Things to do nearby

If you can pull yourselves away from the château grounds there is plenty to do in the nearby area. To fully take advantage, we strongly advise having a car to get around.

We can recommend and help to arrange everything from: local river beaches and lakes, animal attractions and farm visits, market days, visits to local vineyards and cognac houses and fishing spots.

For the more energetically inclined, we can recommend and help to book kayaking and canoeing, activity parks and tree top adventures, cycling and mountain biking, tennis, horse riding, paragliding and golf. Let us know when booking!

River/lake beaches and water parks

Cool off in the local river or lake, with a great choice of safe, sandy beaches to choose from. Once you have cooled down, you can usually enjoy a great lunch too! 

Moulin de Poltrot

Located just before Aubeterre (10 mins away by car) and features a small and very natural river beach with picnic tables. There’s also a wonderfully rustic restaurant (a favourite with locals) next to the old water mill on the banks of the dronne river. This site also features lots of other options to entertain the children such as the tree top activity park, labyrinth, and a safe and quiet adventure playground.

Aubeterre-sur-dronne

Aubeterre has a bustling river beach with grassed play area, canoe hire, cafe and restaurant. 

St Aulaye 

A lovely spot with beaches on both sides of the river. There is a great restaurant that offers fantastic pizzas, together with brilliant Moules Frites on a Sunday (booking recommended). 

Lac Jemaye & Lac St Estephe

Both of these lakes are real favourites of ours. They are tree lined lakes with white sandy beaches, but if you can ply yourself from the beach, you can walk around both, with St Estephe having the added attraction of a user operated pontoon ferry half way round. You will find excellent playgrounds and a selection of eating arrangements at both of them. 

Nautilus Water Park

Nautilus (30 mins away) has 50m indoor pools, diving pools, outdoor and indoor slides and wave machines. There is large lake for fishing, sailing & watersports outside as well. 

Antilles Water Park

About an hour away, but worth it – Its  huge, with a tropical lagoon with slides, large swimming pools and a lazy river. Or just relax in its central Roman bath with jacuzzis, hammam and sauna.

Kayaks, canoes and boats

A casual canoe down slow, winding rivers is very popular in this part of France, and it’s easy to see why – it’s great fun for all the family. Advisable to take towels, a spare set of clothing and to wear some sensible footwear.  There are waterproof containers for you to put cameras, money and a picnic in. Best to book in advance.

Brantôme

An interesting canoe circuit including several weirs. A choice of an hour and a half or half day or whole day is available.

Montbron

Several (gentle) mini rapids to shoot , along with areas you can stop and picnic on the way – it normally takes about 2 hours for this trip.

Bourdeilles

Highly picturesque, with several small rapids to shoot for the more adventurous. Ends in beautiful Bourdeilles. 

Aubeterre sur Dronne

This is a pretty part of the river, with picnic areas along the way.  You can choose routes from 2 hours up to 6 hours.

Motorboat hire (without a license) is also possible at Le Port d’Angouleme Fleac by the hour, or up to a day to cruise on the river Charente.

Lovely Walks

The château is surrounded by rolling French countryside, so you are never very far away from some excellent scenic country walks to suit nearly all abilities. We are happy to point you in the right direction.

There are also lots of beautiful places that are great for a leisurely morning or afternoon stroll.

Gurat’s Monolithic Church

At the bottom of the village, you will find a short walk along a well maintained path (suitable for buggys) that leads to Eglise St Georges, which is an 11th century monolithic church dug into the cliffs under the village.

Château de Villebois-Lavalette

10 mins away by car, is a gentle and short walk all the way around the ramparts of this beautiful château dating back to the 10th century, with magnificent views over both the Dordogne and Charente valleys.

Tourbières de Vendoire

5 mins away by car or a 45min walk along the Lizzone river at the bottom of the village, is this stunning protected wetland (originally used as a valuable source of peat), with a wonderful variety of flora and fauna.

Jardins du logis de Forge

20 mins away by car is this stunning former paper mill, surrounded by a large body of  water and contemporary gardens. You can wonder its 7 hectares and marvel at the clarity of the water gardens fed by their own source.

Animal attractions

Parc Sauvage

In La Tour Blanche (20 mins away) is a relatively large animal park, with farm animals, local wild animals and birds of prey on show. 

Ferme du Ferron

In Condeon (40 mins away) is also worth a visit, with lots of farm animals to see, feed and pet in a lovely countryside setting.

Zoo La Palmyre

A fantastic zoo just outside of Royan (2hrs away) . It’s a great day out and you can tie it in with the beach if you have time!

