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Motorhoming in the Limousin

Motorhoming in the Limousin

The region of Limousin is composed of three departments, Creuse, Corrèze and the Haute-Vienne.  It is slightly south west of the centre of France and is the least populated of the mainland departments of France.  The region is situated almost in its entirety on the mountainous ‘Massif Centrale’ and is described as a land of water and trees, famous for its oaks, its sweet chestnut trees and its lakes.  It is an ideal environment for nature lovers and walkers or mountain bikers, and hiring a motorhome in France or hiring a motorhome in England is the ideal way to take in all that the region has to offer.

An excellent example of this agreeable and relaxing environment is the Lake of Vassivière which covers nearly 2500 acres between Creuse and the Haute-Vienne.  It is the biggest of the lakes in Limousin and boasts six beaches, three pleasure boat harbours, 300km of footpaths and beautiful clear blue waters often compared to a Norwegian fjord.  You can also drive around the lake which will allow you to choose your favourite pastime amongst all those on offer: walking; cycling; sailing; fishing; horse riding or a play area for the younger members of the family.  There is also a contemporary arts centre on an island in the middle of the lake where you can enjoy the works of art exposed both inside and outside and have a coffee.

Limoges in the Haute-Vienne is the small capital of the region and is famous for its porcelain.  The town has produced porcelain and enamel since medieval times but it was in the 18th century that the world famous porcelain industry of today was born. Wander around the town with its half-timbered houses, its cathedral and the neighbouring botanic gardens and take in the history, visit the porcelain museum and the shops which sell this beautiful fine china.

With bricks from bright red to pastel pink and roof tiles in all shades of bleu and grey, Collonges la Rouge in Corrèze is listed amongst the ‘most beautiful villages of France’.  Home to the noblesse of the 16th century, this village is full of aristocratic villas with their coats of arms and watchtowers.  It’s almost like a step back in time the architecture is so well preserved.  While you’re there you can visit a distillery and sample the local liquor made from walnuts.  Equally beautiful is the listed village of Curemonte perched on a rocky ridge.  There are three châteaux which along with other relics of its noble past invite you to explore this hilltop village.  There are several signed footpaths in the surrounding countryside, so use the Aires de Service in the Limousin for your stop overs while you take the time to discover the area.

Aubusson in Creuse has been the French capital of tapestry weaving by royal appointment since the 17th century and this art is preserved by the craftsmen of today.  Artists such as Picasso confided their work to the craftsmen of Aubusson.  There are lots of workshops where you can watch the craftsmen of the village at work and also reconstructed workshops from centuries gone by.  Another weaving centre is the village of Felletin. This village produced the world’s largest tapestry measuring 276m² which can be found in Coventry cathedral!

The Limousin has various specialities such as its beef from the Limousin breed of cattle; the very well known Madeleine (a small cake) which legend has it owes its form to the cockle shell, a sign of recognition between pilgrims on the route of Saint Jacques de Compostelle which passes through the village of Saint Yrieix hence the Madeleine of Saint Yrieix; and the Clafoutis, a delicious desert made from eggs cream and cherries. In any case, if you’re thinking of doing some motorhome travel in France that gives you plenty of reasons to stop off in the Limousin.  From Limousin you can carry on and do some motorhoming in Aquitaine, motorhoming in Auvergne or motorhoming in Poitou-Charentes.