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The leading English language magazine. Now covering Poitou-Charentes, Dordogne, Vendée and Haute-Vienne too!

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All about Deux-Sèvres (79) & Vendée (85)

More rural than its neighbours, Deux-Sèvres has much to offer individuals seeking a quieter life. Without a doubt, the Marais Poitevin is the département's jewel in the crown but there are plenty of other gems to be found if you know where to look.

To find out more about the Deux-Sèvres, read our visitor's guide here.

The Vendée département stretches along the Atlantic coast with 140km of glorious beaches and is home to the Vendée Globe round the world yacht race. Inland, Puy du Fou, the world renowned theme park, draws the crowds. Pine forests, bocages (wooded hills) and marais (marshes) can all be found in the Vendée and were the sites of many battles in Vendées turbulant history.

 

Into the darkness - a look at underground waterways

Into the darkness - a look at underground waterways

Aquifers and the water table are frequently out of sight and out of mind, but all this changed for Chris Luck when he met François Lefebvre from Vienne Nature…

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Coasting Gently - exploring the Vendée coast

Coasting Gently - exploring the Vendée coast

We head for a quiet stretch of the Atlantic coast, where the Marais Poitevin meets the Vendée, for a gentle out-of-season amble...

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Magnum Opus - visit William Christie's stunning garden

Magnum Opus - visit William Christie's stunning garden

We travel to the fertile plains of southern Vendée, to discover an extraordinary garden whose owner has devoted over thirty years to creating a world apart and who, for a few short weeks each summer, opens its doors to astonished visitors. 

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Full cycle - exploring the Thouet valley by bicycle

Full cycle - exploring the Thouet valley by bicycle

While trunk road improvements and a new high-speed rail line make their marks on the local landscapes a quieter, greener revolution in transport is also taking place, as Roger Moss discovered... 

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Château style - enjoy golf at Petit Chêne

Château style - enjoy golf at Petit Chêne

The Golf du Petit Chêne enjoys an enviable, secluded setting among lakes and woods – the beautifully-landscaped parkland of a gracious château which can trace its history back to the 13th Century. Just 3km from the village of Mazières-en-Gatine, between Parthenay and Niort, it’s conveniently located for golfers in Deux-Sèvres... 

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Riding high at Domaine des Forges Golf Club

Riding high at Domaine des Forges Golf Club

The Domaine des Forges Golf Resort is among the best-known courses in western France, and its readily accessible location between Poitiers, Niort and Parthenay puts it squarely in the sights of golfing aficionados from Belgium, Holland and across the Channel. But for the most part it’s the region’s own golfers who get to benefit from the Domaine’s comprehensive range of facilities... 

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Get away...discover Deux-Sèvres & environs

Get away...discover Deux-Sèvres & environs

We all feel the need to get away to a change of scenery, whether for a weekend or just a day, so here we visit the Deux-Sevres out of season

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Just Brass 79 - Where there's Brass

Just Brass 79 - Where there's Brass

It’s not every day that you come across a brass band playing in rural France, unless, of course, you live in the heart of Poitou-Charentes, as Roger Moss discovered.

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Melle Arboretum - A trail of leaves

Melle Arboretum - A trail of leaves

 Autumn golds and russets are guaranteed at this original arboretum in Melle, Deux-Sèvres, where a botanical visit takes you on a 7km walk around the edge of the historical town with its restored washhouses, fountains and Romanesque churches...

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Visit the Marais Poitevin, our Green Venice

Visit the Marais Poitevin, our Green Venice

For a cool day out head to the fascinating emerald waterlands of the Marais Poitevin where you can hire a boat or simply enjoy the relaxing atmosphere…

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