The largest planted maze in the world! It is designed to be fun for everyone, children and adults alike. You can even try the maze at night in the summertime (Thursdays). The site also boasts enormous slides; there is a larger one for children over 12s and a 20m water slide for the under 12s. There is also a small petting farm. The maze is open most days between April and November, but do check hours to make sure. Just next to the maze, there is the Chabriere Forest, with excellent walking trails (no roads to cross) where you can enjoy the natural woodland setting.
The maze is near Guéret, 45 minutes away from the Chateau.
The nearest swimming lake with a beach is in St Martin Terressus (less then 5 minutes away); it has a lovely clean sandy beach and a slow drop off which helps children who are less confident swimmers. There is a snack bar and life guards are on duty during July and August. Lake Jonas is larger and is surrounded by attractive woodland. It is 10 minutes away and also has a sandy beach and picnic facilities. There are plenty of similar swimming lakes in the region which you’ll stumble across (always keep swimming gear in the boot!) The larger lakes often have lots of activities on offer as well as playgrounds etc. Lac Saint Pardoux has several beaches, a sailing club, playgrounds (including a stomach churning one for older kids) and snack bars as well as walking and cycling trails.
Saint Pardoux is very pretty and is 15 minutes away. There are also open air swimming pools with all the usual facilities within 20 minutes. We were recently featured in the Guardian Travel Special “Lakes and Mountains”.
It is one of the largest lakes in Europe, created by a dam in 1949 and producing hydroelectric power. It is 1000 hectares of water, with a stunning island of 70 hectares; and has secluded coves as well as beaches and water sports. There is a free water taxi operating around the lake (which can also transport bikes) It runs every day in July and August and three days a week in June and September. There is kayaking, sailing, waterskiing and pedaloes. You can take a guided nature trail kayak tour (children from 6 years, but they must be able to swim) on Tuesdays and Thursdays (booking essential). There are five sandy beaches, some with slides and playgrounds and others more laid back. There are life guards on duty in July and August.
Vassivere is of course heaven for fishermen! We can arrange a licence for those interested.
The lake is also famous for the Art Centre on the island of Vassivere, reached by footpath.The buildings with the unmistakable lighthouse tower, were designed by Aldo Rossi and Xavier Fabre, and house mostly contemporary art and always have a very interesting calendar of temporary exhibitions. There are often workshops for children. There is a lovely sculpture park set in floral prairie. The Café d’Ile is open April to September and offers snacks and regional cuisine.
It is a gorgeous scenic drive of 40 minutes from the Chateau.
The Limousin is famous for hiking and walking trails, and there is everything from challenging mountain (Monts d’Ambazac) walking to easier plateau walks. There is a stunning arboretum 15 minutes away which is lovely for walking and has plenty of sheltered spots for an idillyic picnic. There are plenty of easier walks for children, or borrow our child carrier if you fancy a challenge! We have a variety of walking maps, and the local tourist office can also help with what is the best walk in each season for every ability. Guides can be arranged in advance. If you have a particular interest, for instance, bird watching, do let us know.