Our region of the month for September is Corrèze, which lies in the south of the Limousin, close to Dordogne. Here are our ten top reasons why you should discover this lovely corner of south-west France:
1. Corrèze is an area of outstanding natural beauty. You’ll find stunning scenery in a peaceful rural retreat and the chance to enjoy some truly unspoilt countryside. Variety is key – this landscape has dramatic rivers and gorges, lakes, moorland, forests and gentle farmland.
2. Outdoor pursuits abound. There’s something for everyone with fishing, walking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing etc. There are golf courses, adventure and water parks and a variety of locations for boating, swimming and mountain biking. You can even go hot-air ballooning!
3. Towns and villages – lots of really pretty ones and full of life. The best known town is Brive-la-Gaillarde and the formula for becoming a ‘gaillarde’ is to be bursting with good humour, greedy for all that is good and excessively friendly!
4. It’s easy to get there. You can fly direct to Brive-la-Gaillarde from several airports, including London City, which is quite a fun departure point. Alternative airports are Limoges and Bergerac, which has flights from Southampton. The drive from Calais is about seven hours, so can be done in a day.
5. A choice of lovely places to stay. Gorgeous cottages and farmhouses set in rolling countryside, most with their own swimming pool, an apartment in a fabulous riverside watermill or a pretty pigeonnier in the mill house garden.
6. The accordion festival. Yes, really - and what could be more French? The Nuits de Nacre Festival runs from 18th to 21st September in Tulle and has 90 concerts with accordions at their heart. The instruments are still made nearby.
7. The apple festival. For the whole of October, the ‘Fête de la Pomme’ is celebrated with a colourful cornucopia of displays, tastings and sales of apples all across the department
8. Hot air ballooning. At Juillac is Escapade Montgolfiere. Who could resist even the name, let alone the experience? They invite you to ‘Come and discover the Dordogne and Corrèze in all its wild, unspoilt splendour. With the wind, you can ride over villages and catch nature by surprise.’
9. Slate quarries and museum. The ‘Pans de Travassac’ slate quarries (open April to November) are a top choice for a day trip. Cross a bridge suspended between truly dramatic vertical cliffs of slate, discover the secrets of slate mining and the imprint of slaters since the 17th century.
10. Les Fermes Medievales de Xaintrie. Visitors love being gently thrust into life in the middle ages at this medeival farm centre at Saint-Julien-aux-Bois. Explore farm buildings and farmyards, a herb garden, honey for sale.
Want to know more, find your place to stay, book your travel? Take a look at our complete guide to the Corrèze.