Parc & Zoo du reynou

Here you can meet more than 250 species of animals and plants, set over 100 hectares.

Go-Ape style activity parks

A great morning or afternoon out for monkeys of all sizes (from the age of 3ys). Test your agility in a safe and fun environment climbing and sliding from treetop to treetop in the heart of the forest.

Varying courses are suitable for all levels, and are accompanied by professionals with top quality safety equipment provided.

Horse riding

The countryside in the region is beautiful, why not see it on horseback? Martha and her team at Ecuries Des Chênes run horse and pony riding lessons and excursions for children from 3yrs all the way up to adults.

Set in 25 acres of beautiful rolling hills and woodland, the stable has 12 small ponies, 9 larger ponies, and 5 horses. It has three arenas, a large and small menage for lessons and a jumping paddock on grass, so can cater to all levels of riders.

The Ecuries Des Chênes stables are in Bors de Montmoreau which is a 20 min drive. English is spoken.

Châteaux to Visit

This part of France has more châteaux per head than any other, so why not visit some of them? There are lots to see nearby.

Château de Villebois-Lavalette

The closest is the Château de Villbois-Lavalette, which is just 10mins away by car. Sitting on a 200m high hill, the original motte-and-bailey castle dated back to 959. It has grew over the centuries to form a key part of the regions defensive system. In the summer months, it offers guided tours in the mornings only.

Château de la Mercerie

Also about 10mins away, is the Château de la Mercerie. This “modern” Château (19th century) is truly spectacular. It has recently undergone a complete renovation, and is known as the Versailles of the Charente. Well worth a visit. Guided tours in English are offered on Tuesday mornings.

Château de Chalais

About 30mins away by car, you will find the Château de Chalais. Built in the 11th century and accessed via a working drawbridge, it is currently privately owned and has been recently restored to a high standard. The tour needs to be booked in advance but is one of the best. The guide speaks both French and English.

Château de Bourdeilles

Around 40mins by car is the Château de Bourdeilles. Close tothe village of Brantome, so can be easily combined into a day trip. Dating back to the 13th century and sitting on top of a high cliff overlooking the Dronne river, it is truly stunning. It can be visited with or without a guide.

Market days & local farms

Many of our guests have ventured to at least one local market during their stay. It’s a quintessentially French experience, and you’ll soon feel like a local wandering the bustling stalls finding a wonderful array of fresh local produce and excellent fish and oysters from the coast. Or why not venture to one of our favourite local farms.

Villebois Lavalette

Saturday morning until 12pm

Aubeterre

Sunday morning until 12pm

Chalais

Monday morning until 12pm

Brantome

Friday morning until 12pm

Riberac

Friday morning until 12pm

    La ferme de Raphaël et Gaëlle

    Only 5 mins away by car or a 25 min walk through the woods, offering a wide selection of seasonal fruit and vegetables, poultry, sausages, rilletes, and charcuterie.

    L’ECOFERME DE L’AZURE

    Only 5 mins away by car, this small family run farm offers a variety of delicious and fresh organic goat cheeses and yogurts.

    MOULIN SARTIER

    7 mins away by car, is a water mill producing walnut oil and wheat flour. It is three stories of wonderful vintage mill machinery in action, in a mill that can trace its roots back to 1306.

    Ferme de Nougerède

    8 mins away by car, is a micro-brewery that produces a range of great organic beers, created using hops and barley grown on their own farm.

    Tennis

    There are two free tennis courts close to the château

    One set of courts is in the village of Villebois Lavalette with lovely views over rolling countryside, the other is in a small pretty village called Ronsenac.

    Both are a 10 minute drive from the château

    Cycling

    The French love to get out on their bikes, especially those in our local region. The area is littered with marked mountain bike trails for all skill levels. The roads around the village are also excellent for cycling, being best described as quiet country lanes, but sometimes can be a little hilly! 

    If you would like to hire bikes, we work with and can highly recommend a company called OuiBike. They offer a wide selection of modern, well-maintained bikes to choose from, and will deliver and pick up the bikes direct to/from the Chateau.

    Golf courses

    There are four golf courses nearby all with varying difficulty. We can help book a tee time if you would like.

    Angouleme L’Hirondelle

    18-hole, 5348m, par 70

    Manoir du Longeveau

    9-hole. 2011m par 32

    Golf du Cognac

    18-hole, 6142m, par 72

    Montbron La Preze

    9-hole, 3164m, par 36

    What are you waiting for? Book your French family adventure with us.