Quick Guide to Limousin
Departments in Limousin:
Correze, Haute Vienne, Creuse
Popular Towns in Limousin:
Limoges, Tulle, Aubusson
Blessed with acres and acres of wide open spaces, Limousin is the place for anyone who values a bit of personal space. Limousin boasts tranquillity from the rolling hills of the Haute Vienne to the rugged terrain of the Ambazac hills in the Massif Central. The Haute-Vienne offers deciduous woods and fields, the west and northwest, of sheep grazing land in the Creuse features hamlets clinging to the sides of hills, and Corrèze is home to the Plateau de Millevaches (the plateau of a thousand cows).
But just when you think you've stumbled upon the middle-of-nowhere, a little picturesque hamlet which epitomises the "real France" of yesteryear appears and offers a chance to eat, drink and wonder at medieval architecture. Its lack of huge cities is a blessing in disguise, and Limousin rewards with a sense of space and freedom which is simply intoxicating.
Top things to see...
- The old city centre full of art and history at Limoges, including beautiful wooden bridge spanning the Vienne River.
- Oradour sur Glane, a village torched in 1944 by Waffen SS which has been left as it was as a reminder of the brutality of war.
- One of the prettiest villages in France, Collonges la Rouge, where the buildings are made of bright red sandstone.
- The blanket of purple heather covering the moorlands, which inspired Monet and the impressionist painters.
- The thousands of eponymous Limousin cows which dot the idyllic fields all around the region.
Top things to do...
- Don your wetsuit and kayak and sail in the Dordogne valley.
- Get lost for hours (literally) in Le Labyrinthe - the world's largest maze at over two hectares.
- Visit the Château de Rochechouart, a 15th century chateau balanced on the edge of a 20 km crater formed by a meteorite 160 million years ago which is now home to a contemporary art gallery.
- Browse one of the artisan potteries to buy some of the world famous pottery in Limoges, which is still made in the same way as it always has been.
- Cycle for hours without seeing another soul in the tranquil forest in the foothills of the Massif Central.
Cows, cars, pottery countryside, moorland, lakes, hamlets, le labyrinth.
Did you know...?
The name "Limosin" has become famous the world over for its cows and cars, but although the cows do originate from here, the cars don't.
By road... Limoges the Capital of Limousin is 680km from Calais and this should take around 6 hours on the motorway network, with very few toll roads on the way.
By air... Ryanair and flybe both fly to Limoges airport from the UK. Limoges also has daily flights from Paris and other European cities, although there is usually only one per day.
By train... Trains leave from Paris Gare d'Auserlitz for Limoges, and when combined with the Eurostar from St. Pancras it is a cheap and quick option.