Who: We - Vincent & Annemieke Willems - left Holland at the end of 2006
to go living in France, along with our Labrador Sjors.
Where: The picturesque village St Auvent is situated in the heart of France, in the Haute Vienne (green) in the region Limousin. A beautiful area which is named after the river Vienne that meanders through the hilly and green countryside.
What: At the edge of this village you will find the former village school
with some outhouses on our land of 4000m2. After years of renovating we now live in the former school building and 2 comfortable gîtes and a B&B have opened their doors for our guests.
After that we transformed the old barn in a dining/recreation area and a Beauty-salon, ready summer of 2012.
Our 3th gîte - an old railroad house - is situated 13 km away from St Auvent in the charming village Chaillac-sur-Vienne.
A typically French village with narrow streets, a little old church and a castle. In the village, at walking distance, you will find a bar/restaurant and a small supermarket. For tourist information you can apply to Maison de Païs. Here you can find anything you'd like to know about the Limousin, her culture and her places of interest.
In 1993 our french adventure started in this village (13 km from St Auvent) on the day that we bought an old railroad house together with a brother of Vincent. After restoring the cottage, we spend a lot of lovely holidays in it. After a recent 2nd renovation we also want to give others the chance to fully enjoy this beautifull place. In the village itself are no shops, but the village St. Junien is just 3,5 kilometers away.
The town of Saint-Junien has a pleasant shopping street, large supermarkets and a Tourist Information. Every saturday there is a market with local products. Also in Rochechouart there is a supermarket, a cosy village centre with little shops, restaurants, bars and some brocantes.
When leaving your accommodation you will find yourself on one of the hundreds of country roads that wind through the hilly landscape. Old stone bridges bring you over the numerous little streams that cross your path. The woods are dominated by the many chestnut trees and the beautiful Limousin cows are grazing quietly in the meadows. The sleepy villages that you'll find on your way are not yet deluged with tourists and breath the atmosphere of the authentic French countryside. You will find that you can drive for many kilometers without meeting someone else.
There are lots of activities in Haute Vienne, all tastes are catered for.
You can make lovely walks on one of the many walking routes or make
bicycle rides (keep in mind that the area is hilly!). You can also ride a horse, play golf and tennis, swim and canoe, all within a distance of approx. 30 km. Further you can go hunting for
second-hand objects at the numerous brocantes in the area, view art at Lac de Vassiviere or visit the impressive war memorial Oradour sur Glane. At a distance of approx. 40 km you will find Limoges, the capital of the Limousin. It is pleasant to linger in this town, which is known for its porcelain, to stroll in its historic centre, to visit the cathedral, the museum, the shops and to have lunch at one of the many pavement cafés.
Périgeux, the splendid capital of the Dordogne, is situated approx. 100 km to the south. Approx. 150 km to the west you will find the fascinating Futuroscope, attractive for both young and old. In short, there is too much to do to describe it all, enough for a wonderful holiday.