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Creuse: an insider’s guide

PUBLISHED: 13:41 14 March 2017

Houses of Aubosson in Creuse (c) Emmanuelle BONZAMI

Houses of Aubosson in Creuse (c) Emmanuelle BONZAMI

cynoclub - Fotolia

An insider’s guide to Creuse in Nouvelle Aquitaine, including the main attractions to visit on holiday, the best towns and villages to live in, the major festivals and events, and buying property in Creuse

Located in the heart of France, Creuse in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region (formerly Limousin, Aquitaine and Poitou-Charentes), and borders the departments of Corrèze, Haute Vienne, Indre, Allier, Puy-de-Dôme and Cher.

Creuse is perfect for those searching for rural life in an area of peace, tranquillity and unspoilt nature, in fact cows outnumber people in this area. It is home to the famous Limousin cattle after all!

Named after the Creuse River, with the Taurion, Gartempe and Petite-Creuse rivers also winding through the department and the rolling green hills of the Massif Central mountain range, Creuse is a beautiful department to explore.

Also benefiting from a warm, typically dry, climate, holidaymakers and expats looking to relocate or purchase a second property find Creuse the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful retreat amongst idyllic countryside.

Map Of France Creuse (c) Ministere de l'InterieurMap Of France Creuse (c) Ministere de l'Interieur

Getting here

Plane: There are seasonal flights to Brive de Vallée de la Dordogne airport or year-round flights to Limoges airport from the UK

By train: Eurostar to Paris and then jump on the TGV to La Souterraine

By road: Guéret is 672km from Calais

Places to visit in Creuse

Guéret is the largest town in Creuse and the departmental capital, although it is a small place in comparison to other capitals. Within in the town there are attractive buildings to discover, including the 13th century church of St. Pierre and St. Paul, the Hôtel de la Sénatorerie museum of natural history and works of art.

The town of Aubusson is famous for its tapestries and has an interesting museum dedicated to the craft with an impressive collection of old and new tapestries to admire. The charming town is made up of winding narrow streets, gorgeous architecture and plenty of pavement cafes to enjoy a coffee and slice of cake.

The town of Bourganeuf was once the headquarters of the Knights Templar and offers visitors a chance to soak in some of Creuse’s glorious medieval heritage.

Things to do in Creuse

The varied landscapes are ideal for the pursuit of outdoor activities including walking routes through the countryside and nature lovers can marvel at the department’s beautiful plateaus, rocky gorges and pretty gardens far away from the busy seaside resorts of the south.

The Lac de Vassivière, situated on the Millevaches Plateau, is one of France’s largest lakes and has marked zones for watersports.

Venture into the Chabrières forest just south of Guéret and visit the Monts de Guéret wildlife park, where large enclosures allow you to see wolves in conditions that are very similar to their natural habitat.

Local delicacies include beef from the Limousin cattle, and cherry clafoutis. This popular baked dessert is made with batter and cherries, although, as the locals will tell you, when other fruit is used the dish becomes a flaugnarde.

Buying property in Creuse

Purchasing property in Creuse, whether to relocate to or own a second home, is a cheaper option than many of its French counterparts and is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet. There are a wide range of property styles and prices; from working farmhouses constructed from granite to charming thatched cottages.

The average property price in this department is around €75,000, significantly less expensive than the average property price in France (€157,600) and the cheapest department in the former region of Limousin, and in fact the whole of France.

As you may expect property prices do vary throughout Creuse, with the most expensive being the department’s capital of Guéret with an average property price of €106,000.

You can find properties in Creuse for sale on the France Property Shop website.

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