You will find us nestled in the heart of the tiny tranquil hamlet of La Besse, which forms part of the Videix commune in the Haute Vienne department of the old Limousin region; which is now part of the much larger Nouvelle-Aquitaine. We are situated within the Perigord-Limousin Park Natural, an area designated for its outstanding beauty, wild life and natural sites. As well as being within this wonderful park we are also just inside of the National Nature Reserve astrobleme Rochechouart-Chassenon (Meteorite Reserve) Many of the older buildings in this area are made of this special ‘meteorite’ impact-rock; including our gites.
We are perfectly situated for discovering more than just the Limousin as we sit on the Charente / Haute-Vienne border and are very close to the Dordogne (about 15minutes) allowing you to discover a whole lot more. The longer we live here, the more we are exploring ~ helped immensely by our great gite guests who keep finding places we didn’t even know existed! This is a perfect location for your Limousin holiday.
Right on our doorstep and just minutes away are the very popular ‘Grand Lacs de Charente’ where you can do anything from swimming to sailing, to riding horses. The Haute-Charente has the largest lake area of Poitou-Charentes. With its deciduous forests & groves, its waters and its heritage, it makes this a land of welcome and rest ~ an ideal retreat to relax and recuperate.
We sit almost equally distant between Angouleme and Limoges ~ approximately 45minutes in each direction.
Our nearest town is Rochechouart at just 10km away, with all the amenities you could need, including restaurants, shops (including two small supermarkets) post office, chemist, small museum, church and chateau. As well as the stunning chateau with its modern art displays; the church has a very rare, twisted, roof spire.
the map below shows our location and national parks
Right on our doorstep are many footpaths that will take you off into some wonderful countryside to explore the flora and fauna; with 25 different known species of orchids, the hunt is on. The Limousin is famous for its Oak and Chestnut forests as well as its many lakes, ponds, brooks and streams.
If it is modern history you are interested in then Oradour-sur-Glane is a must place to visit. The original town was destroyed on 10 June 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company. A new village was built after the war on a nearby site, but on the orders of the then French president, Charles de Gaulle, the whole original village has been maintained as a permanent memorial and museum.
There is just so much going on that you are spoilt for choice: brocantes and vide greniers for those interested in “old stuff” ~ fetes and artisan festivals that celebrate all sorts of foods ~ just about everything from chestnuts to cidre and ducks to cheese!
Music festivals and concerts play a large part of French life and this is very apparent in the Limousin where there is always something to listen to whatever your taste, from classical to rock / from blues to folk; whatever your preference of venue from open air festivals to concerts, to simple impromptu gatherings in bars and bistro’s!
The Limousin Quick View
Known as ‘the land of green hills and woodland’ everything is around you, waiting to be discovered; it is perfect for those of you who love being outdoors cycling, walking or running. With 25000 acres of water in its lakes and rivers it is perfect for swimming, water-sports or fishing. And, if you want to get a real birds-eye-view of the area you can even take a hot air balloon ride, which often departs from the local lake.
The Limousin is rural France at its very best, with rolling green hills, woodland, rivers and crystal clear lakes along with sleepy villages and towns to discover. Come and relax here, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Specialties of the Limousin
- Wild Mushrooms
- Clafoutis, a desert of black cherries baked in batter
- Gatueau Creusois, a butter and almond cake
- La Potee Limisine, a pork stew cooked with vegetables
- Pate de Terre, a layered potato pie topped with cream and herbs baked in a puff pastry
- Walnut and hazelnut liquor
- Limousin Cider