Limousin Cottage - Holiday rental cottage in SW France

There are always places to visit and things to do.

At nearby Lac Mondon you can enjoy riverside walks, a poolside bar/restaurant with live music in season, and a value-for-money menu. Another wonderful place to visit is Crozant, where you can enjoy a 15km river cruise after a leisurely lunch.

The Location

Situated in the beautiful, peaceful, Limousin region, known as the Lake District of France, the cottage is ideally placed for exploring all the region has to offer. It is quietly situated, in an off-road position, directly behind the village church (but with no church bells to wake you early on a Sunday morning!) and has safe, off-road parking in front of your door.

The village of Mailhac sur Benaize is a mile or so along the road from the northern Haute Vienne town of St. Sulpice Les Feuilles, 87160. In St Sulpice there is a small Carrefour supermarket, two great bar restaurants where you can enjoy a 4 course lunch, with wine, for around €12, and all the shops and businesses you may need. The village is also very near to the neighbouring departments of the Vienne (Dept 86) the Indre (Dept 36) and the Creuse (Dept 23) and a 5-10 minute drive away from junctions 21 and 22 of the A20 motorway, so is easily accessible by car.

If flying, Limoges airport, served by Ryanair from Manchester, East Midlands, Stansted,  Bristol and Leeds/Bradford and also Flybe from several UK destinations, is just 45 minutes away by car. Poitiers airport is also within easy reach (also served by Ryanair from Edinburgh and Stansted).

The Region

The Limousin is a very beautiful and rural area of France, very sparsely populated, and with lots of quiet country lanes and tiny hamlets to explore. Many of our guests remark that it seems to be in it's own little time warp - but only in a good way! The Limousin also has France's highest number of centenarians! From the Channel ports it is around a 6 hour drive. Limoges is the capital of the region, and is famous historically for porcelain manufacture. It also has beautiful, historical areas to walk around, plus a magnificent Gothic catheral, where there is a great monthly brocante held in the surrouning medieval streets.

Throughout most of the year you will be spoilt for choice of car boot sales held in the surrounding towns and villages. There is a huge ressourcerie just along the road, where you can find everything from bric-a-brac to old farm machinery! A bargain-hunters paradise! There is a also very big monthly market held at Les Herolles, on the 29th of each month. It is about a 20 minute drive from the cottage.

The best and nearest selection of shops is in La Souterraine. Although crossing over the A20 motorway, at junction 22, into the nearby department of La Creuse, it is only a 15 minute drive from the cottage. It has a good selection of supermarkets and a lovely, traditional main shopping street. If visiting, try to make a point of seeing the wonderful large mural opposite the church. In photographs you almost seem to become part of the street scene on the mural! We have included one on the website. There is a tiny café tucked away in the corner where you can ask at the bar for the enormous old key to the ancient town gateway and climb the steps to go and have a look.

The Weather

Summers are usually very warm with above average hours of sunshine and temperatures can reach the mid-30's Centigrade, although more often than not the Summer temperature is a very pleasant 25 to 30 deg Centigrade. Spring tends to come early and Autumn goes on later, making a stay out of high season very pleasant too.

Zooparc Beauval - not to be missed!

Although a one and a half hour drive from the cottage, Zooparc Beauval is officially the top zoo in France, and in the top 10 best zoos in the World - and attracts thousands of visitors accordingly. It is open all year round.

The zoo is in an absolutely beautiful setting. Not to be missed are the manatee - which are absolutely amazing to see! It also has a baby giant panda, white tigers, plus a huge variety of small mammals that most of us will never have heard of, even on TV. There is a wonderful open safari area where the herbivores all roam free - and it is so beautifully designed that there seems to be no barrier between you and them. It is an experience to walk around the ape house and have a very large orang-utan crossing the bridge directly above your head. There is an amazing arena, where you can watch impressive birds of prey, owls and vultures putting on a show. The sea-lions also perform, and are adorable. The shows are at no extra charge. Also not to be missed are the giant pandas and Madagascan Lemurs!

Oradour sur Glane

A visit to the martyrs' village of Oradour sur Glane is strongly recommended. It is about a 40 minute drive from the cottage, in the direction of Limoges. It was where, during the 2nd World War, the whole village, were massacred by the SS. Since then, it has been left virtually untouched as a monument to those who were killed. It is a very poignant and thought-provoking place to visit, a place you will be glad you got to see. There is a museum and a garden of remembrance. It attracts thousands of visitors per year, from many countries.

Crozant A wonderful day out in a stunning setting.

Fantastic riverside walks just along the road!


The River Benaize, is a fantastic 'boiling pot' river, which you can access from nearby Lac Mondon. See huge pre-historic boulders forming a natural bridge across the river - 'Le Pont des Loups' (Bridge of Wolves), a deafening waterfall after the 'overflow' from the lake is opened to decrease the water level, and pre-historic cave shelters. It is an interesting, forested walk and not for the faint-hearted! It is usually deserted, and you can almost imagine dinosaurs roaming the ancient forests. If you watch the video on this website you will straight away realise why it is called 'Le Pot Bouillant'!

Huge monthly market a short drive away

There is a huge monthly market at Les Herolles, on the 29th of the month, unless the 29th falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday. It is said to be one of the largest markets in France.


Parc Bellevue near Limoges, a fun-filled day out.

We recently spent a wonderful, fun-filled day with the Grandchildren at Parc Bellevue, near Limoges airport, and a 35-40 minute drive from Limousin-Cottage. Games, rides and activities for all ages, from babies upwards. Inside the park is a lovely, clean picnic area.


Things to do and places to visit

You will find there is as much or as little as you desire to do in and around this holiday cottage. Please check out the tourist office info below!


There are also some excellent GOLF courses within an hour's drive of the cottage:

The Richard the Lionheart route

This sightseeing route named after the famous king who was mortally wounded in Châlus, takes you to the south west of the region. The trail is 180 km (112 miles) long and includes 19 sites which are also architectural masterpieces : the Castles of Nexon, Jumilhac, Montbrun, Brie, Coussac-Bonneval, Lastours, Châlus, Châlucet, Rochechouart, Les Cars,Pompadour, Saint Yrieix la Perche, Ségur-le-Château, Solignac's abbey, Limoges's cathedral, the churches in St Eutrope or Le Chalard...

Web : (click on the UK flags for information in English)

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