La Besnardiere in the Heart of the Loire Valley France

La Besnardiere can be found between the village of Fougere (1 mile) and the town of Bauge (5 miles) in the famous Anjou wine region; it offers peace and tranquillity, carpeted in the spring with primroses cowslips and bluebells. Ducks swim on the pond, chickens wander around laying their eggs in the stable, goats graze beneath the trees and the donkey meanders in her paddock. Bauge is a small town steeped in history and founded by King Rene in the 15th Century, the chateau, and the markets are all worth a visit and is only five miles away. The famous Apothecary, which is the oldest in Europe, and the cross of Lorraine (the symbol of the French resistance) can be viewed at the convent.

At Angers known as the mini- Paris of the Loire, there is a cathedral. as well as museums, art galleries, lovely parks and, of course the chateau where the Apocalypse Tapestry is displayed. It houses an extremely large market each Saturday and many international events.

Also well worth visiting are Amboise where Leonardo da Vinci lived until his death at Clos Luce in 1519, his house now being a museum dedicated to his work and Fontevraud Abbaye where Richard the Lion Heart's tomb can be seen.

Angers, Saumur, Fontevraud, Ambroise and Le Lude, are all within an hours drive. Saumur is also well known for it's Ecole National d'Equitation (founded in 1814) where its world famous team the "Cadre Noir" are trained and perform

For relaxation There are many lakes with beaches supervised swimming areas, pedalos, picnic tables and refreshment facilities within a short drive from the house. On hot days there is nothing like relaxing on the beach and swimming in the nearby lakes. There are two within close proximity by car, both lakes are supervised by life guards, the water is tested, there are picnic areas, cafes and children's play areas. Boat trips can be taken both on the La Loire and Le Loir as well as the Rivers Sart and Mayaine.

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For those who enjoy or wish to learn horse riding there are very good riding establishments nearby offering short or long treks in the forests. This is worth mentioning as pony and horse riding in France is not a status activity and is reasonably priced and accessible to all. For beginners there are starter lessons and for the more experienced there are trips into the nearby forests.

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For golfers Bauge has a nineteen hole golf course of excellent standard.

La Fleche with its small intimate shops, river side walks and lake, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a zoo and a large market on Wednesday mornings are a must . The whole area, being situated as it is, between the Loire and the Loire river it offers the opportunity of an abundance of forest and country walks. Cycling and walking are favourite pass times here as the roads are traffic free and the woods, lakes and rivers are all within easy access

The area is a paradise for birdwatchers with Peregrine Falcons, Buzzards, Kites, Herons and in the summer the Golden Orioles are a delight to hear. The local forests boast, among other animals, wild boar, deer and red squirrels. In spring and summer wild flowers are in profusion everywhere.

The Loire Valley is grand Chateaux country with chateaux too numerous to mention.

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The zoo at Doue Fontaine has been voted the second best zoo in Europe and has a conservation programme which reintroduces rare species back into the wild. Situated in an old series of quarries the animals are contained and yet free to roam. There is also a smaller zoo at La Fleche.

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Throughout the year there are festivals throughout France, from large three day events in cities such as Angers to weekend events in the smaller towns and villages:

June 21st - Music day, lots of free music and dancing in all the towns and even villages
July 14th - Celebrations for Bastille day with magnificent firework displays, music and dancing

Please contact us for more information on festivals and events around your desired time with us

And after a long day you can relax with a barbecue and bottle or two of local wine or have the luxury of a catered meal at the farmhouse

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It is the ideal restful, relaxing holiday spot, which offers many choices of activity and places of interest to visit.