Monthly Archives: February 2014

Days out in the Vendee

Struggling to keep the children entertained?

Looking for kid’s activities in the Vendée?

Whether or not you live in the Vendée or are just visiting, if you find yourself here at this time of year with children in tow, it isn’t always easy to find things to keep them occupied, particularly if they have every Wednesday off school and long school holidays. So the other day I was delighted to come across a number of quite diverse activities for children to do, thanks to the unusually proactive Office de Tourisme – Pays de Pouzauges.

They’ve put together a calendar of children’s activities for the period 26th February to 16th March, which is available to download at http://www.tourisme-paysdepouzauges.fr/data/pdf_1392365467.pdf  but to give you a flavour of what’s on offer here is my summary:

Children's activities in Vendée, France

Kid’s activities with an educational twist

Chateau Saint Mesmin.

Chateau Saint Mesmin at Saint André sur Sevre is a great place to start if you’re looking for interesting things to do with an educational twist. For 2014 they promise an entire year or medieval events and workshops, starting this February with Wednesday workshops. This week’s workshop is all about learning the art and meaning behind the designs of heraldic coats of arms but if you think that might not be exciting enough, on the 5th March it’s all about the art of war and the workshop following that is all about medieval knights, which certainly promises a bit more dynamic. For more information visit www.chateau-saintmesmin.com

Days out in the Vendee

Science Museum in Reaumur

Manoir des Sciences

If your children are of a less warmongering disposition there is always the Manoir des Sciences at Reaumur which is also hosting weekly Wednesday workshops. I’m not sure that my kids would enjoy the traditional art of rope making this Wednesday but I am pretty certain  “chemistry in the kitchen” and exploring the grounds of the Manoir for the first signs of spring, which are the next two workshops, will have more appeal. Again you can find out more at www.manoirdessciencesdereaumur.fr

Lots more children’s activities

There are a number of other events on the agenda which include outside iceskating at Bressuire every afternoon from the 22nd February to the 9th March, a visit to the aquarium at Pescalis near Moncoutant on the 7th March and a step back in time to life in 1900 at the Tour Nivelle in Courlay. One other event which particularly caught my eye is K’eau Lanta on the 13th March at the Centre Aquatique in Pouzauges which seems to be a cross between water mediation and aqua areorobics and asks “Do you know how to be a hero?” If any one can tell me what that’s all about I’d be grateful otherwise I may be compelled to give it a go with or without the children!

Swimming in the Vendée

Wet and weird at the Centre Aquatique, Pouzauges

Shop for local Vendéen produce

I, for one am grateful to the tourist board for putting together some ideas and on the whole prices for the events look reasonable. I’d also like to give a shout to the new shop that the Tourist Office have opened at their offices in Pouzauges which is stocking quite a large range of local products. As a holiday home owner in the region, it struck me as a convenient local place to go and hunt out some Vendéen produce for a really personal welcome basket for guests at the same time as picking some of this years pamphlets on things to do. And if nothing else, it’s food for thought!

This blog was brought to you by Brian Fox (http://www.foxwebcreation.com  and Lucy Pitts (www.lemoulin-frenchholidayhome.com)

Randonné in the Vendée

Time for a quick trip to Le Jardin de la Vendée.

I’m always on the look out for new places to explore and good days out in the Vendée so this week I thought I’d give a shout to an area that until recently I knew very little about. The cantons of Rocheserviere and St.Fulgent in the north of the Vendée, also known as the garden of the Vendée, are rich and diverse and whether you live in the area or just visiting, they have lots to offer.

Art and Culture in the Vendée.

The first thing that caught my attention about this area is that it appears to have a dynamic arts scene and is home to lots of creatives. If you love nothing better than to spend a day browsing art, then you are spoilt for choice here with dozens of studios dotted across the region. Whether it’s watercolours, landscapes, oil paintings or abstract that are your thing or perhaps you enjoy photography, jewellery design or basket weaving, there is an absolute wealth of talent to choose from. You can find out everything you need to know, as well as information about the frequent exhibitions held in the area at the local tourist office website at http://www.lejardindelavendee.fr/bouger/art-et-culture/.

local culture Vendée

Local artist Stephane Heuvelin

Walking and “Randocroquis”!

As with most of the Vendée, this area is a perfect place if you’re keen to do a bit of walking but I just love the idea of combing walking with art which is precisely the idea behind the Randocroquis trails. There are 4 trails, along the course of which you will come across regular sites for drawing or painting the landscape, with tips and assistance to boot. Part of a national scheme this is a great way to enjoy the landscape and improve and enjoy your own artistic flair.

Or if you like a bit of independence and adventure when you walk, you can rent a “visioguide/ GPS” from the local tourist office and navigate your own way round some of the regions trails. On top of which and as you’d expect in France, the area is well set up for rambling, walking, horse riding and cycling.

Again, if you do want to get out and about, you can find all the information you need at www.randocroquis.com and http://http://www.lejardindelavendee.fr/bouger/balades-et-randonnees/ 

Randonné in the Vendée

Innovative walks and GPS adventures.

Other fascinating attractions.

As with most of the Vendée, this is an area which is rich in cultural heritage and there are lots of museums and places of interest to visit, which include everything from embroidery museums, tractors exhibitions and the well known historic landmark of Chabotterie de la Logis, with its beautiful house.

museums in Vendée France

Historic days out

I am very grateful to the people of Le Jardin de la Vendée, for helping me discover this region which I might not otherwise have got around to visiting and enjoying and they’ve got a great Facebook page if you want to keep bang up to date with what’s on. If you’ve visited the area I’d love to hear your views or if you are a  creative or business in the area, why not get in touch and we’ll feature you on the blog.

 

This blog was brought to you by Brian Fox (http://www.foxwebcreation.com  and Lucy Pitts (www.lemoulin-frenchholidayhome.com)