In the Southern Loire area, and particularly the area to the South of Tours (Touraine-du-Sud), there are many beautiful villages and towns to visit with regular weekly markets, Chateaus, museums and restaurants.
Loches – Cité Royale
Loches is just 23 km North of La Richardière. It is a popular place for guests to visit for several reasons. Firstly, Market Days: Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The market is spread through the town and is one of the largest in the area. During the summer there are also regular Night Markets which you can read about in our blog postings, and include a much larger range of market stalls and street entertainment. Many guests have enjoyed sitting at a street restaurant on these evenings and being thoroughly entertained by street musicians, actors, jugglers or comedians. (check out our restaurant list)
At the centre of Loches is the Chateau de Loches. it was constructed in the 9th century and is famous for its massive square “Keep” or “Donjon” which dominates the town of Loches. The castle was occupied by Henry II of England and his son, Richard the Lion-heart during the 12th century. It was captured by King Philip II of France in 1204 after which construction work immediately upgraded Loches into a huge military fortress. The castle would become a favourite residence of Charles VII of France, who gave it to his mistress, Agnès Sorel, as her residence. Guests visit both the Chateau and the Donjon during their stays and are able to complete the historical story of Loches – Cité royale.
For more information about Loches, Cité royale, click HERE
Le Grand Pressigny
This is a small town, or maybe a large village. It is just 5 minutes from our Gites here at La Richardiere and has a few essentials for visitors including a small supermarket (Epi Service); ATM for withdrawing Euros; GrandMa’s traditional French restaurant; An excellent Boulangerie; Burger and Pizza Bar (Chez L); Bar Prehisto and small hotel which has a restaurant – Savoie Villars and the all important Tourist Office which is in the main square Tel: 02.47.94.96.82 click here for their Website:
Grand Pressigny also ha a small Chateau which has been restored and now houses an excellent Pre-History museum which describes how the area was an important centre for the production of stone and flint tools which were distributed throughout Europe.
Brenne National Parc – LE BLANC
Located about 55 minutes from La Richardière, LE BLANC is situated in the West of the Brenne National Parc. It is an interesting old town with museums and buildings and, being situated on the navigable river, La Creuse, there was significant trade in past ages.
“…accompanied by a guide, the streets of the Middle Ages of Blanc, the manufacture of terracotta tiles or wild orchids will no longer have secrets for you ……”
There are many activities based in Le Blanc including Mountain Biking (Vélo), Canoeing or Kayaking, Fishing, Swimming, nature walking and organised activities for children.
The Brenne Regional Nature Park is well-known for its conservation of nature and heritage. It is a Wetland of international importance and the home to exceptional flora and fauna. There are remarkable natural habitats and a haven for many threatened species. It has a lesser known cultural heritage of villages and traditional buildings, Romanesque churches, castles and abbeys.
Descartes is famous for being the birth place of the French philosopher Rene Descartes. There is an excellent museum which, albeit small, shows the influence of Rene Descartes of the study of Philosophy across the world.
Descartes has a great weekly market where visitors can stock up on essential vegetables, fruit and the most amazing Paella and ready cooked Chickens. We recommend taking the ready roasted potatoes as well a fabulous treat. There a plentiful cafes for an early morning coffee and conversation with the locals.
Angles sur L’Anglin
This is a most interesting town. It is divided into two sections .
A: the upper town which has access to the ruined castle and the ancient Roc de Source carvings both of which are which are absolutely fascinating. There a a small number of shops here and some very acceptable restaurants.
B: The lower town, separated by the great river cliff which can be seen in the picture, has the river Anglin which is beautiful to watch at all times of the year and a small community which has Brocante shops and an excellent “English Tea Garden” where visitors can get great sandwiches, drinks and other meals.
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