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Rainy Day ideas for Poitou-Charentes

Rainy Day ideas for Poitou-Charentes

Whilst the winter may bring crisp sunshine, it can equally bring damp and cold. But there’s no need to be cooped up in the house - instead get out and visit one of the many indoor attractions that the Poitou-Charentes has to offer...

[note, prices correct at time of publication but please check the websites given for the latest information.]

rainy days in poitou charentes

 

The Aquarium at La Rochelle in the Charente-Maritime boasts 12,000 marine animals, with 70 different aquaria within the complex, including a shark tank that is housed on three levels. The aquarium takes around three hours to explore and has a cafe/restaurant on the top floor with fabulous views. It is open every day including weekends and public holidays.
Winter opening hours are 10am to 8pm. Ticket prices vary depending on whether you want a guided tour (€16 for adults, €12 for children) or want to look round on your own (€13 for adults, €10 for children). Some concessions are available and children under 3 are free.  See website here.

Centre International de la Mer at the Corderie Royale (the Royal ropeworks) in Rochefort in the Charente-Maritime, houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions on the sea and seafaring. It is open all year except January, its winter opening hours are: 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 6pm. Tickets cost €8 for adults, €4 for young people (aged 6-15). Children under 6 go free and concessions are available for the disabled. See website here.

Halles aux Vivres is the museum in the Brouage citadel, not far from Rochefort in the Charente-Maritime. It covers the history of the citadel, as well as military history with temporary exhibitions about the area, its history and culture. La Halle aux Vivres is open all year round although opening hours vary. Open November 10.30am to 6pm and December and January: 2pm to 6pm. Admission charges: €3 for adults, €2.50 for young adults/ children (10-18). Under 10s go free. See website here.

Espace Mendès France in Poitiers in the Vienne is a centre designed to popularise the worlds of science and technology with permanent and temporary exhibitions and a planetarium. Open all year round, it is a must for stargazers. The planetarium is open Tuesday - Friday from 9am to 6.30pm and Saturday, Sunday (except in the summer) and Monday from 2pm to 6.30pm. Exhibitions are open from 2pm to 5.30pm. Admission to exhibitions: Adults: €5 and children (over 8) €2.50. Under eights get in free. Admission to the Planetarium: Adults: €6 Children (over 8) €3. See website here.

Musée de la bande dessinée is the comic strip museum in Angoulême in the Charente that’s the Louvre for comics, with a collection of more than 8,000 original drawings and over 110,000 magazines and comic books. Winter opening hours (September - June): Tuesday - Friday from10am to 6pm and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays (except 1 January, 1 May and 25 December) from 2pm to 6pm. Under 18s are free. Adult admission is €6 but a number of concessions are also available. See website here.

The Abbey of Saint-Savin sur-Gartempe in the town of the same name in the Vienne, is famed for its 11th century paintings that have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before or after your visit, have lunch in one of the restaurants in the town. Winter opening hours: November, December, February and March: every day 10am to noon and 2pm to 5pm. Closed Sunday morning, 11 November and the whole of January. Ticket price is €6. Children under 12 are free. Guided tours available twice a day for an extra 50 cents. See website here.

Musée d’Angoulême, formerly the Musée des Beaux-Arts, has collections of African and Oceanic art and covers the history of the Charente, from geological times, through prehistoric humans to the Middle Ages. The museum is open all year round from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm. It is closed on Mondays and on 1 November, 25 December, 1 January and 1 May. Admission is free. See website here.

Château de la Roche Courbon in the Charente-Maritime is known as Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Take an umbrella so you can also walk around the gardens even if the heavens open! Château and garden winter opening hours: 10am to noon and 2pm to 5pm each day except Sunday mornings and weekdays in January. Ticket prices: Adults – château and gardens: €9; gardens only €6, Children 7-14 years: €5 Under 7s are free. See website here.

Maison Pierre Loti is the utterly flamboyant home of romance write Pierre Loti in Rochefort in the Charente-Maritime. Winter opening hours: 1 October-31 December 31 and 1 February 1-31 May 31: every day, except Tuesdays and Sunday mornings. Closed January. Guided visits at 10.30am, 11.30am, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Pre-booking for a guided tour is advisable - telephone the Maison Pierre Loti to make a reservation: 05 46 99 16 88. See website here.

NOTE: Closed for renovation in 2012/2013 - check for opening dates on website

Musée des Commerces d’autrefois is also in Rochefort. The name may not be very exciting but within the walls of this private museum are 20 superb replicas of shops from the turn of the last century, showing in great detail what commercial life was like at the time. Winter opening hours: 1 November – 31 December 31 : 10am-noon and 2pm-6pm and February and March: 10am-noon and 2pm-6pm. Closed Sunday mornings and the whole of January. Tickets: Adults : €6, Children 8-11 and students : €4, Children under 8: free. A ‘Pass famille’ is also available which allows one child under 12 years to be admitted free if accompanied by two adults. See website here.