South West France has extensive areas of natural beauty and is also rich with places of historic interest. There is plenty to explore in the area, including:
Prehistoric Caves and Paintings
Although just too far to visit whilst attending a course we highly recommend a visit if you can explore the area before or after a course. See UNESCO website for information.
13th Century Bastide Towns
There are dozens of these fascinating settlements throughout SW France and into Northern Spain. Some are small villages, others are substantial towns. They were designed for economic efficiency, built around a market square with workshops and homes for traders. There were clear laws and the original weights and measures can still be seen in some of the Bastide market places. Many Bastides were built to a grid design. Monpazier is a very fine example and is about 45 minutes drive from Cubertou. Monflanquin, Tournon d’Agenais and Puy l’Eveque are all about 30 mins drive from Cubertou and well worth a visit.
The beautiful Château de Bonaguil is 15 mins drive from Cubertou and we try to arrange lifts during courses so that everyone can get an opportunity to visit. Also, about 45 mins drive from Cubertou, is the superb Château de Biron.
Château de Bonaguil – photos by Jeremy Cook
St Martin le Redon
Our ancient local village predates the Bastides and is well worth a visit. It’s very quiet (no shops or bars) but they do hold a couple of fêtes in the summer which we join in with when we can. We have had the pleasure of hearing Philippa Davies and Jan Willem Nelleke’s concerts in the beautiful and lovingly restored church in recent years.