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Things to do & the surrounding area

La Maison Neuve is a large fortified farmhouse set in 4 acres of meadows with nut grove and orchard, & the 40'x 20' swimming pool is surrounded by sun-terraces and shady retreats. And this year the new games room containing a table tennis table has been completed.

Tucked away in a fold in the gently rolling hills of the Vendéen bocage, its tranquil position amidst farmland offers an ideal refuge for those in need of rest and relaxation, whilst the wealth of things to see and do within the local area will give the more energetic plenty of scope

The lovely, unspoilt Atlantic coast with its miles of safe, clean beaches is about an hour's drive away and the historic city of La Rochelle and the beautiful Ile de Re are within easy reach.

There are chateaux, pre-historic sites, gardens and museums close by; Bazoges-en-Pareds has an impressively restored donjon, pigeonnier and museum of Vendéen life set in the reconstructed medieval herb garden.

The windmills at Mouilleron-en-Pareds, (10 mins away) acted as signalling devices during the wars of the Vendée, and the elegant town of Fontenay-le-Comte (25 mins) used to be the regional capital until Napoleonic times. Medieval Vouvant (15 mins) with its narrow, winding streets, ramparts and Romanesque church is one of the most beautiful villages in France and its neighbouring forest of Mervent is a wild-life haven with fishing, lovely walks and mountain-bike trails.

In the peaceful Green Venice of the Marais Poitevin (35 mins) you can visit the abbeys of Nieul-sur-l'Autize and Maillezais: enjoy the local speciality of jambon et mojettes at the delightful Grange aux Roseaux & maybe venture out onto the waterways of the Marais in one of the traditional barques after your coffee and digestif.

Local sporting facilities include riding, sailing, walking, fishing and tennis, and there is wind surfing at the lac du Rochereau (10 mins) and Mervent, as well as the European Wind Surfing Centre at La Tranche-sur-Mer (75mins)

There is a superb golf course 25 miles away.

There are many excellent restaurants in the area with traditional French value for money, and the local producteurs of the AOC Fief Vendéen wines welcome visitors to their 'caves', often offering entertaining and informative tours as well as tastings.