Published by Lyn on 21 May 2014
Published by Lyn on 21 May 2014
Renovated barn from which to discover the cycling secrets of Limousin
Haute Vienne, Limousin (Nouvelle Aquitaine)
Price from: From 3 nights for €200 (please enquire about other prices and lengths of stay)
Open: March to October
Châlus is situated in the department of the Haute-Vienne, a relatively undiscovered area, meaning quiet roads and peaceful trails, including the 180km 'La Route Richard Coeur de Lion' which runs close by and follows Richard the Lionheart's journey as he battled against King Philip of France (Lawrence of Arabia retraced the trail). Nineteen chateaux and ancient monuments make up the route; many of which can be found within the nearby area. The open plan stone barn still has many of its original features and there is a fully equipped dining area and galley kitchen. The first floor has an open plan bedroom and bathroom area, while the main bedroom has a double bed made from the building's reclaimed joists. There is also a beautiful Romeo and Juliet balcony overlooking the terrace and surrounding fields. A wood burner and heated bedrooms also means that this is a great option for spring and autumn when the region is at its most colourful.
Cyclist-run accommodation in the Limoges-Angouleme-Thivers triangle
22 Les Arcis
Haute-Vienne (Limousin, Nouvelle-Aquitaine)
Phone: +33 (0)5 55 75 33 41 or +44 (0)7538 344076
Price from: Rustic farmhouse B&B €58 per night; Gite bedroom €86 per night (also gite double sofa bed €28 per night if you're part of a group)
Open: May to October
As the name suggests, Cycling Chez Nous is run by cyclists - in this case Sue and Phil, who are keen to share this lesser-explored area of France with the rest of us. They are in a perfect area for cycling – and they know it like the backs of their hands. They are just 2.5km from the lovely voie verte (greenway) that runs from Oradour-sur-Vayres to Chalus. It's perfect for a (flat) return trundle but also ideal for tourers linking to the Lawrence of Arabia route. The roads here are scenic and largely traffic-free. I asked Sue to choose a favourite but she said it was impossible – the routes are so varied. "We have short local routes routes we can suggest, plus longer routes from 50km to 160kms on gpx files with varying elevations," she said. "We live in an almost untouched cycling paradise, bordering the Dordogne and the Charente. I have to pinch myself each time I cycle." The village is also within reach of Oradour-sur-Glane, which holds a special place in French history and is one of the most remarkable places Freewheeling France has ever been (there is more on the area here). The house itself is a pretty French farmhouse in an ancient hamlet. It has a lovely garden and a chestnut orchard with pear, apple and cherry trees. There is room for 6 people – with four in a self-catered gite and two in main house. B&B or self-catering is available. English and French spoken. Good connections to Limoges, Angouleme, Thivers for trains and airports. Ask Sue and Phil if you need picking up.
Base run by cyclists for cyclists in uncrowded Limousin countryside
Phone: +44 (0)1622 371 131 or +44 (0)7595 895 462
Price from: €60 per room per night or €300 per week
Open: All year
Looking for somewhere slightly off the beaten track? Lesser explored roads? Lots of bikey support? Look no further than Andy and Cris's B&B farmhouse and self-catering gites – run especially for cyclists visiting the beautiful Limousin. This 200-year-old property offers versatile accommodation for cyclists wanting to stay one night or one week (or longer). Caters for single riders as well as families and club groups. Bike hire available direct from Andy and Cris. Above ground splash pool for post-ride cooling off. Bar/lounge with an iPod dock and library. Satellite TV and free wifi. Food is a real specialty here, with all diets welcome, including gluten/wheat-free/coeliac, plus meals for vegetarians and guests with allergies, and high-protein/lo carb options. Secure, fully equipped bike store and workshop (including resident mechanic!) French and English spoken.
The very excellent online Stanfords Travel bookshop is having a sale on all things French, including cycling maps.
Posted: 20 May 2019
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