to Do in the the Poitou-Charentes Region...

…within 30 minutes of Villeneuve la Comtesse

Dampierre sur Boutonne - This beautiful renaissance chateau is only 5 minutes away. Destroyed by fire in 2002, restorations are nearing an end. Coupled with beautiful gardens and a maze, this is a wonderful place to visit on a sunny morning or afternoon for a stroll, bike ride or picnic. After visiting the chateau walk around the corner for drinks and a meal at the local bar/restaurant.
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Chize Zoo - Not as large as La Palmyre, however, only 10 minutes away and worth a visit if you are short of time. This zoo offers more space for the animals and is invloved with many preservation projects. You can stroll thru the trees admiring the animals or take a horse drawn carriage to save energy. An enjoyable afternoon for all the family.
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St Jean D'Angely - Historic town with the Abbey Royale, clock tower and fountain. Nice for a stroll around the shops or lunch in one of the many cafés. Large park with children’s play area and lots of ducks and geese to feed. Next to the park is an aquatic center which is definitely worth a visit during any inclement weather.
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Surgeres - Pretty and historic market town. Take 10 minutes to have a walk around the gardens of the Mairie which is a favourite of ours for picnics. Closest TGV station.
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Marais Poitevin - Aptly called ‘Venise Verte’ because of its canal network. Great place for an afternoon’s trip when the heat of the sun has gone. 'Do it Yourself' or cheat as we do and get a gondolier to do it for you!! Many riverside restaurants offering a good selection of meals for midday or evening.
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Niort - great for shopping, even better for KARTING !! If you want to shop until you drop, visit Espace Mendées France on the road to Poitiers in Niort. The women can indulge whilst the men visit one of the 2 karting circuits.
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Port Miniature, St Savirien sur Charente - Replica steam boats and ferries etc... This is a lovely place to visit for families with small children - don't worry dads can join in too!! Children above 9yrs old can navigate their own boat, whilst younger children need to be accompanied by an adult. A restaurant, cafe and picnic tables are also available.
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Saintes - Large pedestrian shopping centre with the advantage of historic monuments within walking distance. Many good restaurants for an evening meal.
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…between 30 minutes and 1hour of Villeneuve la Comtesse

La Rochelle - Visit to the Aquarium in the morning followed by a walk around the harbour and La Rochelle Old Town. Many 'chic' shops and restaurants.
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Ile de Ré - The island of the rich!! Toll charge (17.00€ return). Car parking can be difficult in peak season. Have a drive around the island before choosing one of the many beaches. Walk around the harbour at St Martin, find a good restaurant or ride on a donkey wearing trousers!!
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Royan/Ile D'Oleron - Commence early with a visit to La Palmyre zoo. Comfortable shoes are a necessity. Afternoon spent on the beach or visit Ile D’ Oleron. Take the tourist train around the southern part of the island or relax on one of the many beautiful beaches.
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Cognac - World famous distilleries. However, if city life is not for you travel a further 10 minutes inland to pretty 'Jarnac' where you'll find the head quarters of cognac distiller ‘Courvoisier’ and some lovely riverside cafés.
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Rochefort - A visit to the Corderie Royale (the history traditional rope making) and the construction of Hermione frigate. The Hermoine is surprisingly interesting and breathtaking in size. An ongoing full scale reconstruction project started in 1997 using traditional materials & methods.
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…1 hour or more from Villeneuve la Comtesse

Futurescope - Theme park located near Poitiers. More suited to teenagers than smaller children, although does cater for all ages.
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Bordeaux - 90 minutes drive on the A10 (costs approx. 10€ each way). Famous for it's wine, shopping and the magnificent buildings.
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La Vallée des Singes - A park which is dedicated to the conservation of primates. You are able to get up close and personal to over 350 species. Great enjoyment for children with play and petting area. Only 10 minutes away is the beautiful 'Parc de La Belle' which makes it a great day out.
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Puy Du Fou - A fantastic family day out is guaranteed at this park. Various viking/ gladitorial shows and attractions throughout the day including unbelievable large birds of prey swooping only inches above your head ... unforgettable!
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Owl’s Rest Holiday accommodation in France
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