Buying a property in a popular French market town centre means you’ll have a choice of shops, restaurants, bars, services and entertainment right on your doorsteps, just like these beautiful townhouses and apartments in prime position
Only 1h15 on the train from Paris, Joigny is an elegant town of some 9,500 residents in (and on the river of) Yonne, close to famous Burgundy vineyards. Full of narrow cobbled streets, and craft shops, it has some spectacular houses, including the Maison du Pilori with its extraordinary sculpted and tiled façade, and the Maison de l’Arbre de Jesse where the family tree of Jesus is sculped into the half-timbering. Another remarkable building in the town is this 18th-century family home with a sunny garden and terrace overlooking the rooftops and river. Brimming with period features, it has an exquisite kitchen-diner (pictured), three large bedrooms and a one-bedroom independent apartment in the loft, plus a cellar for your local wine. A two-star Michelin restaurant is a stroll away.
Civray sits on the River Charente and is an approved green holiday resort (station verte) with a beautiful Romanesque church. About halfway between Poitiers and Angoulême, it has some 2,600 residents. This grand maison de maître in the heart of town sits in a walled garden a stroll from the bi-weekly market, cinema, pool and schools. Offering six bedrooms and a cellar, the property has retained many original features and can be sold furnished if preferred.
Dreaming of having a Mediterranean beach right on your doorstep? Well, this beautiful two-bedroom apartment is just 15m from the town plage of Collioure. Some Mediterranean resorts lack character, but not colourful Collioure, a charming Catalan town of 2,800 people 26km from the Spanish border. The apartment is one of six in a newly renovated building next door to restaurants, bakery and a playground. Arranged over three floors, it has a special entrance from the street into the courtyard and to your front door where there is space to dine alfresco.
Founded in 1265 by the Queen of England Eléonore d’Aquitaine, Monségur is a handsome bastide town of about 1,500 people near Duras and within easy reach of Bergerac and Bordeaux. Apart from all the usual amenities, it has a cinema with regular showings of English films. This super-smart home is freshly renovated and has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a cellar ideal for a laundry room and storage. Double glazed and on mains drainage with electric heating, the property comes with a manageable walled patio for dining and relaxing.
Only 45 minutes from Atlantic beaches and an hour from La Rochelle, the town of St-Jean-D’Angèly is sought-after in its own right, thanks to its lively atmosphere, rich heritage and leisure facilities, which include a new spa. Some 8,000 people live in the town, which has a royal abbey, historic clocktower and a popular recreational area on the banks of the nearby River Boutonne. This beautiful two-bedroom apartment in excellent condition is in a grand old building at the heart of things and offers private parking. The large bright living room on the first floor has five huge windows while on the second floor there are three spacious bedrooms, a bathroom and toilet. There’s also a cave!
The charming little town of St-Cyprien could not be better placed to enjoy the tourism sites of the Périgord Noir. Both the Dordogne valley (with its famously beautiful villages) and the Vezère valley (with its world-famous prehistoric sites including the Lascaux Caves) are just minutes away, while Sarlat-la-Canéda is just 17km away. The town has some 1,600 year-round inhabitants and is on the trainline. This romantic house steps from shops and restaurants has been beautifully updated and offers five bedrooms (including an ensuite on the ground floor), plus a large attic space and two cellars. There is no garden but with two balconies and a small terrace, there’s enough space to sit outside and watch the world go by.
Bookshops abound in medieval Montmorillon, a labelled ‘city of writing and book trades’. Home to 6,000 people, the pretty riverside town 50km from Poitiers hosts regular fairs and cultural events. This lovely three-bedroom, two-bathroom property sits in the heart of the old town with a small courtyard overlooking the square and a garden of 220m² opposite the house. Montmorillon has supermarkets, a train station, hospital, cinema and swimming pool while the local area offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking and walking.
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